One Infinite Life
March 28, 2017

Do you downplay your achievements? This is for you... https://oneinfinitelife.com/it-is-a-big-deal/

When I was in primary school we had to write a story to submit to a local literacy festival. The instructions were to put a “new cultural spin” on a classic fairytale and I chose to write an Australian version of Hansel and Gretel.

Not long after, I found myself at the literacy festival night where my my Hansel and Gretel story won two awards.

And I know I should of been proud — and I was — but mostly I just found the whole thing embarrassing.

I didn’t want to be recognised or acknowledged for my work. I didn’t want to have to get up in front of a room full of people and accept the awards. I didn’t want to be seen in this way. And I didn’t want people to think that I thought that I was a “big deal”.

I remember my teachers and classmates congratulating me and I didn’t know what to say. I had to read my story aloud to my class and then again in front of the entire school at an assembly (which was mortifying). 

Even though I liked my story and felt proud that others did too, I didn’t want anyone to make a big deal out of it. And the only part of this experience that I was happy about was getting a gift voucher to spend at a local book store.

When I look back on this I mostly remember feeling embarrassed that everyone around me was making a “big deal” about it all.

Ever since I can remember I’ve disliked being recognised, acknowledged and “seen” for the things I’ve done.

Even though I get satisfaction out of achieving things and I’m proud of myself when I accomplish something, I find it difficult when others acknowledge me for these things, especially in a public way.

Recently, I was nominated for two coaching awards in the Beautiful You Coaching Academy Awards: Emerging Coach of the Year and the CEO Shine Award.

This has been my greatest achievement and one of my most proudest moments since becoming a coach. To be nominated alongside so many people I admire was such an honour and something I felt was very special.

However, this experience has really brought to light how I react to being seen and recognised for things. In particular, how I downplay my achievements to those around me.

After sharing the news of my nominations on Facebook, people outside the coaching industry started asking me about the nominations and congratulating me. I told them, “Oh, it’s not a big deal.”

My Mum was going to be interstate on the awards night and told me she was disappointed that she couldn’t come. I told her, “Don’t worry about it, it’s not like it’s a big deal.”

Even a couple of weeks ago as I was strolling the beach with one of my closest friends talking about the upcoming awards night I found myself once again downplaying it. I told her, “It’s not really a big deal.”

And it feels uncomfortable to share this and I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but I often do downplay my achievements to everyone around me.

Even though I was — and am — proud about these nominations, I still downplayed this achievement at every opportunity and wouldn’t allow others to acknowledge me for it.

And it made me realise that this isn’t a one-off thing — I often do this with anything I do or anything I achieve.

Ever since my Hansel and Gretel story (and probably long before that too), “it’s not a big deal” is often my default response whenever people acknowledge me for something.

So this is something I’ve been working on ever since I had this realisation.

I’ve been challenging myself to resist the urge to downplay when someone acknowledges me or congratulates me on something (“It’s not a big deal.”) and instead I say “thank you” and mean it.

Because I know when I acknowledge someone for the things they do I want them to believe it and accept it — and I want to celebrate it with them. As Alexandra Franzen said, “Be happy. Be proud. And let us be happy with you.”

I really don’t want to downplay the things I do anymore. And I don’t want to stop others from being happy with me either.

The things you do, the things you achieve, the things you are proud of — all of it — are a big deal.

Allow yourself to be proud and celebrate — because it is a big deal.

Allow others to acknowledge and congratulate you — because it is a big deal.

Stop downplaying your achievements.

Because it IS a big deal.

 

Do you often downplay your achievements too? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below with a response to this:

What’s something you’ve done / achieved / made happened recently that you’re really proud of?  

Share away in the comments. I’d love to celebrate you and what you’ve accomplished!

I hope after you finish reading this you remember that the things you accomplish are a big deal and you allow yourself to be acknowledged for them.

Love & Gratitude,

One Infinite Life

PS. I’ve written more about the BYCA Awards Night here, including my reflections, gratitude and photos from the celebratory evening.

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  • Jia Ni Teo

    I love that! It’s totally a big deal! One of the things I’m so proud of is launching my course Easeful for creative entrepreneurs this month! 🙂 xx

    • http://www.oneinfinitelife.com/ Chloe | One Infinite Life

      Thanks so much for your comment Jia. Wow! That is an amazing achievement — and a really big deal! Thank you for sharing your achievement in this space. I hope your launch goes well 🙏😊

  • http://www.dianabraybrooke.com/ Diana Braybrooke

    Hi lovely, thank you for sharing so openly and transparently. I wrote about what the awards brought up in me last week as well. Mine is the opposite to you though. I found growing up my way to get love was to get awards and prizes. When I did those things I got attention from my family. This has seen me seeking out the next prize, award, magazine appearance! Even though these things in and of themselves aren’t bad it’s what we allow them to speak into our lives. So for me not winning an award meant I wasn’t popular enough, or good enough and some of those feelings were recently triggered. I’m currently working to undo all of this but I am thankful for the opportunities, I just need to not take it so personally when I don’t win. For me, things were taken away from me in the past which has made me feel unseen and unheard and has thus seen me seeking out to be seen and heard. Hope this makes sense. Thank you. Your story made me not feel so alone in having feelings leading up to and after the awards 🙂 Congrats by the way and you are awesome. xx

    • http://www.oneinfinitelife.com/ Chloe | One Infinite Life

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience in this space Diana. I know how hard it can be to share these things, so I admire your courage in doing so. Even though we are two different sides of the same coin I really appreciated hearing about your relationship/experiences with rewards. I’m glad that this post made you feel less alone about how you felt leading up to the awards. And hearing your experience — even though it was different than mine — has made me also feel less alone, so thank you for sharing 🙏 Congratulations again Diana 🎈✨