How To Celebrate Yourself Without Becoming A Narcissist

I have struggled with my own self-image for a very long time. It is probably a bit of a contradiction that as a Public Relations and Marketing Consultant I actually shy away from attention unless it comes unexpectedly. So for example, if someone praises the work I do or invites me to somewhere amazing because they value my presence I genuinely go through a process of inner shock, then gratitude then happiness. I have absolutely no problem celebrating other people though, that’s what I do for a living, put other people’s visibility before without drawing too much attention for myself.

It has come to my attention however that by shying away and not just celebrating myself BEFORE others do so, I am doing myself a major disservice. I am not growing or excelling in the way I should because I am hiding behind a mask of modesty which no longer serves my greater good. Whilst I’m being honest it has also made me resent my own achievements, this is mad, I know but stay with me. It’s all very well for people to praise me and say well done but then when I look at where I am and where I would like to be I downplay those praises. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle and as a businesswoman it does me absolutely no good whatsoever. I do not want to be seen as a narcissist, someone solely concerned with their own achievements that they are not self-aware or mindful but I know that I need to do more to shine a spotlight on my successes.

So I am learning how to celebrate myself, how to be humble without being modest and here are just a few of the things that I have learnt.  I would love you to share your own thoughts and experiences with me too.

1. Do not compare yourself to others. I think sometimes the fear of self-celebration comes from worrying whether you are in fact doing better than other people or not. But none of that really matters. What really matters is that you’re doing what’s best for you. An inability to praise yourself or even to accept praise is, from my perspective, a symptom of insecurity. Stop comparing and start coruscating.

Steve Furtick

2. Stay Present, Stay in the moment. The main reason that I do not celebrate my successes is purely because, in my eyes, they are not big enough. Seriously, I can get a lovely interview or even a fantastic new client but all I do is think about the next goal. I think about the fact that I want more and that it has to be even better. What kind of self-inflicted punishment is that? But I suspect that I am not the only one who does this. We are all guilty of looking to the future instead of just taking a moment to acknowledge and recognise how great life is right now. The moment we stay present to life as it is now, the moment it becomes easier to celebrate when we win at life, and trust me we really are winning at this journey called life, I know I am…(Hooray! I just celebrated myself!).

Jim Rohn

3. Love yourself as much as you love others. It really is a simple concept but why does it seem so hard at times to just take the time to love yourself and treat yourself with the same of kind, care and attention that you would treat others. It’s not being selfish, it’s being smart. If you take care of yourself and treat yourself well you will flourish and those around you will enjoy you more. So take the time to reward yourself for every achievement, big and small, that makes you happy and tell people that you’re happy. Love yourself and be your own best friend! What does your best friend do when you do something amazing? My best friend would buy my Champagne or Prosecco and we’d toast life. I don’t wait for her to do that anymore I buy my own bubbles and get toasting and start telling!

Elmer Pasta

4. Keep give without expectation. Be open and able to give freely, and this instance I mean give praise and acknowledgement to others and to yourself where it is due. By giving without expectation you reduce the chances of becoming resentful if you do not receive anything in return. By giving yourself a pat on the back without even expecting more from yourself it allows you to take stock and be at peace with what you have accomplished without being too hard on yourself to do more than you are ready for. From all of this remember that the more you give, the more you receive, perhaps not materially but spiritually.

Lao tzu

5. Let your light shine! Below is one of my favourite quotes of all time,  I still learn from it whenever I read it. Let us remove the fear, the fear of failure or of being deemed to be “too much”, let our lights shine. Do not be afraid to let your light shine, it’s not showing off it is showing the world who you really are.

Marianne Williamson Inspiration

I hope this has helped someone reading this as much as it has helped me simply by writing it.

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31 Comments

  1. August 18, 2015 / 11:00 am

    Hi Ronke
    This is so timely for me! And each action point makes so much PRACTICAL sense!
    I struggle with even accepting praise/complements, not to talk of giving myself a pat on the back for every achievement I have accomplished through His Grace. If I'm being honest, I know I struggle with this because of your first point – comparing myself and my achievements to others!
    Thank you so much for this post! I know it will help on my journey with being 100% secure and happy within myself and MY personal journey!

    God bless you x

    • August 18, 2015 / 1:19 pm

      Wow! This is SUCH a powerful message! Thank you so much. I really appreciate the time taken to send me this. I'm glad it helped!

  2. September 16, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    I celebrated my 39th birthday a couple of days ago, and wrote about how on my forty before 40 list of things to do was to learn that I am good enough. It is something that I have struggled for probably most of my life; not really believing the nice things that people say to me. This post couldn't have come at a more perfect time, as I nodded in agreement with so much of what you said. Thank you for writing this – it's helped a lot! x

    • September 16, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing Michelle! Very much appreciated!

  3. September 16, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    That was just what I needed to hear. I've been self employed for nearly 10 years and never been great at congratulating myself but I've got even worse since becoming a mum 2 years ago. I'm constantly just focusing on the 'to do' list and what I haven't done rather than the positives. Might need to buy some prosecco!

    • September 16, 2015 / 3:08 pm

      You deserve that prosecco Sarah! 😉 thanks for sharing!

  4. September 16, 2015 / 5:23 pm

    I always compare myself to others however i think it is hard not to. I know I shouldn't as we are each our own person. Lovely post 🙂

    • September 16, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      That is a great point! Thanks for sharing!

  5. September 16, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    Some great points that everyone should take on board.I think writing down at the end of each day, what you have achieved helps you to get into a positive mindset.

  6. September 16, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    I can identify with all these wonderful and very inspirational quotes. I particularly like the Elmer Pasta quote which goes along with one of my own life mantras – If you think you'll laugh at it later… you may as well laugh now.

    • September 16, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      Most definitely. I always try to find the funny side even in the most challenging times!

  7. September 16, 2015 / 8:12 pm

    I think it's so easy to mistake confidence or being proud of yourself with arrogance or narcissism. Your post hits right to the heart of why that's so wrong and unhealthy, and how to counteract it. Great post x

  8. September 16, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    A great read and some simple but challenging tips! I do think it's very hard not to compare yourself to others though, whether its work, appearances, parenting skills etc

    Cat x

    • September 17, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      That's true Cat, it's an ongoing challenge! Thanks so much for sharing

  9. September 17, 2015 / 7:22 am

    Such great inspirational quotes I can definitely relate to.

  10. September 17, 2015 / 9:29 am

    Comparing myself to others and their situations is something I struggle with a lot and I think blogging may make it worse. I really want to try and forget what other people are doing and be proud of my own achievements.

    • September 17, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      It takes time and reflection! Thank you Fiona

  11. September 17, 2015 / 10:14 am

    Love this post, I actually get really embarressed if i get a compliment and find it hard to just thank you rather than go off in s spout about why its not as great as you think etc etc. And I love the quote about comparing out behins scenes with others highlight reel. We have such high expectations of ourselves and it gets in the way of enjoying life

    • September 17, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Something I struggle with too! It's an ongoing challenge. Thanks for sharing Sandra!

  12. September 17, 2015 / 3:52 pm

    I'm all for keeping a positive outlook on life. Defo something I find a challenge, but handy tips.

  13. September 17, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this, it is so important to celebrate ourselves in order to feel well grounded. Really enjoyed this

  14. September 18, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    This was an amazing post! I'm going to be bookmarking this, and reading it often. I'll definitely be sharing it.

  15. Angela
    November 30, 2016 / 10:32 pm

    Better late than never. I’m so happy I find this post,Everything on list is me. Have alot of work to do,but the change is needed. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • December 1, 2016 / 10:39 am

      Thanks for taking the time to read it! Glad it helped.

  16. Angela
    November 30, 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Thank you! Love this

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