I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
It’s Okay to Do A Little Horn Tootin…..
Have you ever heard the statement “don’t toot your own horn”? As a child growing up I remember hearing adults say that in reference to someone bragging about themselves. It was my understanding that being proud of something you did and “bragging” about it was not appropriate behavior. As a child, I never questioned it, but kept that unwritten rule tucked away in the little rule book of life I have stored in my brain and have tried to be mindful not to “toot my horn” for fear of offending someone. However, I have never had a problem tooting the horns of my children or my husband for their accomplishments. Once again I turned to Webster online and found the definition of pride and for a brief moment I agreed with the don’t toot your own horn rule. Webster defines pride as the quality or state of being proud; inordinate self-esteem or conceit. So there you have it, proof that tooting our own horn is not a good thing.
Recently, I had a discussion with a close friend and mentor about some anxieties I have been having about sharing with people the success I am having with my weight loss and the obvious physical changes in my body. After sharing my concerns with my friend she explained it to me that if I hold back and do not share my successes I am missing out on the opportunity to inspire someone else. Me, an inspiration? That was difficult for me to digest. How in the world could someone like me be an inspiration to anyone else? It took her a while to convince me that everyone can be an inspiration to someone else, and that being proud of an accomplishment is not a bad thing as long as it is done with humility.
A few days after my conversation with my wise friend, I attended my weekly 12 step program class and was given the opportunity to do a little horn tootin of my own. It was testimony night, where group members are invited up front to share their experiences and receive a medallion for reaching a goal/milestone in their journey. Three months ago I received a medallion for staying on my weight loss journey. That night I was presented with the opportunity to receive my six month medallion and share my current weight loss success. I had decided to sit still and just not worry about it. After all it is just a small little plastic chip that I will tuck in my purse with the first one. And besides, who wants to hear me brag that I have lost 30 pounds in six months? Nobody cares..right? WRONG! After a few people received their medallions and shared their stories of success I had the unavoidable urge to stand up and share. So I did and when I walked away with my little yellow plastic medallion, I realized that it was okay to share my success and not feel guilty about it. Afterward, a lady approached me and thanked me for sharing and giving her encouragement. She has been struggling with her weight and self esteem issues since her marriage ended and my message gave her encouragement. That was my “ah-ha” moment. Not only did it encourage her, but it solidified the fact to me that sharing our success and accomplishments humbly is not only okay to do, it is a must. Somewhere, someone needs to hear what we have to share.
As a teacher to young children, I strive to teach my students to do their best in whatever they are doing. In my class some of our biggest accomplishments are coloring within the lines, zipping our coats, wearing big girl/boy underpants and walking in a straight line. To some that might be a very big deal, but for a three year old, that is pretty big stuff. For me, watching a child run to their parent at the end of the day and loudly proclaim, “I peed in the potty all by myself” or “Look what I did Daddy, I stayed in the lines with my crayons” or “Watch me put my coat on all by myself, Mommy” is a proud moment. Sharing in those big moments with my students brings me such great joy and pride. While I am proud of my students for what they have done, I am also proud for the part I am playing in their lives in helping them reach those milestones. And it is okay for me to be proud of that.
When we share our successes in a positive humble way we allow others to take away encouragement and lessons to use in their everyday life journey. If I would have stayed in my chair last week and kept my success to myself, the other woman would not have been encouraged. Instead by sharing my struggles and success she felt encouragement and hope that she could clear the hurdles in her life that are in her way. By sharing my story, she was blessed with encouragement and in turn I was blessed by knowing that she was encouraged.
As we travel down our road of life we should be mindful and look for opportunities to share our life lessons with those around us. Now I am not suggesting that we shout out every time we have something good happen to us from the mountain top, I am suggesting that we pay attention to those around us and share experiences that are relative to their situation. For example, you may have a friend who is having a particular issue with their teenager and is at the end of their “rope”. Share with them a life experience that you have had with your teenager that worked. You may know someone who is struggling with an addiction that you yourself have been able to kick…share your story. All too often we find ourselves in a situation where we can shed light on our own life experiences and successes, but feel guilty for “bragging”. Sharing success in a helpful, humble manner is not bragging, boasting or hurtful. Take time to listen with an open mind and heart, and then thoughtfully share your story. You will not only bless someone with your openness, you will find yourself blessed as well.
I think I hear something…I believe it’s a tootin horn….