Talk about your achievements

Help people get to know you!

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As women, we’re taught all through our childhood to be modest and humble. “Don’t brag about yourself. It’s distasteful and makes you look arrogant.”

Over the years, we train ourselves not to make a big deal of our achievements.

In fact, we even learn to downplay ourselves to make others feel more comfortable. “Yeah, I’m terrible with names too.” We worry that if we talk highly of ourselves, we could make others feel inadequate.

Then we come into the workplace and, bang, leadership gurus turn that advice 180 degrees on its head.

“Sell yourself.” “Toot your own horn.” “Promote yourself.”

Just hearing these words can put women off from talking about their work. It sounds self-serving and egoistic.

We agree. Bragging is not cool.

But what if we told you not to brag about what you do? Instead, just share information about yourself.

What’s the difference? 

Bragging is about making ourselves seem bigger and better than we are. When we brag, we make claims with no hard data to back them up. We “puff” ourselves up to be greater than ourselves because of our insecurities.

But saying the truth about yourself and your accomplishments is not bragging. It’s about letting people get to know you.

Don’t make up things about yourself just so you sound cool. Don’t talk about yourself with an air about you. Instead, respectfully tell people about yourself so people can see you the way you are.


Because unless you do, people won’t really know who you are. They won’t know what you bring to the table. And they won’t know what makes you, you!

Why are all of those important?

Because it shapes people’s relationships with you and how they interact with you.

Here’s an example.

Lisa joins a new job as a Consultant. When her new colleagues ask about her previous job, Lisa’s very careful not to appear snobbish. “I worked in Manufacturing. Consulting is a new world for me! I have a lot to learn here.”

Lisa imagines that people will eventually hear about her credentials from HR or look her up on LinkedIn. But people are just too busy to get around to it. What she tells them is all they know.

The first few weeks are pretty rough. Every time Lisa makes a comment, people explain “how things work” to her. Lisa keeps an open mind to learning in the beginning. But after a few months, Lisa feels frustrated and ineffective.

Now let’s go back to the beginning and picture this.

Say Lisa introduced herself this way. “My last job was as VP for Toyota’s Europe business. I worked in Manufacturing for 15 years, well, including the 2 years I spent getting my MBA from Stanford. So I suppose we’ll look at the same problem from different angles, which will be exciting!”

Imagine how much more seriously people would take her! They’d value her opinions. She’d feel more confident speaking up when she sees that people respect her ideas. And she’d perform much more effectively!

Unless you tell people about yourself, they won’t know you. If they don’t know you, they may have a very different perception of you.

Talking about yourself allows people to see who you are: what drives you, what your strengths are and what you’ve accomplished in life so far. It’s important for your career progression. And it’s important for people to treat you right and give you the respect you deserve.

Give people the chance to get to know you by talking about your achievements.

Graduated at the top of your school? Let people know. Came up with a new idea at work? Let people know. Delivered good results? Let people know.

And when someone else does it, be thankful they’re letting you know about themselves. Don’t think of them as talking highly of themselves. As long as it’s true, it’s great to know more about people. So encourage people to talk about themselves. And celebrate your own accomplishments loudly and proudly! We’ll see how in this module.

Your new Rekindle routine

Today, and for the next two weeks, here’s your new Rekindle routine.

Talk about your achievements and let people get to know you.

Put yourself out of your comfort zone and take small steps to tell people more about yourself. Start where the stakes are small.

For example, talk about an initiative that you started at work. Share it with a family member or a colleague you feel less threatened by.

Just practice getting the words out of your mouth and hearing yourself say it for now. Don’t worry if you goof up – it’s expected. You may look worried as you say it. Or you may even look like you don’t mean it. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Just do the best you can for now.

Allow yourself to be awkward. Be kind to yourself when you screw up. And keep learning so you can improve.

With practice, you’ll be able to talk about your achievements as they are and as a matter of fact! Keep chugging along, you!

Coming up next

Tomorrow we’ll see why results don’t speak for themselves.


  1. Talking about your achievements helps people see who you really are.

It’s how people know what awesome things you’ve done so far and what value you bring to the table. Give people the chance to get to know you!

  1. Do your daily Rekindle routine.

Talk about your achievements and let people get to know you.

Today, pick one thing that went well recently because of your effort. Came up with a creative clause for a contract? Talk to a colleague or family member about it. Just get the words out for now and hear yourself talking about yourself. Super!

Good job completing the lesson. We’ll see you here same time tomorrow.
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