I haven’t always been my biggest cheerleader. I suffer from impostor syndrome, which I’m beginning to learn happens to the best of us. My colleagues would be quick to tell how much of a hard worker I am.
But the thing is I don’t give myself enough credit. I hear the voices of the internal critic in my head loud and clear every time I strive to do my best at a job.
The thoughts that run through my mind whenever I’m working on a project with a team makes me doubt the effort I give, and often when they need my contribution on an idea, the critic who lives within me guffaws. The only thing that’s helped bolster my confidence before giving a presentation or during my performance review is having my brag book with me.
It doesn’t help especially during this COVID-19 period when there’s no clue about what the future will look like, or if there’s still anything like tomorrow. I mean, what use is a plan when you’re not sure if you’re going to survive Coronavirus?
Here are some of the things I’ve learnt from using my brag book
- I’ve learnt that if the thought runs through your head about whether you deserve a position or a responsibility, then you truly do. Nobody deserves this position better than you, and if there was such a person better than you for that job, why isn’t this person in the seat?
- I’ve learnt that it’s okay to toot our own horn. If you don’t, nobody might, and it’d remain like that until somebody does, which might take forever to happen. People forget things, and who’s better at telling your stories than you do?
- I’ve learnt to walk into a performance appraisal meeting with my brag book. It’s okay to reach for the note when you’re not feeling worthy of being in the room. More than twice, I looked through my brag book, and it helped me remember something that helped me with getting my confidence back.
- I’ve learnt not to wait until I complete a project or until a boss pats me on the back before adding my little wins to my brag book, after all, that’s why we call them ‘Little wins’.
My brag book is a place I enter every little detail of what made me happy at the moment with my job or something that I thought I couldn’t do, but I did. One could call it a little memoir of wins. Like, the time I wanted to go for a run, but my body was pulling me back. Running for seven minutes made me feel happy with myself, and that’s something for a brag. Once, I took it upon myself to work on developing a tool that would make the project management swifter for the team. Having that initiative and starting was a win for me. I added it to my brag book.
Sometimes, I go through my brag book and marvel at the things I let myself do. I’ve dabbled in a lot of things quite alright, but the truth is, I took the step, and I covered grounds. Looking back, there’s only so much I could do, and I did those things.
Having a brag book would help so much in a time like this. COVID-19 has made it very easy for the mind to fall into thinking traps that make us doubt ourselves even more. During this period, reading our brag books would go a long way in uplifting our spirits and helping us see why we were chosen for a particular role, and why we deserve every good thing in life.
Do you have a brag book? Could you share what you’ve included in it and how it’s helped you?
Update as of February 19, 2023: I’ll be creating another post soon that expands on the topic of this post. It will include inspirations on ‘how to create a brag book.’ Stay tuned for the link!