Congratulations, hustler: You came, you saw, and you totally conquered 2015. You accomplished a number of things in the last 12 months that you’re really proud of (and rightfully so!), but there’s also that one thing you want to hang on the refrigerator door/put right up at the top of your resume/straight-up scream from the mountaintops: your biggest accomplishment of the year.
You really want to tell the world about this awesome thing you did—but you’re a little unsure of how to do that without coming off as somewhat entitled. Jenn Dewall, a Denver-based career and life coach, says the solution lies in being openly appreciative of the awesome opportunity you’ve been given. “When you’re going to brag, it’s really important to begin with the perspective of an attitude of gratitude,” she says.
So, how should that “attitude of gratitude” manifest itself in the way you talk about your biggest accomplishment of 2015, whether you’re on social media, with your family, or in the office? We looked to DeWall for her best tips on mastering the #HumbleBrag.
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
1. Tag your team members, mentors, and cheerleaders.
Accomplishing your goals isn’t always a beautiful process, DeWall says, but chances are you’ve got awesome coworkers, mentors, and other supporters who helped you through the tough stuff this past year. Tagging those VIPs on your Levo profile or in a year-end tweet is one of the easiest ways you can show them gratitude. It helps you give your team the recognition they deserve and gets the word out about your big accomplishment.
2. Put a hashtag on it.
That’s right: Turning a braggy social post into a humble-braggy social post can be as simple as adding a hashtag that illustrates your gratitude for the opportunity you’ve been given. DeWall recommends accompanying your post about your big accomplishment with something like “#SoGrateful” or “#WhatAreYourGoals” to keep your post inspiring rather than irritating for your followers.
WITH YOUR FAMILY
1. Make sharing accomplishments a family event.
When you’re gathered ’round the table with your family this holiday season, invite everyone to join you in a discussion of the year’s highlights. By asking an open-ended question like, “What made you feel grateful this year?” or, “What were you most proud of in 2015?” and actively listening to your family members’ responses, you’ll create an atmosphere in which humble bragging is totally acceptable for everyone. Plus, DeWall says starting a conversation with Qs like these will generate excitement and positive vibes among the group, which means everyone will be pumped to hear about your big win by the time the question circles back to you.
2. Play catch-up with the family members you don’t see often.
If you think about it, family gatherings are actually the No. 1 place for humble bragging. You’re already trying to catch up with a bunch of family members you haven’t seen in a while, and you just know your grandmother is dying to hear about what a great year you’ve had—so go ahead and tell her! The best part about all of this? Learning to talk to your family about your accomplishments with confidence is excellent practice for future job interviews and performance reviews, DeWall says.
[Related: How to Be More Confident]
IN THE OFFICE
1. Eliminate competitive language from your vocabulary.
First thing’s first: If you’re going to talk with your coworkers about your biggest professional win of the year, you need to erase any and all comparative words from your lexicon, like “better than” or “more valuable.” Competitive language is what separates full-on gloating from harmless humble bragging, DeWall says, so avoid comparing your accomplishments to those of your coworkers. Whether your boss is asking you to say a word or two about your big win in a year-end meeting or you’re just chatting with coworkers over lunch, the key is to approach any convo about your accomplishments with a grateful and collaborative tone.
2. Be human, offer help, and use your accomplishment to support others’ goals.
Ever thought about how your accomplishments could be used to motivate others? DeWall says one way to share your big wins in the office is to use them as inspiration for your coworkers. “When you look at it with the mindset of ‘I was able to do this and you can, too,’ it really connects people,” she says. Be sure to acknowledge all of the hard work that went into making your goal a reality (read: be human) when you’re offering up your personal experiences for the purpose of helping and inspiring, and then #HumbleBrag away.
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