Updated: Mar 5
It’s funny how life can take you on unexpected journeys, especially when you’re pursuing a dream. For many years, I dreamed of being a published author, but it always felt like something that was just out of reach. And then, slowly but surely, I found myself living that dream - I had an agent, a publisher, and a publicist. But with this new level of success came a new challenge: how do I talk about my achievements without feeling like I’m bragging or being overly self-promotional?
For most of my life, I was taught that bragging was bad, that it was unseemly to talk about your own accomplishments. But when you’re trying to get your work out into the world, that kind of humility can hold you back. It’s not enough to simply have a great book or product - you need to be able to sell it, to promote it, to get people excited about it. And that means talking about yourself in a way that can feel uncomfortable or even unnatural.
One of the things that’s helped me get over this hump is understanding the neuroscience behind self-promotion. You know I’m a geek for all things brain science, and this is a perfect example of how our brains can work against us. The part of our brain that’s responsible for self-promotion is also the same part that’s responsible for fear (vmPFC) and for many people, the fear of being seen as arrogant or boastful can be overwhelming.
But here’s the thing - if you’ve worked hard to achieve something, if you’ve poured your heart and soul into a project, then you deserve to celebrate that success. And more importantly, you need to promote it if you want others to know about it. There’s a fine line between bragging and self-promotion, but if you can learn to walk it, you’ll be much more successful in getting your work out into the world.
So to all my fellow dreamers out there, I say this: don’t be afraid to step into the dream and own it. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to talk about yourself and your achievements, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and don’t be afraid to share it with the world. You never know who might be inspired by your story and your success.