1 min read

Being proud of yourself

Being proud of yourself
Photo by Divya Agrawal / Unsplash

Today I started my first group mentoring session with my two new mentees. We talked about our goals and expectations for the group. They also spent a lot of time asking me curious questions about my career trajectory, and how to think about their own career growth.

I'm not sure how we got on to this topic, but I found myself sharing some advice that I hold to be true – the most important relationship in your career isn't the one you have with your manager or peers; it is the one you have with yourself.

In the past, I used to constantly seek achievement and external validation. I only felt confident when I received compliments and approvals from others, and I would look for constant reassurance from my managers about my performance.

I told my mentees that the most important thing I hoped they would learn through our time together, is how to trust yourself and celebrate your own achievements. No amount of validation will ever be enough, if you don't trust yourself first.

Instead of seeking validation from my current manager, I told them that I instead ping him message like "tl;dr, I'm the best" or "you are so lucky to have me!" My mentees were highly amused, and said they were going to start doing the same.

There's actually a more important step in this journey. When you genuinely feel your own worth, you no longer need to say it aloud to anyone. You will feel satisfied, just in being proud of yourself.

You won't need anyone else to pat you on the back, or acknowledge that you are special. It is similar to knowing that they sky is blue – there's no need to announce it; we all know it to be true. Likewise, once you trust and acknowledge your own awesomeness, you can navigate your professional journey with inner peace. You won't be on the search for constant external validation. In its place, you will find the freedom to pursue things that actually matter to you.