Having the Courage to Celebrate YourselfPhoto by Kirsty Mattsson

I struggled to find a title I liked to begin with, if I’m honest, I wanted to simply let this post flow before I pinned down the exact words I hoped would draw you in. That would encapsulate the meaning behind my words.

As I free-flowed, it came to me. ‘Having the courage to celebrate yourself’. Because it’s time to sit up, get brave and champion yourself.

I suppose this piece has come about at a time I’m feeling a little weary, disheartened really, by recent comments friends have made or emails I’ve received from women, fiercely smart, savvy, entrepreneurial women (and they’ve all been from women despite my male friends and readers) who frankly feel scared to share their success and dreams with others both online and in their own ‘real life’ worlds.

Those hiding new businesses, promotions, jobs, awards, pregnancies, and even holidays in the fear that others will judge or worse, envy them.  Worried words from others so consumed that other people won’t accept them, it’s tarnishing their success. Other people.

So they feel they must downplay their hopes, filter their dreams and dumb down and underplay their achievements, all to appease others, to ensure they’re not seen as bragging, showing off, in short not celebrating who they are, and what they’re kicking ass at.

They’re self-silencing and the results are crippling. It’s unkind to you, your ego, all that you have worked for.

Your self-worth and self-respect, bruised, as you hide away, often means you fail to recognise what you’re good at, the contribution you can and DO make, as compliments are rubbished away and confidence, perpetually knocked.

This in turn stops you fighting for what you want in life, going for that promotion, pushing for representation, making that YouTube video. It holds you back.

So let’s stop shall we?

Please repeat after me, when someone compliments you, say these two small words, ‘Thank you’. Then absorb and believe them to be the truth.

Start to believe in yourself.

Now let’s unravel why we find it so hard to do just that? To shine a light on our very worth.

Is it other women we’re so worried about?

I hope not.

I refuse to believe that envy and jealousy are women’s pathological default mode.

The majority of my greatest friends and most staunch supporters are other women- creatives, businesswomen, mothers, shakers, cousins, ladies on the street (OK FB)-holding me up, cheering me on, making me believe in me, as I do in them, every step of the way.

So these words from others, this fear of judgement, surprised and saddened me.

Seriously, is this where we’re at right now?

The antithesis of a digital world full of declarations and over-sharing.

And do men ever feel this way too?

I’m sure they do but no doubt think f*** it,  refusing to analyse and over-intellectualise. They (mostly) gladly share ‘I got promoted’, ‘my TV series was picked up’, ‘my wife had twins’, ‘I signed a book deal’, -because I see it day in and day out, on my twitter feed and in fb threads, men are celebrating themselves and each other, metaphorically patting one another on the back.

They’re not excusing triumphs or depreciating them with backhanded words- they’re open, factual and proud.

I achieved this. And that. I did good.

And let’s not sugar-coat this. This is, without a doubt, a feminist issue, am I right?

Women are not seen celebrating their achievements enough in the media or among their circles, so suddenly it’s rare and not the done thing.

I worked in a predominantly but thankfully, if not too slowly- changing man’s world in the film and TV industry for many years pre-blogging…I was just one of 7% of female filmmakers. I know too well how hard it is to be respected and thrive as a woman in that field- in any field.

I received an MA in Screen Drama from Goldsmiths, University of London with distinction at 22 (I started it at 21). I went on to work for one of the biggest film companies and distributors in the UK, working in all areas from script to screen, developing a documentary for them about Macy Gray before leaving to pursue my own projects.

I wrote and crafted short films, TV drama, commercials and music videos I directed and produced.

I devised and shot social TV documentaries about kids in dire situations, young carers, those living in segregated parts of Britain, that I pitched and got commissioned- and in some small way, changed lives.

I failed a lot too. On projects. Finding funding. Feeling happy on set for 15 hour days. On being on one project and worrying about the next. Would it come? Would my script get picked up? Could I hack the relentless freelance life?

But yet there was, and is, so much to be proud of. To reflect on.

My family. My filmmaking life. My career as a blogger and vlogger.

If we go through life not valuing what we ever achieve, if we always play away our success, never acknowledging our feats, our talent and hard graft, we’ll never feel content or that any of it really happened.

Life will always play in fast forward as we rush towards the next new milestone and rung of success, not appreciating the now. The ‘this’.

Those precious end-products be it a film, a blog post or doing something just for u,s we set out to, strived for and achieved will never fulfil us as we thought.

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, my family are originally Greek Cypriot, immigrants who came to the UK, who valued education, free thought, left wing ideologies, of dreaming big.

My folks are both highly educated:  mum a former uni lecturer, my father an entrepreneur- they instilled in me that drive, that thirst, the importance of academia and going for everything, the will to succeed.

Many of my closest friends are American and while I realise it’s not perhaps particularly British to shout about victories big and small (and I’m not advocating a relentless barrage of ‘I’m so brilliant’) you must celebrate your life surely, who you are, what you’re doing, your passions, without second-guessing those who frankly often rarely matter.

I want my blog, my social media, my life to be a happy place, as I, in life, like to focus on the good, but when times get tough, I want to share, to release, and hopefully touch others, right here.

In person I’m positive, warm, outgoing and proud, proud of my family and the life my husband and I have created for my sons while never giving up our own goals and sense of self.

The perfect life does not exist (despite what we self-create on instagram in our ‘best bits’ highlights) and believe me there are many times I feel I’m failing, at being a parent, a creative, at juggling, full stop.

Because it can be tiring and mundane some days and tough.

To still be YOU and HER: a writer, mother, wife- all things to all people.

There are breaks I don’t get, jobs I’m not counted for, scripts that just don’t work. I’m learning. We never stop.

And I’ve learnt to follow my heart and passions, to take risks and dive out of my comfort zone and by doing so, finding new untapped areas I love, ways to work and different goals to plot.

I’m a writer, a filmmaker, a teacher, a leader, yet all of those skillsets require ongoing work, fine tuning, practice- creativity : a muscle to be exercised, always- and what a joy, a sheer challenge it is too.

But everyone needs to feel appreciated, considered and valued. That is life.

I know my failings. I overcompensate when I feel under pressure or misunderstood, I need to learn to listen more, not to be so ‘surround sound’, to know when to say ‘no’ more, to learn to meditate…

…I say, recognise your weak points, work on changing and improving what you can, but never conform to what you believe others want from you or their version of you.

Be yourself and your tribe will find you. Those that make you feel easy to love, those who instantly get you.

That make friendship feel effortless and fun.

Please don’t limit yourself, your dreams, your potential.

The internet is an easy place for others to sit back and safely judge behind the confines of their screens, and yet it equally offers a creative space, a multi-thread narrative for others to seek meaning from. And some will love you, as in life, other will recoil-as perhaps they see parts of themselves in you they hate, or just don’t have a point of reference for you or who you are.

And that’s OK.

It’s never really about you anyway.

If you want to show a happy, captivating, celebratory life that’s fine by me. If you choose to feature quite how tough things are, then good for you. There’s a place and need, and space for all.

Never apologise for who you are, or let others crush your spirit, your personality, your light.

Rejoice in you.

I know I want to read about success, women celebrating themselves and others. I want to see my friends and colleagues shine bright like diamonds Rihanna style.

It’s inspiring and life-affirming and makes me feel fired up about the promise and potential we all have right here, right now.

Women, lets stand together and celebrate our own and one another’s accomplishments.

Let’s write and shout about our success and normalise it as we do so.

Because the more infrequently you do, the harder it becomes to start.

It’s OK to say, ‘today I achieved this and I want it all’  because that is your right. You deserve it. Whatever it is you crave. To grab life by the horns and freaking’ LIVE IT. Your way.

Yes others might well put you down,or try and make you feel it’s not your right to thrive, but this isn’t their story or life.

It’s yours.

Make it count.

 

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Having the Courage to Celebrate Yourself - Honest Mum

 

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112 Responses

  1. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Just got around to reading this Vicki! And what a positive message to share! 🙂 Yes, it’s so important, crucial in fact to celebrate ourselves and our own achievements. After all when we’ve worked so god damn hard to achieve something, why shouldn’t we?!

    Personally, I think much of it stems from social conditioning. Boys are encouraged to be more competitive and ambitious whereas I don’t think girls are in the same way. Our voices are not (yet) as celebrated as men’s voices either so we’re not used to using them as much! Especially when it comes to ourselves.

    Certainly for me, I’ve found that since making the decision to become a freelancer five years and now, making a career out of my blog, I’ve certainly not found any problems in celebrating myself or my achievements. It’s actually pivotal to my success, in many ways! 🙂

    The key of course is to remain humble and stay grounded whilst doing so. And also, to take the time and make the effort to help other women feel incredible and supported too.

    We lead by example – particularly to young girls and women – and what a brilliant opportunity we have to try and inspire more women to celebrate and love themselves.

    You’ve certainly worked very hard to achieve your success Vicki. So here’s to celebrating YOU too. And long may it continue 🙂 X

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Wise words Katie, Digital Mums brought a Ted Talk to my attention last night by Emma Bartlett on how women often lose ownership of ambition and it’s a sad but true fact and most definitely a feminist issue. I hate that women are made to feel they can’t be ambitious or it becomes stifled, particularly when you have kids. I feel blogging and freelance life has brought equality back to the workplace for we mothers and it’s so empowering isn’t it?! I, like you, believe if we don’t speak and share our goals and achievements, they become drowned out and affect our confidence. Congratulations on all your success too and thanks for your thoughtful words x

      Reply
  2. Notmyyearoff

    Love Love love this post. Women really tend to over analyse sometimes don’t they? and I think that invented paranoia then stops them from being proud of their successes. Men don’t tend to do that. Well, not all men anyway. I love that your blog has taken such a different turn and you’ve just got out there and done what the heck you’ve liked. It’s far to easy to fall into formulaic blogging and it’s like being in a rut. I’ve recently made some big decisions and I feel SO much happier.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh hun this rings so true with me, and especially tonight after a really inspiring chat with my husband about my dreams and hopes and where I want to take the blog-I believe we must make our own rules, and dream big not letting anyone and least of all ourselves stop us from thriving. So glad you are happy lady, you are so talented and achieve anything x

      Reply
  3. Katy

    This is why I love your blog. I am not someone who naturally shouts about my successes but since reading your blog you have inspired me to be more confident and be proud of everything I have achieved. You are a fab lady and I am so glad to know you xx

    Reply
  4. tracey at mummyshire

    I agree with so many of your commentators, this is a beautifully written post and expresses what so many of us go through. Not celebrating our successes is a very British trait and being a woman seems to compound it – loud and proud isn’t seen to be ladylike. I find it hard to praise myself or my work, would always gloss over praise from others yet happily talk about all the things I can’t do. Why is that?! We need to change the way we speak to your girls, the next generation, and make sure they know how to celebrate success – it’s important
    Really good post xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Tracey, thank you for such an eloquent, wise comment, I couldn’t agree with you more, we need to stick together and make celebrating our success the norm xx

      Reply
  5. Katie @mummydaddyme

    Vicki this is an amazing post and well done you for writing it. As someone who doesn’t celebrate myself, well who does but fears publicly shouting about my strengths, I applaud you for writing this. You can tell a lot of heart and soul went into writing it. x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks Katie, I really hope it inspires you to feel more confident to share and celebrate yourself, we all deserve that. I hope it becomes the norm (and soon) as it is for men x

      Reply
  6. Steph

    Yep! I have found this to be one of the biggest challenges since starting a business – not stopping to see what I’ve achieved and focusing on all the stuff I’ve yet to do. Realised fairly early on that it was going to be a grim slog if I didn’t enjoy the successes so I’m trying! Love the positivity xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh Steph you are doing so, so well, amazing in fact, please celebrate your business, your brilliant self because you rock xx

      Reply
  7. Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn)

    It’s funny, hubbie and I were talking about this just the other day, how men don’t give self-promotion a second thought and women often second guess themselves/check themselves before shouting about their achievements. Both he and I wholeheartedly agree with you Vicki, there’s a lot of success-bashing on social media at the moment and it makes me sad that we can’t just support and congratulate people for their accomplishments. To compare yourself with others is only natural but frankly if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing and move on. As you say, you’ll find your tribe. Fabulousness from you as always lovely lady *mwah* x

    Reply
  8. Zoe dunn

    brilliant post people should absolutely recognise how amazing they are and shout it to the world! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  9. Zena's Suitcase

    Love love love how you champion positivity and success. I’ve said it before, but you are a real inspiration. Having suffered at the hand of a person’s jealousy, for my somewhat ordinary life, I refuse to let it keep me down. I love how we can celebrate every aspect of ourselves online, being a parent, working for ourselves, and claiming what is ours, with a lot of hard work that is 🙂 xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks darling Zena your comment means a lot, you must be our own champions and of course champion one another! Go us xx

      Reply
  10. Mummy Tries

    Another fab post Vicki. It’s a real shame that people have become so consumed with what others think that they would hide their successes in life. Unfortunately there are a lot of insecure women out there, for whatever reasons, and this is the fall out from being insecure.

    It’s why I think it is absolutely imperative to work on our own self esteem and confidence levels. After all, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, no-one can make you feel inferior without your consent xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I 100% agree with you and Eleanor! No one has the power to belittle us to make themselves feel better but we’re in charge of not allowing that, the more we focus on the positive and surround ourselves with positive people, the better! Thanks for being so fabulous x

      Reply
  11. Angela at Daysinbed

    Totally agree with this one! I am working hard to build my own confidence and it is coming one brick at a time! I love what you have written and I agree we should celebrate the achievements we have. I’ve had a lot of critique lately but I’ve learnt to say “I don’t care” cos I’m doing my thing and it’s good and I’m so so happy! Next week I am being interviewed for a female association, to show woman that we can achieve! I’m mega pleased about this and hope to inspire women around the world just as you do!

    Angela xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh Angela you inspire me all the time and I’m so excited for you, don’t let anyone put you down, you rock, I loved meeting you a BML, you can achieve anything xx

      Reply
  12. Natasha@ Anxious Toddlers

    What a well written and accurate post! I used to always excuse and negate any compliments people gave me. In the last few years I have been working hard to just accept the compliment and say thank you. It goes against the grain of my instict to discount the compliment. Love the post!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks Natasha, it can be hard to start but the more you practice it, the easier it will become and the greater you’ll feel. We deserve to feel our best xx

      Reply
  13. Hannah Budding Smiles

    What a perfectly-written post and I have to say I think the header picture is one of the most lovely I’ve ever seen of you! I hate that we can be made to feel small for aiming big, it’s so wrong xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Aw thanks so much Hannah, a joyful photo taken by the talented Kirsty Mattsson. We must never be made to feel like we can’t or shouldn’t dream big and succeed. We can and we will xx

      Reply
  14. Lucy @ bottlefor2

    Absolutely. It is such a shame that people don’t feel more naturally inclined to celebrate others successes. Especially women. Shouting about your achievements can be seen as bragging or being impolite (showing off) by some, but done in the right way, we should all be doing it. And cheering each other on. As I have got older, I have found this comes much more naturally to me. I am genuinely really happy and pleased for people’s successes. I love to hear of women doing well. Successful at whatever it is. I think in my early twenties I may have been slightly more jealous and inexperienced, but now I say “good for you” a lot to people, and wholeheartedly mean it.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      That’s lovely Lucy, I feel the same, I love and gravitate to those who are happy and successful in whatever it may be, I find it inspiring and contagious, I love positive energy full stop and the older I’ve gotten, the more I steer away from negativity and focus on those who matter x

      Reply
  15. Tanita

    Vicky this is a fantastic post I couldn’t have agreed more with what you have said, Keep shining your light lovely lady because it is beautiful to see x

    Reply
  16. Stephanie (OurNextFewSteps)

    Vicki this is such an inspiring and empowering post! It’s so easy to feel disheartened no matter what field you’re in- there always seems to be someone doing someone better or putting you down for what you have attempted. But you’re completely right- things improve, we have to learn to be proud of what we do achieve instead of comparing to what someone else is doing! Great post!xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Stephanie, couldn’t agree with you more, seek inspiration from others but realise we all have a contribution and are brilliant, each and every one of us xx

      Reply
  17. Kiri

    Very inspiring! I know my blog is only small but I’m really proud of what I have achieved and I’m slowly creating more and more opportunities for myself to grow – as a blogger, as a mother and as a woman. Yet I am wary of sharing my blog and my achievements with people I know in the ‘real world’ in case they just don’t understand, and think I must be so full of myself to want to share my life online, to think that I have something worthwhile to say and to write about. I known its not a healthy attitude but with every small success, with every comment I get, with every new follower, with every PR who says yes to a pitch or who contacts me with an opportunity, my confidence is growing. I realise I do have something to say. And someone out there wants to hear it. I just need to get better at celebrating in the real world!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      This brought the hairs on my arms on end because you are doing amazingly, please don’t say ‘my blog is only small’ because all blogs are worthy of their online space and voice and we all started from the beginning, I have a ‘small’ style blog but I love it and our targeted audiences are vital to PR’s and more than that they give us a place to share our point of view on the world. Keep shining girl and if you need anything give me a shout x

      Reply
  18. Emma's Mamma

    Great post and so true! I found the better I did as an actress the lonelier I felt. It seemed people would rather get together and complain about their failures than celebrate theirs and others successes. I’ve learnt over the years to surround myself with people who share my values and let each other’s success stories inspire us rather than make us feel bad x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      So sad to read that and I agree, surround yourself with those happy with themselves who will also be happy for you, those are real friends x

      Reply
  19. Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    What an inspiring post! Someone who hasn’t failed hasn’t tried anything. Failure is a part of success & I love that you highlight that point. Education & determination are such important qualities, it’s wonderful that your parents instilled those in you. Of course, believing in yourself & realizing your accomplishments & self-worth are vital as well. Great post & very motivating! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Wise words Becky and thanks so much for commenting. I agree about failing, it’s vital and life-enhancing and is the only way to succeed too, to try things, lots of things and not being scared to fail, it really never worries me now, if it happens, that’s OK, I pick myself up, work out why it went wrong and I learn from it (I instill this in the students I often lecture too) x

      Reply
    • honestmum

      Time to stop that, realise it’s not always easy but we must believe in what we can do and the compliments others give us

      Reply
  20. Melanie Greenhalgh

    This really resonated with me because I often get worried about the tall poppy syndrome and being cut down by others, but they have power in my life because I let them and that’s because self- doubt shrouds my life! Time to get wise and take that beast down! Thanks for taking the time to write this one. Mel xx #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Couldn’t agree more Melanie and remove yourself from those who try and belittle you, it’s always about them, surround yourself with positive people and ignore those who are saying things from an unkind place x

      Reply
  21. Haidee@Maybe Baby Brothers

    Fantastic post! I don’t know why it is sometimes so hard to just say thank you to a compliment, instead we often downplay/put down the compliment ‘Nice jacket!’ ‘Oh, this old thing, it was cheap’. Silly. I will smile and say thank you from now on 🙂 #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  22. Rob

    Great post. I love the idea of acknowledging our own achievements. #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  23. Silly Mummy

    I like the point that we should just say ‘thank you’ and learn to accept and believe in compliments, instead of brushing them away & self-deprecating. My dad always tells me that.
    Interesting that men tend to be more willing to celebrate their success and self promote. It’s true in schools too – girls are much more likely to downplay their abilities and keep quiet about what they can achieve. I wonder if it is some kind of innate character differences (testosterone, ego) that cause that, or if it is something still conditioned in society that men can be successful & celebrated, but it is unseemly for women? #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I have to say I think it’s down to society but hopefully that’s changing and you are so right about learning to accept compliments, really support self belief, thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  24. Amy @ Handbagmafia

    I love this post. We women are often to scared of being judged to share our achievements and it’s just not on. Celebrating who you are should be mandatory- own all you’ve worked for!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Yay totally agree Amy and it really is a feminist issue, we are made to feel we can’t by others, the media and society and we need to stand up and be counted x

      Reply
  25. Mumma McD

    We Australians share the British tendency to downplay achievements and always try to be modest and humble. I think there needs to be a happy medium between our reluctance to share our successes and the American style over-confidence that can be so grating!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      See I love the American way but horses for courses, I just hope, women in particular feel more confident in celebrating who they are and whatever they achieve as not sharing or believing in what we have to offer can hold us back, emotionally, work-wise and I believe, the more it becomes ‘normal’ to share happy milestones, the better 🙂

      Reply
  26. Kellie Kearney

    Love this post. Why shouldn’t you or anyone share, shout or scream about their success. We need to celebrate our achievement that little bit more and why not – we all work bloody hard to get where we are!!

    Reply
  27. Lisa

    You should be proud and most certainly celebrate who you are and what you’ve achieved. It’s down to hard work and determination so you deserve it. I can only aspire to be as successful as yourself! Maybe with enough hard work I can achieve more and begin to celebrate too! Xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Hi Lisa, thanks for your kind words, they mean a lot, we all have so much to celebrate, start celebrating yourself, right now xx

      Reply
  28. Mama and More aka Zaz

    Oh Vicki love, this post has come at such a relevant time for me. Years ago I lost a swathe of friends – and I know we’re not meant to confess such things, but fk it, it happened – largely through what I later learnt was jealousy, envy at where my life was going, and a feeling that I wasn’t “one of them” any more. For some reason it was ok to wallow in failures, but when marriage and work were all on the cards and going really well, it was a) unacceptable to talk about it and b) something that distanced us too greatly. It’s saddened me for many years, because I am always totally over the moon at someone else’s good fortune or the rewards they see from hard work (in relationships AND work), but I’ve learnt the hard way that we don’t all think or work in this way. Thank you so much darling for these words. My friends may be fewer now, but I know they truly love and celebrate me as much as I do them! Xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh hun I’m so sorry to read that but I totally relate and have had friends who didn’t get my life changing once I met Peter, married and had kids and lose that sadly weren’t happy so tried to make me feel the same. I do think, like you it has meant finding true friends and surrounding myself with those who I feel understand and want the best for me. Love you girl, you are an inspiration, achieving your dreams and touching us all with your incredible vibes, honoured to call you a friend x

      Reply
  29. Absolutely Prabulous

    I’m honestly so glad you wrote this Vicki. I recently got on to the Huff Post for the first time and whilst I tweeted and FB shared my utter 5 yo-like excitement over it, I couldn’t help wondering if I was just ‘bragging’ (ucch that awful word). And yes I think it’s a very British thing. Us Brits (and I’ve got it doubly bad as I’m second generation Indian immigrant too!) see self-praise and being proud of one’s achievements as showing off. And YES a female thing. I agonised the other week of posting a pic of myself on insta and my FB page as I was about to go out on a Saturday night in white hot pants. Yep. Really. I’m in my late 40’s and was terrified at being judged. I went ahead and posted it. There were probably many who thought of me negatively. But there were also many lovely encouraging comments from women along the lines of ‘if you’ve got it flaunt it’. And I thought why oh why do I second guess myself ALL the time whether it’s about putting pics of myself on my site or having confidence in my writing.

    It isn’t a crime to mention our achievements.

    So I applaud you for writing this. Bravo!

    (Sorry…think I just wrote a book right there.)

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Don’t apologise, I love this comment and always write long comments myself. Thanks so much for this, you know what I’ve come to realise you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t so we must all be free to live and share our lives in a way that makes us happy. We’re entitled to a space and voice on and offline and if others don’t like it, they can unfollow or scroll on because this is our lives and we will live it with pride. Go shout about your huff post piece and your hotpants (I rocked some the other day too at 34)-and continue being fabulous, because you are and those that ‘get you’ will gravitate towards you! x

      Reply
  30. Franglaise Mummy

    I agree 100%. I’ve never been afraid to shout about my successes and achievements, but I’ve had people tell me to keep quiet, as it might make other people feel bad. I have these successes as I put myself out there and take risks, like you, there are times it hasn’t worked out, but you just have to pick yourself up and try again.

    Now if someone has a problem with what I have to say I tell them in the nicest possible way that they are very welcome to un-follow or un-friend me!

    Keep doing what you do and being a wonderful breath of fresh positive air 🙂 xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh darling thank you so much and why should we follow the path of mediocrity to make others feel better about themselves. Keep celebrating lady, you are one over-achieving inspirational ladies and I love hearing about your successes, adventures and happy times. I’ve stopped sweating those who don’t matter or whose goals are purely to try and belittle others. Keep being you girl, much love xx

      Reply
  31. Amy Ransom

    Love this post, Vicki. For so many reasons. I’ve met you in real life and you are as genuine as your blog. Warm and generous with your time and advice. You work hard and you should absolutely be proud of what you achieve. I think the social media thing is something you either love or pretend to hate. I say pretend because even the people who are passive on FB are still on there, having a little stalk ;0). There is a fine line between sharing and oversharing but actually, as long as it’s genuine, I’m not sure it matters. And sometimes, when it comes to success in this day and age, you need to put your hand up and say, ‘Hello, I’m here’ via whatever medium that may be. Loved meeting you at Britmums and look forward to seeing you again soon… Blogfest? x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Amy, I felt exactly the same way about you, it was so good to connect and chat and just have a laugh. You are right about celebrating yourself, because we’re led to believe we can’t mention our success and I hope that changes, that we all collectively make that change…ooh was thinking about Blogfest and would love to hang out more x

      Reply
  32. Charlene

    That’s it! The ME train is leaving the station! Next stop faboulousville. Thanks for sharing, I agree that it is a female trait not to celebrate ourselves. I remember once someone complimented me and I said, thank you and they commented how rare it was for someone to accept a compliment!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      LOVE that so much, I’m on the platform waiting and I’ ready-whoosh we’re off! It really is so important to take in compliments, to accept them and stop brushing aside kind words that feed the soul and spur us on to greater things, to help us to realise our dreams, to find and fuel our passions and to frankly make a difference to our own lives and to others. Celebrating who we are allows us to let our creativity and talent to touch others, we can be pioneers and lead, and create and make. We need to respect ourselves and trust in what we’re capable of, that our voice counts. Thanks for making my day with your words x

      Reply
  33. Frances Thompson

    A friend and I were having this very discussion a couple of days ago. Seriously, reading this post it is like you were there! There is such disparity between the attitudes towards male and female success but reading your post has filled me with hope that it’s ok to change this. Sod the negativity.
    Now it’s our job to teach the next generation to be proud of every achievement, have dreams and not be afraid to achieve them xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Frances and yes, 100% yes, it’s our responsibility and duty to do just that, all power to us and them x

      Reply
  34. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    Another absolutely spot on post! Thank you so much for writing exactly what I needed to read. I am so guilty of this, hiding things, down playing things for the fear of what others will think. But what about me! I need to see myself as important before anyone else will!
    Small confession here – when I first discovered your brilliant blog posts linky I didn’t join in for a few weeks – as I didn’t feel like my posts were ‘brilliant’ but I took the plunge and it’s honestly one of my fave linkys – because yes – each and every week there is a blog post that I have written that I feel is brilliant. Joining in with your linky was my first step towards having the courage to celebrate myself! So thank you!!!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh Jenni, the hairs on my arms are on end, your comment’s really moved me, I’m so glad you linked up to #brilliantblogposts, you are brilliant, and it’s an honour to have you join, thank you for your support and encouragement, you guys help me believe I can keep pushing onwards and upwards with this blog x

      Reply
  35. Elizabeth @ Rosalilium

    Yes, yes and yes!

    It’s almost a social conditioning that women are put down for being confident or understanding their strengths. I suffered from bullying when I was a teenager as it seems that even 13 year old girls don’t like other 13 year olds to be too confident.

    That episode stayed with me for life. Until that point I never thought there would be a problem with being confident. How wrong I was.

    So yes, it takes courage to be confident in yourself and your achievements when you have a society that down plays achievements of women.

    Let’s all start celebrating each other as well as ourselves. When we lift each other up together we will all be better off.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I’m so sorry to read this Elizabeth, I was bullied at 11 and it’s the pits and took years to get over. You are so right, we mustn’t fear being confident and holding others and ourselves up is key. I really believe and know, as hippyish as it sounds that if we love and respect ourselves we can support those around us with such force, together we become unstoppable. I feel really lucky to have met you lady, to instantly click and get where each other is coming from ’tis fab.

      Reply
  36. mummyofboygirltwins

    Yes I agree – although for some reason if you are a confident and proud woman then you are seen as arrogant and big-headed. Why? We really should be more proud of what we achieve and not afraid to say when we have achieved something amazing, even if it is small. Being humble works well in certain situations but not all the time. I admire your confidence and your blog and social media is such a happy place. That is very infectious xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much lovely, I agree there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence but then I wonder if people misinterpret confidence for arrogance, and then because we fear being seen as arrogant, women simply don’t or won’t champion themselves and we find ourselves in one big vicious cycle- that stops us feeling good, disregards our achievements and pits us right behind men who often don’t think twice about sharing good news (going I must add on all the men I know). Thanks so much for your lovely comment, love your blog and sm platforms too x

      Reply
  37. Lizzy

    A fantastic article Vicki and one which strikes many chords. You are right. We need to stand up and be counted. We need to celebrate ourselves and each other. Over the last 18 months through difficult personal times, so many women have been incredible in their love and support for me. The vast majority will support each other’s success and give each other a high five! Women are amazing (as are men), but let’s stop being so modest and afraid to be who we are xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Yay Lizzy, this comment had me metaphorically high fiving you girl, I’m so sorry you’ve had a tough 18 months and so glad you had real friends who were there for you, I am so touched to have the most incredible, supportive, kick-ass female friends in my life (and men too) who get what the sisterhood is all about, you frankly make me feel untouchable. It is time we shout about our achievements and one another’s and realise this should be the norm as it is for men x

      Reply
  38. Amber

    This is why I think that you should be offering life coaching, Vicki – because I have met you and I know first-hand how an hour of chatting with you makes one believe that one can do anything, be anything; how it makes one realise that the only thing holding us back is US. And this post just sums that up, doesn’t it. I’d like to print this out and put it on my bedroom wall, and read it before I fall asleep every night and the minute that I wake up too. It’s exactly the message that I need right now.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh Amber thank you, I loved meeting you, I felt we instantly connected, you are an inspiration yourself, and are capable of anything, please know that and believe it, thank you for making my day x

      Reply
  39. Mirka Moore @Kahanka

    Oh darling, I so needed to read this as had a few rough days last week. I have learnt so much from you. I have become so much more confident, and am not scared to shout out about my success too. Unfortunately we as women are very different to men,and not sure if this can or will be changed. I have decided to block out the negative comments/people and only see the positive one, and you know what, it works! Why should someone be ruining my life, nobody has the right to do so. Fabulous post, love you so much xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Darling Mirka now you’re going to make me cry, thank you. You one amazing, talented, caring lady and only deserve the best of friends, those who always celebrate and support you. Moving away from negative people is so just so liberating. I feel so lucky to call you an honorary sister, thank you for being you, you can be, and achieve everything you want, you know that right. Keep thriving and shining girl, love you too xx

      Reply
  40. Lucy Bishop

    Wahoo! Amen to ALL OF THIS. YES, yes, yes! You have hit the nail on the head in this post darling girl and I’m so proud to be part of your tribe.

    It is so about grabbing life by the horns, being a positive force to be reckoned with and counting our lucky stars every day. My grandfather always said ‘don’t look up at people and feel jealous of what you don’t have, look down at those below and be so grateful for what you do’. Wise, wise words and I try to live my life like that.

    He also said “life isn’t a rehearsal” and gosh, he was just so right, we only get one shot – so I for one plan to make it count – to enjoy every moment and celebrate how wonderful life can be, even in the harder times, I have my mantra “this too shall pass” and before you know it you are feeling wonderful again. xxxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh Lucy your comment and your Grandad’s words have brought tears to my eyes, I feel so lucky to be part of your tribe too, you inspire me every day and are testament to the words you live by. There really is so much beauty to behold in life, we’re all so incredibly fortunate and you’re bang on, we only get one go at this, so we must follow our hearts, desires, pursue our dreams, and celebrate who we are and what we do. Thanks for being so awesome xx

      Reply
  41. Ebabee

    Brilliant post – you make such valid points and the one that struck me is that it’s never about you. Those that put you down, criticise your successes – well it is all about them. And that is really the important thing to remember here. We do need to celebrate our successes much more than we do but I do think there is a cultural element too – In India we are brought up to downplay successes, not to shout about them. I guess similar to British culture too. But I am realising that you should shout about what you’ve achieved, not brag, just be proud of what you have done. I wrote a post last Friday where I was considered to be showing off when I mentioned Anya’s success to someone – so this post is very relevant to me right now. Very well said – you are truly an inspiring lady and so proud of you and your successes xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I loved that post darling, you are so right to be proud of Anya and you because you are doing great things, achieving so much and it’s OK, more than OK, it’s wonderful to shout about those things. Those who really matter want to hear about it all and celebrate with you. Plus, the world I’ve found, is generally a positive place, ignore the haters and keep being you. A film producer once told me that if you don’t mention the things you’re good at, on and offline, how can anyone know about them. Soundy a bit hippyish but put it out there and the universe will keep on giving. Keep shining brightly my creative, talented friend xx

      Reply
  42. jini

    I love a kick-ass woman, and you are certainly one! We have so much in common 🙂 This is currently on my FB status “Say how you feel, leave the job you hate, find your passion with every ounce of your bones, stand up for things that matter, don’t settle for less. Don’t apologise for who you are. Embrace it.” and I say..Good on you for telling it like it is and make no apology for it. Love it!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Yay I love your motto/mantra, so empowering and awesome, thank you, we women need to stick together and inspire others to realise how kick-ass and amazing they are (I know I need to remind myself of this too)!

      Reply
  43. Franki ~ Little Luca & Me

    I adore this post. There is so much heart and soul poured into it and such an important message too. I am useless at celebrating myself, absolutely useless. It became really apparent to me last month when I had to fill in an appraisal form for one of the companies I work for and struggled to fill in the positive bits. I’m my own worst critic but I’m determined to change that. Thanks for spurring me on and you lady are absolutely fabulous xxx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Franki, it makes me sad you struggled to write how amazingly talented you on that form, I’m so glad this is inspiring you to celebrate you. It takes practice but before you know it, you’ll be away. You’re fabulous yourself xxx

      Reply
  44. Mum Reinvented

    Great post Vicki and so true. Women really do need to learn to celebrate their achievements and aspirations more. I know I certainly need to. Whether it’s the seemingly mundane or the life changing, if it’s something that motivates us or something we’ve accomplished it deserves shouting about x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      I agree, it saddens me when others say they can’t share what they’re doing for fear of scorn or alienating others, we mustn’t be scared to share the triumphs, that make us who we are and simply be in the moment, thanks for your fab comment x

      Reply

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