Successful People Don’t Brag to Others. They Brag to Themselves!

By Susan Ford Collins

Highly Successful People (HSPs) don’t tell everyone around them how successful they are. Instead they make time each day to tellthemselves what they are accomplishing.

This is the Success Skill that makes them Self-Confident

HSPs know BIG successes are made up of tiny successes. Yes, tiny daily successes count. Ones like ate a good breakfast, stopped to buy gas, or remembered to return a phone call can make the difference between dozing off in an important meeting, coming in conspicuously late, or missing out on a time-sensitive opportunity.

HSPs regularly make time to have daily self-to-self, truth-telling conversations. “I said I would and I did. I said I would and I didn’t. I said I would and I still want to, or I don't.” On good days they build their self-confidence. On bad days... when their dream seems to have been shattered into a million pieces by negative feedback or unexpected setbacks... they rebuild their self-confidence. They review and reexperience their successes and others'… the boldness of them, the excitement of them, the energy and momentum of them. Regularly building and rebuilding Self-Confidence empowers them to feel they can do the impossible (which they know simply means the “not yet done.”) Then, re-confident and re-inspired, instead of avoiding taking action because of pre-experienced failures, they move themselves and others ahead into the dream… into the realized and enjoyed!

Most people aren't Self-Confident. They're Other-Confident!

Why?Here are two reasons you need to understand.

1- Most of us never saw people around us… parents, teachers or adults we knew… setting aside time to acknowledge themselves for actions they took that moved them toward their goals and dreams. In fact, we probably didn’t even know what their goals and dreams were because they rarely shared them with us!

HSPs don’t expect to reach their goals in one giant leap…like jumping over the Grand Canyon. They know they'll reach goals and dreams by taking millions of tiny actions, and making millions of tiny corrections. Acknowledging daily successes is something HSPs do consistently. And, once the "I'm dependent on my leader" learning phase is over, it’s something we must all begin doing to build, and rebuild, the Self-Confidence we will need to be productive and competitive enough, creative and innovative enough to live ourown lives. To change our world, and others' worlds.

2- Many of the successes we created for ourselves were seen by our parents and teachers as" failures." Failures to obediently use their thinking and methods. Failures to fulfill “their dreams for us."  "Our successes" may have been forbidden or punished or only allowed after so we did so many other things that we stopped wanting to do them at all. So, like it or not, to earn the rewards and privileges we needed, we had to learn how to do what they wanted, according to their standards. Then they gave us stars and allowances, threw parties and “bonused” us.

We spent our early years depending on others to tell us when we were succeeding and when we were failing. So Other-Confidence became a habit… an unconscious lifelong approach most of us don’t even know we have! But one that means we rarely feel happy and satisfied. Bottom line, the reason we rarely feel The Joy of Successour success, our way.

Build your Self-Confidence now… here's how to Success File

Starting today, set aside a few minutes to “file” your successes. Mentally rewind to the beginning of your day. What happened step by step? I sat up in bed and previewed my day, I went for a run, I helped my kids learn their spelling words, I stopped to get the dry cleaning, I had an idea for a new approach I shared in a meeting.

You can record your successes on paper, in a computer file or on your cell phone. Ideal times to Success File are in a car, at dinner time, or just before you go to sleep. Stop to rethink and reexperience your day and “pat yourself on the back” for completing all the actions that moved you in directions you want to go… whether phone calls, or emails, or you accidentally bumped into someone in the hall and seized the opportunity. Or you put two and two together and, instead of four, you got something brand new and realized what you could do with it that others had missed.

HSPs have redefined Success. For them, Success has three essential parts… Completion, Deletion, and Creation.

When you’re Success Filing, be sure to include not just actions you completed but also actions you decided not to complete... old limits and impossibilities, unworkable relationships and methods you chose to let go of. As you file past successes, you can also file future successes… ones you really want to create and experience. Ones that will inspire you and others. And give you all joy!

(c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email

* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.

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