It’s Time to Stake Your Claim: Stop Being a Best Kept Secret

Mar 18, 2020

Women excel at a lot of things, but claiming their achievements is not one of them. They don’t want to appear boastful, and by the same token, they believe their work should speak for itself.

The problem with this thinking is it leaves women reliant on other people to notice and highlight their achievements. This puts women at a sharp disadvantage. Conversely, women who claim their achievements are more successful because others know about their accomplishments and, as a result, they position themselves to leverage relationships and put their skills to work.

Hence, talking about achievements is not so much a matter of politeness as it is a solid business practice. Achievements shared in the spirit of humility build people up. On the contrary, achievements shared with the intent of boasting puff up only the individual.

Humility does not mean to be less than, but rather equal to. Keeping your achievements hidden serves no one. When others know about your achievements that which you seek and which seeks you are more likely to align.  

Rethink old habits and get comfortable claiming your achievements. A great place to start is with a simple thank you. If someone acknowledges you for something, think of it as them giving you a gift. You wouldn’t deflect a gift, right? Simply smile and say, “Thank you.” Connect with your inner source of direction. Take note of any bodily sensations that arise as a result of delivering this two word sentence.  


Be willing to be seen and heard. Feeling worried about others’ perception of your claims as bragging should be approached in the same way as negative self-talk. Most who hear about your accomplishments will feel impressed and perhaps, call on you when they need those skills.

Whether you are networking with professionals or at a family barbecue, always be ready to share more about your achievements. The more you talk about them the easier it will become. 


It’s also appropriate, and often necessary, to claim your contributions to a collaborative project. It’s easy to dismiss your efforts as “just part of the team,” and some portion of that makes for good teamwork. However, you can both honor the team work as well as claim your part in the achievement.

Another circumstance in which you may need to claim your achievements is with yourself. Don’t just shrug off a success as par for the course. Celebrate your accomplishment, share the outcome with others, and allow yourself the time to experience the win.

Too many of us feel reluctant to claim our achievements and worry that others will see us as “bragging.” Maybe you feel that you’re being polite, but each missed opportunity to promote yourself can lead to missed opportunities for advancement.