These Shine Community Power Brags Will Give You All the Good Feels
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Need a refresher on power brags? Read below to learn all about them! 'I deserve this!'
Both Megan Rapinoe and Issa Rae echoed these sentiments this summer—Rapinoe belting the brag as she held up the World Cup trophy, and Rae sliding it into her speech while accepting the Emerging Entrepreneur award at the Women in Film gala.
Their words were strong and unapologetic. They fully and boldly owned their efforts—and they got us thinking: It’s about time we reclaim our bragging rights, too.
Humility is often seen as a gold standard of behavior while bravado is often associated with narcissism and insecurity. Some studies show there are issues with flexing a brag from time to time, particularly when they’re expressed in an effort to gain sympathy or impress people. Research also shows that people tend to be more responsive to your accomplishments if someone else shares them.
But there’s often a side of pride that isn’t discussed or glorified in the same way: The fact that pride can be an important facet of human connection. For folks within marginalized communities—women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, and more—expressing and owning your own accomplishments can create a powerful ripple effect.
Entrepreneur Lisbeth Kaufman spoke to this in an essay she penned for Elle on “The Case for Bragging,” as it pertains particularly to women.
“In an environment where women don’t feel able to brag, it becomes harder to see their accomplishments and celebrate them. The less recognition they get, the more uncomfortable bragging is going to feel,” she explains. “And that has real ramifications—women are not getting the promotions, the attention, and the investments that men are. And while bragging can't solve all that, it can at least make women's achievements more visible. It all comes back to that famous phrase: You can't be what you can't see.”
Not to mention experts say that when we take pride in ourselves, our mental health can benefit from it.
"Because our feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence rest on being able to take pride in our achievements, it’s not only okay, but healthy, to brag about yourself to yourself," Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., writes on Psychology Today. "Giving yourself a mental pat on the back for a job well done can help boost your feelings of self-efficacy, prepare you for future successes, and even avoid the experience of depression."
It’s time we reshape the way we talk about what it means to express our pride. That's why we're coining the term "power brag," because we're in awe of people who stand in their power and own the work that they've done—and think more of us should do that, too.
To start: We need to change the way we think about celebrating our accomplishments and embrace bragging not as indulgent, but as empowering.
When it comes to formulating your own power brag, don’t worry—it might feel weird at first but it doesn’t have to be hard. Here's how to lean into it.
Start With Some Self-Pride
First, think of something you’ve done recently that you’re proud of—whether it’s big or small. Maybe it’s crushing a health goal you’ve had for a while, or maybe it’s being productive on a day off and breezing through your errands.
Whatever it may be, savor your effort and the outcome that you earned.
What about it brings you joy? Was it the journey it took to get you there? How you trusted yourself throughout the process? How you tuned out the people who doubted you? How you navigated a roadblock along the way? Are there any specific feelings attached to it that spark something in you, like contentedness or comfort?
Name what makes you proud of yourself, and sit with those good feels.
Find Your Power Brag Language
Ever catch yourself sharing the spotlight even if the accomplishment is uniquely yours? That's not necessarily bad, but the beauty of a power brag lies in not qualifying your achievements and instead outright owning your work. Consider this your reminder that you don't have to diminish your own accomplishments to shine the light on other people.
Not sure how to do that? Here are a few examples of language you can use (and avoid) to get your power brag on:
●︎ Start your power brag with an "I am" statement to really solidify your achievements.
●︎ Resist outsourcing your efforts with something like "It really is all thanks to (insert person here who maybe marginally helped you but you really did it all)…" It might feel awkward, but stand proudly in all that you did.
●︎ If it feels uncomfortable, try talking about yourself in the third person. (ex. "Kia deserves this…") Research shows it can lead to even more motivation.
Now, Go Spread the Word! But First…
Now that you’ve sat in your joy, think about why you might want to share it.
The best power brags are rooted in joy and pride for your wins—and sharing them allows you to amplify that feeling.
Deciding who you want to share it with can be hard. Some celebrations might feel best for yourself, while others you might want to shout from the rooftops. If the latter is more your vibe, first pinpoint who you want to share your power brag with. Pro tip: Sharing it with a community of people who have been there for you in the past might be a good move!
But if you choose to keep it to yourself, you can share it privately by writing it in a journal or typing it in your Shine gratitude check-in—or you can tell a family member or friend. You might even be compelled to share it on social media, and that’s OK too.
Savor Someone Else's Power Brag
Sometimes seeing someone else's accomplishments can make you feel doubtful of your own capabilities. But while social comparison is only human, taking a moment to stand in awe of people who've accomplished incredible feats can feel pretty good, too.
By honoring someone else's power brag, you’re also making space for others in your life to honor your future ones, too.
The amazing thing about a power brag is there is no wrong way to shout out your accomplishments. The joy of a power brag lies in that feeling of self-accomplishment. Sharing it with the people you care about most is just the icing on the cake.
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