A career counselor once told me, “It ain’t braggin’ if you done it.” Too often, we minimize our accomplishments out of a sense of modesty or self-consciousness. But hiding your light can backfire and keep you from new opportunities and experiences — and from enjoying the recognition you deserve for a job well done!
This advice has been on my mind the past month as I scroll through my social media feed. It’s impossible to overlook — graduation season is here! It seems that almost everyone I know is celebrating a relative’s or friend’s graduation from high school, college, law school, or other educational programs (including obedience school for some four-legged friends!). Last month I had the honor to watch my own sibling, in mortarboard and gown, pick up a well-earned college diploma. The ceremony was held in a 14,000-seat arena, and the entire space was filled with the energy and enthusiasm of the new graduates and all those who had come to cheer for them. An unforgettable sense of pride and accomplishment electrified the air.
While Toastmasters members don’t “graduate” from the program, we have many opportunities to recognize a job well done while looking ahead to the next goal. The Toastmasters year runs from July 1-June 30. With year-end approaching, this is an ideal time for you and your club to look back on your accomplishments of the past 11 months and take time to celebrate all the progress you’ve made. What is your club most proud of this year? Maybe you celebrated a milestone anniversary, held a wildly successful Open House, built your way back up after a dip in membership, applauded a member who earned the club’s first DTM, or achieved Distinguished status for the first time (or the nth time in a row… or the first time in a while!). The sky’s the limit! Every club is different, so you and your members are the local subject-matter experts.
Whatever your top achievement, one surefire way to recognize and amplify your success is to share it with the rest of the community! In this spirit, District 4 invites you to take the “We Did It” Challenge — film a 15-30 second video telling us your club’s proudest accomplishment of the past year. Upload to YouTube and share with firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s quick, easy, and any club can participate. All clubs who complete the challenge by June 30 will earn their choice from a selection of Toastmasters prizes!
And if there are any goals still pending on your to-do list, keep striving! There’s still a month left to complete this year’s goals, and gear up for next year’s successes! I hope to see your club’s “We Did It” message soon. We are all proud of you. Because… you did it!