What does it actually mean to "own it"? People often say those two little words with such vindication. Almost like by saying it, you're automatically promoted to rock star status. Of course, I find no fault in drumming up confidence for one's self. However, it's the actual doing that proves whether or not you are "owning" your story.
You see, we carve out these identities for ourselves that we bust our asses for. Many people will set goals for themselves, construct a plan to get there, and actually achieve them. This in itself is worthy of a story, because there are other people who plan too poorly to actually reach for the stars in their own personal lives. These are people who know WHAT they want, but they don't take the time to figure our HOW to get there. It takes a dreamer - an honest to goodness hard working dreamer to brow sweat enough to achieve.
Yet, at the end of the day, many of us choose to hide. Why? Many of us decide not to feel worthy of recognition or praise for the things we have worked so hard for. I'm not talking about narcissism. I'm talking about real attention for amazing work on a project or even a self-improvement. We treat ourselves like the blood, sweat, and tears that we have poured into something isn't enough to receive that shoulder pat or that "atta boy". We have suddenly started questioning ourselves on what's good enough.
I personally believe that social media is partially to blame for this. In the last half decade, the entire world has become accessible and very small. We can get on our smartphones and see what celebrities from across the world are saying or thinking or tweeting. We have become a society of over-analysers. Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." That thought rings out in my mind when I think about how often we choose to not show our real, authentic selves to others.
Take the selfie phenomenon, for example. How often do we scroll through social media to see our friends posing glamorously with some filter over the picture that makes them look more fabulous. Maybe it hides their tired eyes or contours their faces to look thinner. Sometimes a filter is placed on a photo to make someone look younger or more fit. Magazine and social media beauty has airbrushed us into a corner, people! Women particularly don't feel beautiful ENOUGH without a good photo edit.
Whether you are running a startup, training for a big race, dropping a few personal pounds, writing that novel you always planned, staying sober for just one more day, or just taking a selfie - you need to give yourself permission to be proud of that. You need to not feel guilty about sharing your joy with the world, if you so choose. There is no shame in perseverance. Because that thing - whatever you did - that was hard. It took a lot of work. But you did it anyway.