Fire Yourself Up with Brags

I learned to “Brag” a few years ago when I took a class with bestselling author, Regena Thomashauer. (Brags are one of a handful of tools she uses to empower her students.)

The process is simple enough. You think of something you’re proud of yourself for and express it. For those of us who’ve been taught to downplay achievements and notice our faults more quickly than our merits, bragging doesn’t come naturally.

In fact, when I teach brags in workshops I often get pushback. “That doesn’t feel right!” “I can’t say that!” What’s at stake is a lifetime of looking at ourselves through the mind’s negativity bias and coming up lacking. Brags re-train our minds to notice what is right with us and to celebrate what we’re doing well. As we do, we open to more of life’s blessings.

Want to try? Look back on your day or week, and notice something you did well or something you feel proud of. Start small. For instance, “I brag I took time for a beautiful walk in nature.” Or, “I brag I treated myself to a bubble bath/brunch with a friend/a new book I’m excited to read.”

You might notice at first that your brags center around accomplishments: “I brag I got my To Do list done.” “I brag I worked out.” All good – start there. But know that brags about prioritizing self-care, play and fun are especially potent in re-wiring your brain for more light up and joy. The more you begin to focus on what you’re doing right, the better you’ll notice you feel.

You can brag to yourself in a journal. You can exchange a brag with a friend over the phone or by text. You can even share brags around a dinner table. And brags are especially helpful when the going gets tough. A well-timed brag in the midst of a challenging day can lift your spirits, shift your perspective and fire you up. Try it and see.

Susannah Kenton

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