“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.”
― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember
To be “proud of yourself” is not always easily applied as we journey through life searching for validation for our accomplishments.
But I’m beginning to understand just how important it is to be proud of yourself at the end of the day – especially given the competitive business climate many of us are accustomed to, where the agendas of others (and their egos) leave little room for accolades.
Over the last three months, I’ve been diligently working on launching a new website for a group of colleagues from another division within our business. Having created numerous websites at both this and other organizations, I was happy to offer my services to complete the project in addition to my regular responsibilities.
What made this new website project perhaps more appealing (and manageable) was the fact that a dedicated team was formed to help with all the logistics necessary from content and imagery to keywords and functionality.
But sadly, it didn’t take long before I realized this new website project was turning into nothing but more work for me, as Rogers’ mentioned above.
Suddenly those dedicated teammates were too busy to attend meetings, repeatedly ignoring emails and other forms of communication, and before long I found myself managing the entire project alone to my surprise.
It took a lot of extra work, but I was able to deliver the project on time and on budget with the site officially going live on March 10, 2020 to my delight and relief.
For anyone who’s ever worked on a website project before, you know it’s daunting work. While much of the effort will ultimately go unnoticed, you find yourself with a bizarre connection to this new digital creation – having struggled through its infancy and later marveling at the independence you helped bring about.
I’m not sharing this story in an attempt to bolster my own ego, but rather to inspire you all to remember that just because we’re not validated for what we accomplish in work or in life, doesn’t mean that we haven’t accomplished anything.
While the project certainly didn’t progress as I had hoped, at the end of the day I’m proud of myself for what I was able to achieve.
Sure, there will always be an innate need for validation in everything we do and create. But as Rogers’ said above, you have to be proud of yourself above anything else. For that kind of acknowledgement is something you’ll never have to ask for.