I didn’t watch the 2024 Emmy awards show, but I did see the highs (and lows!) afterwards and, as always, there were some great ones. Niecy Nash Betts’ acceptance speech is the highlight that left an impression on me. In her speech, she gave the usual kudos to co-stars, executives, etc. and then said, “I want to thank me — for believing in me and doing what they said I could not do. And I want to say to myself in front of all you beautiful people, ‘Go on girl with your bad self. You did that.’”. What a powerful lesson in the art of self-celebration. It demonstrates the importance of self-awareness, recognition, and celebration, delivered with grace and humor. I have no doubt that if the Emmys have a history archive that will make it.
In a world that often demands humility and understatement, and where many of us are flooded with self-doubt and dealing with imposter syndrome, Nash Betts’ unapologetic self-recognition is not just refreshing, it is necessary. Acknowledging your own accomplishments is not an act of vanity; it’s a vital component of personal growth and mental health. When we celebrate our achievements, we acknowledge our own worth, resilience, and the hard work that got us there. It’s not about bragging or making false claims of greatness, it’s about recognizing where we were, where we are and where we are going constructively.
Our journeys towards success and self-improvement are solitary and filled with challenges, self-doubt, and usually a chorus of naysayers. We take these journeys in our own heads, and all too often allow the negativity of others weigh us down. In these moments, the ability to look in the mirror and say, “I am proud of what I have accomplished” is an act of resilience and defiance against challenge. It fortifies our self-esteem, boosts our confidence, and prepares us for the next hurdle. Nash Betts’ speech is a testament to this. By thanking herself, she highlights the significance of being your own cheerleader, especially in times when support may not come from elsewhere. Overnight success really does take years. And, who better than you to be your own best cheerleader?
Self-celebration can be a powerful motivator, acknowledging your accomplishment sets the stage for setting new goals and provides momentum towards reaching them. It’s how we can remind ourselves that our efforts are worthwhile and that our goals are attainable if we persevere. But it’s important to recognize your accomplishments without diminishing the contributions and successes of others.
So why not carry the spirit of Nash Betts’ message forward and make a conscious effort to recognize and celebrate our efforts. Whether we do so quietly to ourselves or whether we dare to say it out loud, let’s do so with conviction. Every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory and we should not look for external validation to celebrate it. Instead, let’s be our own cheerleaders and celebrate the hard work that has brought us this far. As Nash Betts so eloquently demonstrated, sometimes the most powerful validation comes from within.
“Talk to yourself about your successes; be sure you are recognizing your own accomplishments, no matter how small they may be.” – Rhett Power
What will you celebrate this weekend?