The world will never celebrate us if we refuse to celebrate ourselves
This is an adapted excerpt from my long-form story about celebrating ourselves to achieve success. It will serve as an interesting story and a short-form concept explanation.
All over the internet, we see articles and videos claiming to have the key to success. Many are reading, watching and talking about this— so they, apparently, want to be successful. Right?
Yet very few people ever achieve what they deem as success.
One thing that the masses seem to miss in their coverage on how to be successful is that the most successful people, who we call celebrities, celebrate their success, while most normal people do not.
Simply look at the people who many of us see as the ‘most successful’ in the world — celebrities.
What is a celebrity other than someone who celebrates themselves and is celebrated by others? It’s in the name but is still missed and forgotten.
We struggle because we have been told our whole lives to “stop bragging.” Every aspect of human nature is a double-sided coin and when it comes to the coin of self-celebration, we often confuse it with the other side of the coin— self-promotion, grandiosity, self-absorption and greed.
Does anyone get mad at Oprah for talking about her long list of Academy, Global and other awards?
Of course not.
Oprah is the perfect example of someone who made it through the shiny gates of success and did so — not only by celebrating others — but by simultaneously and humbly celebrating herself.
Not only did she make it through the gates, but she also holds an unlimited pass and has the unchallenged privilege of letting anyone else in she chooses.
I believe there’s a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.― Oprah Winfrey
Oprah did not answer her call by minimizing her dreams but by realizing them and celebrating every success along the way.
No matter how you feel about Oprah, you cannot deny the power she has held and maintains in our world.
She could echo any writer, coach, speaker or influencer and make them a worldwide success, overnight, with only two fingers and her back turned — after spinning in circles ten times.
Oprah is known by the world for her generosity and loving nature.
Many people would never see Oprah as selfish, greedy or grandiose — yet she holds the most power in the world, in some respects.
Did she avoid celebrating her achievements or using them to stand on? Did she deflect the compliments of the world? Did she sacrifice the enthusiasm and confidence in herself that makes her great in the name of false humility?
No. She didn’t step onto the stage at the Golden Globes and say,
“You know what world, this is really sweet but I really don’t deserve it.”
She accepted and celebrated every accomplishment and acknowledgment that she received and she allowed the world to celebrate her and her achievements with her.
She said, metaphorically,
“Yes! I did work really hard on this and it did turn out to be great. I appreciate you noticing, world. Thank you for the acknowledgment. Your celebration of my achievement is accepted and we can celebrate together.”
Collectively, we avoid self-celebration in the name of humility, while self-celebration and the acceptance of appreciation from the world remains a very humble act.
Perhaps the difference between Oprah and the many is that she does it afraid.
The true meaning of courage is to be afraid, and then, with your knees knocking and your heart racing, to step out anyway — even when that step makes sense to nobody but you. I know that’s not easy. But making a bold move is the only way to truly advance toward the grandest vision the universe has for you.
― Oprah Winfrey
Oprah probably had the same fears as everyone else. She was probably told by the world that celebration of herself was rude and that she was no celebrity — before she became a celebrity.
She celebrated and she moved forward anyway because she knew that only she had the power to realize her dreams — through an unshakable faith in them and a relentless commitment to lifting them up for the world to see.
You face the biggest challenge of all: to have the courage to seek your big dream regardless of what anyone says. You are the only person alive who can see your big picture and even you can’t see it all.― Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has taught us many things. Her positive attributes are well known and many attribute them to her success.
But it wasn’t just a humble and generous nature that laid the path to fame before her — it was a tireless commitment to self-celebration and an unconditional willingness to believe in her dreams and promote them, with or without the world’s permission.
We have no problem allowing celebrities to be celebrated and we even celebrate them. But we have an aversion to celebrating ourselves.
Perhaps we think that being what we call a celebrity is what gives celebrities the authority to be celebrated.
Maybe a big difference between those who are celebrated — celebrities — and those who are not is that celebrities were celebrating all along. They did not wait for the world to call them a celebrity to celebrate their dreams, their work and themselves.
They simply celebrated long enough and loud enough that the world eventually celebrated them too.
Confidence is the golden ticket to success and the greatest way to build it is through celebrating all of our success along the way.
Perhaps the greatest missing link to success is an inability to celebrate ourselves until the world celebrates us when in reality, the world will never celebrate us if we refuse to celebrate ourselves.
But Oprah knows one thing for sure.
What I know for sure is that every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and step out and dance — to live free of regret and filled with as much joy, fun, and laughter as you can stand. You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt.
― Oprah Winfrey
I choose to dance and I choose waltz boldly. I hope you do too.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com
Featured image: “Oprah with Sen. Obama in Des Moines, IA” by Joe Crimmings is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0