A couple of days ago I was searching for a book that I wanted to read whilst going on holiday. I’m one of those people who buy lots of books, but don’t always get an opportunity to read them. But with the upcoming school holidays, I knew I would have the time whilst camping with my family.

During the frantic search (because I tend to pack last minute) of my home office, I came across the award certificates in this photo.

They were all lovingly stored away in plastic sheets in one of my cupboards. I had to do a bit of a double take, as I had almost forgotten they even existed…..

And after having taken them out and sorting them on my table I started to think…..

How crazy is that! Just letting them lie in the cupboard when these are testament to my years and years of hard work and the contribution that my practice and my team has made to the industry and our local community.

And it dawned on me that I have also never – like never ever – displayed my academic achievements. I often walk into the offices of other business owners and health professionals to see their walls showcasing their certificates, degrees, registrations, etc.

And that is so OK!

They are probably extremely proud of those certificates – as they should be. We all work extremely hard for our qualifications and the many hoops we jump through for our professional registration, why would we not put it up for all to see, but most importantly for US to see.

Especially on those tough days when it feels like our clients are having crisis after crisis and we start to question our own worth as a professional – as someone able to actually help them.

It is in those moments that you need to draw strength from the resilience and persistence it took to get your qualifications and remind yourself that you’ve got this and having them on your wall is an excellent visual reminder.

Upon really reflecting on what has been holding me back on doing just this, I found that there are two reasons why these have been living in my cupboard.

First and foremost, I come from a culture where boasting is frowned upon. Basically, if you boast, you are seen as a ‘windgat’ – a South African slang word for ‘someone who boasts a lot, someone who talks too much and has opinions on everything’.

Although I have learnt to share my wins and achievements, I only do it when it is driven by my underlying purpose of impacting others and somehow showcasing these doesn’t seem like it fits that bill.

Secondly, I have always been mindful of the Ethics around it. As a health practitioner, registered with the Australian Health Regulation Agency, I can’t do or say anything to imply that I am better than another practitioner, which means you need to be very careful in how you share your achievements – it doesn’t mean you can’t.

Let’s think about it like this…

Fundamental to human behaviour is reinforcement of such behaviour (cue Pavlov and his dog experiments) whether positive or negative. So why then would we not utilise such fundamental and powerful reinforcement of behaviour to ensure that we continue to do our life’s best work – assuming of course that that is what you would like to do 

As I’m writing this, I can feel a plan forming in the back of my mind to not only celebrate my achievements but also that of each and every one of my private practice team members.

So my challenge to you is this…

What will you be doing (no matter how small) to allow yourself to be proud of your achievements – to shine as brightly as you choose to shine?

Yours in Private Practice Success,

Gerda Muller Logo

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