Blowing Your Own Trumpet

In the course of finding a purpose, we immerse ourselves in any activity until we find what feels right, what helps us to maximise our skillset and what we would love to spend majority of our time doing.

It is not easy to come to this conclusion because time is our most precious commodity and no one ever wants to waste theirs travelling the wrong life path.

We find a passion and dedicate all our time to perfecting it. Staying up late, reaching out to mentors and organisations that can help, seeking support from friends, family and anyone who can offer a helping hand.

While there may be some external interest in one’s journey, unfortunately not everyone that seeks the support to groom their passion ultimately receives it and in a lot of cases, we find ourselves having to be self reliant.

Self reliance isn’t a bad thing and I believe that it is built from the realisation that even those that care enough to support still have their personal lives to live. So we sit up, buckle up and figure out what exactly we could do by ourselves, limiting the need for external support to a minimum.

When one eventually reaches their life goals or surpasses it from self reliance, they might start to claim being “self-made”. Others may argue that no such thing as self-made exists but I believe that it is important to blow your own trumpet regardless. Where it gets controversial is this; blowing ones own trumpet can come of as arrogant especially to those who do not fully comprehend self reliance.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, this is the definition to blow one’s trumpet:

British,  informal 

: to talk about oneself or one’s achievements especially in a way that shows that one is proud or too proud.

Skills and abilities take time to cultivate. The only person that knows how much work, sweat, tears, blood and sacrifice that has been put into the achievement of a goal is the individual themselves. So when a sense of pride is developed from the fulfilment of these achievements, society interprets this pride as arrogance.

Though I understand that the sound of one’s trumpet might be loud and untuned, particularly to the people who might not agree with the hard-worker’s stance, who think he is playing the wrong tunes or do not think he is worthy to have a trumpet to blow in the first place.

Success will always come with adversaries and critics. And genuinely, I see blowing your trumpet as a tool to deal with these adversaries. If you do not hype your own achievements no one will do it for you. Some people will attempt to assist the sound of your voice, but in the end, all goals that have been achieved are yours and you should be confident of your abilities.

So I really wonder, is there really a right to chastise people who come out to blow the trumpet on their own achievements? Do we have the permission to burst their bubble and claim that they owe their success to everyone who offered support both directly and indirectly?

Breaking boundaries and crossing hurdles to live a purposeful life can be a daunting journey. So its quite understandable when a sense of pride and self-worth is developed from the successful achievements of goals that one might have thought were impossible to achieve in the first place.

However the big question is this— Is there an unspoken rule to how an individual should view their achieved success in their professional industry? What is the thin line between arrogance and adequate self-worth?

The premise of this post is based on the recent social media outrage to Burnaboy claiming to be the best in the Nigerian music industry. He has stated that no one paved a way for him in the industry and his inspiration comes solely for Fela. This comment has, of course, made a lot of people angry.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Subomi Omoleye says:

    This was a very nice read, Millie!
    Honestly, I too have struggled with identifying the thin boundary between publicly acknowledging one’s achievements and arrogance.
    In the end, I guess you see what you want to see. The way you interpret a person’s claim of self-victory could also be influenced by your personal knowledge of the individual. That way, you better appreciate the subtle undertones that might be missed by the public eye.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Millie Didun says:

      Thank you! I agree with you that, you see what you want to see


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