All the other rivers said to the Euphrates: “Why is the current of thy water not heard at a distance?”
The Euphrates replied: “My deeds testify for me. Anything sown by men at my shores will be in full bloom within thirty days.”
The rivers then addressed the Tigris: “Why is the current of thy waters heard at a distance?”
“I must direct the attention of the people to me by my tumultuous rapidity,” the Tigris replied.
The moral: The less the merits of a person are, the more he will feel urged to proclaim them to the public.
If you know that you’re great, you shouldn’t feel a strong need to tell anyone about it. “It is always the secure who are humble,” noted the English writer, philosopher G. K. Chesterton in his insightful essay “In Defense of Humility,” included in The Defendant (1901.)
Your Good Work Should Speak for Itself, But …
Reminding that there is nothing that says more about its creator than the work itself, the Canadian entrepreneur Matshona Dhliwayo has said,
Let your work speak for itself:
If poor, it will remain silent.
If average, it will whisper.
If good, it will talk.
If great, it will shout.
If genius, it will sing.
Your feelings of self-esteem and self-confidence hinge on being able to take pride in your achievements. However, be mindful of the thin line between confidence and conceit—confidence is believing in yourself, but conceit is bragging about yourself.
Use your work to lead others to view you favorably—but beware, nobody likes blatant braggarts. If other people sense that you’re trying too hard to blow your own horn, they’ll be turned off, and you’ll achieve the opposite of your intended effect on them. This is especially true if the attributes you’re trying to flaunt aren’t the ones that interest the others.
With competition more intense than ever before, what really matters is “who knows you” and “what they know about you” than about “whom you know.”
As the boxing legend Muhammad Ali once declared, “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”