When I think about the things in my life that have given me the greatest sense of accomplishment, in each case, I told very few people what I was attempting to do — I would just privately start taking the first steps, and then slowly work toward it, before letting anyone know (for example, I didn’t tell most people, including my parents, that I was thinking about going to law school until after I got accepted).
I think there’s something delicious about taking baby steps toward something that you dare yourself to do, all-hush-hush-like, with only yourself or, at the most, a few confidants knowing. I love the feeling of “if they only knew!” that happens when you start to make progress. I think there’s something to be said to having wonderful secrets about what you’re capable of doing, only to be revealed in due course (or, never to be spoken of again, if that works, too).
omg, yes. This! I also didn’t tell anyone about law school until I was accepted. I love having secret projects, like running or school or writing or whatever. Outside pressure, regardless of how well-intentioned (soooo, how’s that Big Project of yours coming?) doesn’t do anything for me; it just stresses me out (makes me feel like I haven’t done enough, I’m going to fail, etc.). It’s so good to know I’m not alone in feeling that way.
On the other hand, I sometimes think that people interpret keeping quiet about a project to mean that it must not be a big deal—when in fact it’s the opposite. Just because I like to quietly work at my goals doesn’t mean I don’t want to celebrate once they’ve been achieved. If anything, I want to celebrate more. After all, I’ve been saving up. Not counting my chickens until they’ve actually hatched. So when I share my achievement? Break out the party hats and noisemakers!