Success can be measured in anything deemed worthy of accomplishment. Whether it’s getting that new job promotion, paying off student loans (finally), graduating from school or even becoming one year older, success can come in many different forms. And I don’t know about you, but I always feel awkward when someone says “Congratulations!” to me whenever I achieve success. Maybe everyone does at some point, but here are six reasons why I still feel awkward celebrating success.

1. I hate smiling on camera. (Double Chin much?)

(Photo by Heather Soulchin)

What do people love more than saying “Congratulations!” when the time is right? Why taking pictures of course! For the life of me, I absolutely hate taking posed camera pictures. And candid photos are even worse for me!

[See Exhibit A above where I was posing with others after giving a speech at my college (second from right)! I was nervous as all hell about public speaking in front of a crowd… that’s my excuse for making that face. Also, I'm just horrible in front of cameras.]

There’s nothing more awkward for me than taking photos at celebrations - unless you count “singing” karaoke in front of strangers, then that’s almost even stephen there fam.

2. I’m insecure AF when I’m the Center of Attention.

Call me humble, call me normal or whatever you prefer, but I’m a very insecure person when all eyes are on me. I’m a certified ambivert, I can be both an introvert and extrovert, depending on the time of day and the social situation I’m in. As much as I love how ambiverted I can be, my introvert side always seems to shine when a spotlight is put on me. Wanna thank me about my latest accomplishment in front of others? Yeah, don’t be surprised if I say a quick “Thank You” while I secretly die inside hoping that I can run into the nearest corner and fade into the background like Homer Simpson.

3. I hear “Congratulations” too often.

Now, I know that you just called me humble, or normal, or whatever the heck you called me above, but this next reason is gonna make you call me a dick: I hear “Congratulations” too often from others. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, (or that I’m ungrateful for people saying congrats to me), but I just want people to congratulate me when I hit major milestones in my life that are worthy of saying congrats about, and not for minor things that I’ll forget about in the near future.

4. I was raised to never stop working hard.

Momma didn’t raise a quitter, alright fam? She also didn’t raise a lazy SOB either (no matter how badly I love being a procrastinator). I work nonstop, even if it seems like I’m not being super productive, so of course I’m never gonna slow down in life, even if it is to celebrate my successes.

5. I’ve been told that I have the Mamba Mentality.

This kind of coincides with number 4 above, but I have what’s been dubbed as the Mamba Mentality. Kobe Bryant has been known to live and breathe the mentality of never quitting in whatever it is that you do in life and that in the face of adversity, people with the Mamba Mentality find a silver lining and keep on going through life. If you’d like to learn more about the Mamba Mentality, here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of the phrase and here’s Kobe Bryant talking about Mamba Mentality in a Nike commercial.

6. I don’t expect you to Congratulate me… I expect your respect.

(Photo by Heather Soulchin)

Yes, I sound like a dick with this reason too, but hey, I mean it. If you really want to congratulate me, say not the words “Congratulations, Sara!”, but I’d rather you say to me “Sara, I respect you for graduating college” or “Sara, you made it through another year of life. Happy 21st Birthday!” Yeah, this sounds like a little bit of work, but to take the time to say something more sincere than the cliche “Congrats!” would mean a hell of a lot more to me and make me feel less and less awkward when celebrating my life’s successes.