The expression “blow your own trumpet” is an idiom conveying the act of boasting or praising oneself. Its roots can be traced back to ancient times, when trumpets played a vital role in signalling significant events like military triumphs and royal ceremonies.
In ancient Rome and Greece, trumpets were frequently employed to announce the victorious arrival of generals and armies. Post-battle, the triumphant soldiers would parade through city streets accompanied by music and blaring trumpets. This symbolizing celebration and honouring the valour of the fighters.
As time progressed, “blow your own trumpet” evolved into a metaphor for self-promotion or bragging. The notion suggested that if one wished to extol their accomplishments, they should metaphorically blow their own trumpet. Akin to the victorious armies of antiquity.
The phrase made its first appearance in English literature during the 18th century, notably in Laurence Sterne’s novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman” (1759-1767). The character Uncle Toby, described as exceedingly fond of his brother’s company, is depicted engaging in conversations as though his deceased brother were still present. Sterne notes that Uncle Toby “would as soon have thought of committing blasphemy, as of blowing his brother’s trumpet.”
In contemporary language, “blow your own trumpet” is commonly used to criticize someone seen as overly boastful or self-promoting. Nevertheless, it can also be employed positively, encouraging individuals to take pride in their achievements and celebrate their success.
Why You Should Blow Your Own Trumpet
There are several reasons why it is important to blow your own trumpet or to promote yourself and your accomplishments:
- Acknowledgment: If you remain silent about your accomplishments and skills, they may go unnoticed. Actively advocating for yourself enhances the likelihood of gaining recognition for your achievements.
- Career Progression: Engaging in self-promotion proves to be an effective strategy for advancing your career. Employers are more inclined to elevate individuals who exude confidence in their abilities and are proactive in showcasing their accomplishments.
- Personal Brand Cultivation: Self-promotion serves as a foundation for constructing a personal brand, positioning you as an authority in your field. This positioning can pave the way for fresh opportunities, partnerships, and collaborative ventures.
- Enhanced Confidence: When you promote yourself, you are affirming your accomplishments and skills, contributing to an increased sense of confidence and self-esteem.
- Networking Benefits: Actively promoting yourself facilitates connections with other professionals in your industry, broadening your professional network. This expansion can open doors to new prospects and collaborative endeavors.
While it’s important to promote yourself, it’s also important to do so in a humble and respectful manner. Avoid being boastful or arrogant, and focus on promoting your skills and accomplishments in a way that adds value to others.