Be honest, have you ever downplayed or dismissed your accomplishments, attributing them to fate, luck or just good timing under the guise of modesty?
For many, this is a common practice and the irony is that they do it even as they endlessly look for ways to bolster their confidence and self-esteem.
Why do we fail to make the connection?
We avoid giving ourselves credit out of misguided thinking that it’s egotistical, but we’re also robbing ourselves of confidence in our abilities. ~Author Unknown
The Language of Modesty
The other day a friend called to share the news that she’d won an incentive. No sooner had I congratulated her than she went into deflection mode. “Well, you know I was lucky because things just came together and of course I had a great team.”
Now, just to give you a little background on this incentive, there were 400 sales managers involved across the country. My friend had just been assigned a previously failing territory so she had that hill to climb on top of being an unknown entity to both her team and her clients.
The bottom line is she worked her butt off for 3 months to bring it all together.
She didn’t just win that incentive … she e-a-r-n-e-d it.
To be fair, my friend’s reluctance to take credit for her work is all too common. Many of us are taught from an early age that modesty and humility are noble traits. Don’t talk about your high grades or achievements because bragging isn’t nice.
The problem is that over time that self-depreciating behavior doesn’t just effectively mask your strengths and abilities from others, you begin to believe it to the point that it becomes who you are, blinding you to your own value.
I love this quote by actor Peter Dinklage because it beautifully illustrates that one can take credit for their life choices and achievements in a way that is open and honest and yes, even humble.
Are You Giving Yourself Enough Credit?
I’d like to ask you to take a moment to give some thought to your own accomplishments up to now.
Not just the easy stuff you can check off a list, prizes won, honors earned or goals achieved, but ways in which you’ve grown and made a difference in this world because I’m willing to bet that you aren’t giving yourself nearly enough credit.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
The Challenges You’ve Overcome
Think of all the times you’ve stumbled or been knocked down, but got back up. True, relationships have come and gone, but you’ve learned valuable lessons, overcome obstacles, maybe even a crisis or two, and through it all, you kept on going.
The Times You Stayed Strong to Support a Friend or Loved One
It’s easy to love someone when things are going well so give yourself some credit for the people you’ve seen through the tough times. You listened, laughed and cried with them and refused to let them give up on themselves or life.
The Mistakes You’ve Made
Nobody gets through life without messing a few things up along the way and you’re no exception. But a lot of people never take responsibility for their missteps, so give yourself some credit for owning and learning from your mistakes.
The Times You Chose to Be True to Yourself
Think of the times you stood up for yourself, your beliefs and values. It’s so much easier to go along with the crowd, but there have been times when you drew the line and owned your life, no excuses or regrets.
The Times You Tried and Failed
Okay, so you listened to hype telling you not to try but do and so you did only to end up falling short of the mark and ended up feeling like a big pile of crap. Yes, the failure hurt, but give yourself some credit because most people will never even try! They will let their fear, insecurity and lack of belief in their personal power hold them hostage, sometimes for their entire life.
All Your Past Achievements
You’ve grown a lot more than you give yourself credit for. Most of us fail to acknowledge our day-to-day achievements because they seem trivial, and we’re so focused on the busyness of life that we gloss over those events. But these lessons and small wins are critical to your journey because each in their own way contributes to your knowledge, experience, and wisdom.
Your Willingness to Always Give Life One More Try
You learned early on that life isn’t perfect. Not everyone grows up surrounded by a loving supportive family and sometimes life is messy and unpredictable. But life is also full of magic, hope, and possibility. And so, each morning you buckle up and head out into the day, ready to give life one more try.
If you’re still searching for that one thing that has the power to change your life for the better, take a look in the mirror. ~Author Unknown
Have You Been Burying Your Light?
Giving yourself credit doesn’t involve standing in the street yelling hey look at how great I am to get recognition and attention. It’s simply and honestly acknowledging your own value and capability, and embracing the truth that you really are making a difference in this life.
True, if you’ve spent a lifetime downplaying your strengths this may seem like an impossible task, so let me say it for you.
You really are enough. You are full of joy and compassion. You genuinely want to make a positive difference in this world. You practice kindness. You work to understand and appreciate diversity. You are loyal, adventurous, supportive and strive to be better than you were yesterday. You are enough. You make mistakes – okay, sometimes a lot of mistakes – but you own them and you learn from them.
So give yourself some credit, because you really are enough.
Please consider today’s post my early Valentine’s Day present to you. With so much stress, heartache and negativity in the world at the moment I felt the need to focus on something beautiful and positive, and well, there you are! If you found value in the message, please consider sharing it.
Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald
Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.
She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.
To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living click “here“.