A few days ago, I sat down with a student (let’s call her “Vicki”) to help her prepare for a job interview. After 10 minutes, I was exhausted. I asked her what she does better than most people she knows. I asked her what she has been recognized for by past supervisors. I asked her what she gets complimented on. I asked her what she does seemingly effortlessly. And she had nothing for me. I’ve been meeting with this student every week since mid- October, so I’ve gotten a pretty good grasp of what would make her desirable to an employer. But after 21 years of knowing herself, Vicki couldn’t identify a SINGLE strong suit. She really struggled to describe her strengths.But she had no problem listing her weaknesses and challenges, though…
I know Vicki is not alone in this.My question to you is: Why is it so damn difficult for women to say what they’re good at?
My guess is that we’re afraid to sound egotistical.When you think about it, humility is the ultimate compliment for a woman, and self-assurance is deemed masculine and unladylike. Somewhere along the way, we adopted the idea that women need to minimize their gifts, or dumb themselves down to be likable. We hide our superpowers so we won’t come off as conceited or unapproachable. God forbid we scare off our Knight in Shining Armor! (Cue eye roll.)
As a Delicious Living Consultant, it is my duty to do whatever I can to help the women around me find the courage to love themselves and create a life that reflects that. And I can’t do that if I’m constantly downplaying my skills and accomplishments to make people like me. Plus, when I focus on what I do well, I release pressure to excel in all areas.(I’m a perfectionist, so this helps me sleep better!)
Sometimes it feels impossible to move past the flood of media messages insisting that I am not enough. Not rich enough. Not toned enough. Not pretty enough. Not accomplished enough.Not girly enough. The list goes on. But I decided that I am done letting that noise dictate my worth. I am enough. I am valuable as I am. I am a force to be reckoned with, and I don’t need TV/ magazines/ billboards/ Facebook/Twitter/Hollywood to approve. Every time I compliment myself (or accept a compliment from someone else), I am invigorated. Acknowledging my contributions lets others know that disrespecting me is not an option. By agreeing to own my power, I am letting other women (particularly less self-possessed women) know that they have permission to be bold. If no one else has told you, let me be the first: You don’t owe it to ANYbody to dim your light. In fact, you owe it to yourself to shine as bright as you possibly can, so you can help others see their way out of the dark.
In short, The road to unshaken courage starts with a conscious decision to gloat. So talk about your strengths. Take pride in what you do well. Be your own hype woman. Revel in your glory. You have permission to be great–now go do something with it!