A Simple Way To Stop Self-Deprecation
I walked into an event on Monday (this one) and I was frazzled. I was 15 minutes later than I expected. By the time I got out of the car, the room was packed (wonderful!) and I was a bit parched and unclear about my next steps. As I was snagging a few pictures for social with my friend Claudia who was helping out, I shrugged one photo off with some mindless comment drenched in self-deprecation. Claudia’s look was enough to freeze anyone - somewhere between half amused and half horrified.
She was barely done firing off a reprimand when she told me to stop and immediately say something nice about myself. I couldn’t tell if she was joking but she still looked pretty sharp so I replied without a significant pause, “I’m really smart”.
Super simple, a little cheesy but really powerful. Not so much because it was a big giant pat on the back that I probably needed at the moment but because it stopped a damaging dialog that I was starting with myself with no real intention or meaning. It’s a horrible habit and one that I play into to be funny but likely doesn’t do me any favors and frankly may even be off-putting to anyone listening. What’s incredible was I didn’t flinch replying when asked about my strengths so I’m fully aware of what makes me strong, I just don’t feel as comfortable talking about that.
As women, especially in this stage, it’s so important to be true to ourselves and the message we want to put out in the world. One comment like that, unless it comes from a genuine place, starts to break down the connection we’re building and sub-consciously chips away at our confidence.
I’m going to spend my week saying thank you to compliments. I’m going to give myself compliments. Even if I don't say them out loud, I may try writing down three nice things about myself each week. And next time I hear the tone of self-deprecation seep into a close friend’s commentary about themselves, I'll have them repeat the same exercise.
Because we all have some lovely thoughts about ourselves we’re just not often asked.
Do you catch yourself being critical of yourself? How often do you compliment yourself?
Featured Image via Street Style and Fashion