The other day, I got a compliment from someone who I really admire and look up to. She is a business owner and entrepreneur and is really doing amazing things. I’m so proud to have her in my life as a role model. As we were talking over lunch, she told me she admired ME and MY WORK. What? You do? I didn’t know what to say.
So I used my go-to.
“Oh gosh, well it’s nothing really….it’s not really anything special and there are countless other people who are so much better, and know so much more….”
And she looked me square in the eye and said “No.”
“Kait, if you don’t start showing the confidence in yourself that other people see, you’re never going to be able to grow. It’s important to be humble and it’s important when to recognize your faults, but when someone tells you they think you are the best and they are being whole-hearted and genuine—the most gratifying thing you can say is ‘thank you’.”
WHOA. I was blown away. But it got me to thinking. Why is it that people, women in particular, always need to preface their accomplishments with an apology or a disclaimer?
Think about it.
I was recently reading this post by Kelle Hampton and it really spoke to my soul.
When I’m working, especially in a group project, or presenting to a larger group, I will sometimes start out by saying “I might be totally off base, but….” And then continue on with my idea.
Why do we place self-doubt in someone else’s head before we’ve even managed to convey our idea?
I’m of the mindset that no idea can be entirely ruled out (or deemed crazy, foolish, etc.) until it’s thought out or talked about. But women have this little voice inside their heads that is so consumed with trying to meet a certain standard of acceptance that we need to slap a disclaimer on our ideas, as if to say we are not competent enough to believe in our ideas enough ourselves before we let them roll off our tongues.
I don’t like this and it stops today. I encourage every single one of you reading to take some time today to encourage yourself a little bit more, compliment something you're doing right or are proud of, and believe, whole-heartedly, in all of your ideas and aspirations.
After all, if you don't believe in yourself, who will?