Self Deprecation and Two Words You Use That Are Killing Your Vibe

Every time you use these two words self-deprecation wins: “Just” and “only.” Whenever you qualify something that would otherwise be highly awesome with “just” and “only”, a kitten falls out of a tree, a baby unicorn loses its horn and a piglet turns into bacon. Sad, yes, but I must get your attention to make this point.

Self deprecation...STOP IT.

Why do you qualify what you do, how you look and who you are with these two words? Is it the case of not wanting to pat your own self on the back? Not wanting to toot your horn? Worrying that you’ll sound conceited? Girl, pat away, toot that horn and realize that confidence does not equal cockiness.

Confident not Cocky

I hear and see it so much; whether in conversation, overhearing (no, not eavesdropping, thank you) or watching it play out online. Random Girl A does something pretty doggone fabulous but to not sound like a braggart, downplays the heck out of it to Random Girls B and C. After doing this so much, it’s not even that she’s worried about sounding like a braggart, she downright doesn’t believe she’s enough/worth it/deserving of any kudos and starts to convince herself of her lack of badassery.

True examples:

Random Girl A: “Oh cool! You’re running the marathon!”
You: “No, I’m only running the half marathon.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “Actually, I’m running the half marathon and super thrilled!”

Random Girl A: “I love your outfit. You always look so pulled together!”
You: “Oh, this? I just threw it on. I look a mess.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “Thank you. I love to accessorize.”

Random Girl A: “You work at ACME Widgets. Looks like a fun place!”
You: “I’m just a temp.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “I do work there. It’s exciting and different every day!”

Random Girl A:
“You look like you lost weight.”
You: “I only lost 18 pounds.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “Thanks! I’ve been eating clean and working out for a couple months. It’s working!”

Look, I’m not sitting pretty in my glass house throwing stones at y’all. I’ve done it, too. But for the past month or so, I stopped. Cold turkey and said the heck with it. I’m going to stop being using these qualifiers and stop being fearful. Because face it—a lot of this instant anti-positive reaction comes from fear. You’re fearful that someone will think you’re full of yourself, fearful that they didn’t really mean what they said and then you’ll look silly having fallen into a mocking trap, or fearful of what the outcome will be. I’ve had it with fear. I already have debilitating fears of vomit, airplanes and clowns—I’m not adding confidence in myself and my abilities to the fearful list. So I flipped the scaredy cat script.

My own true life example:

Me: “My dream social media job became available. I should apply!”
Self-Deprecating Me: “I just have experience with Cherie Runs This. I’ve only done social media with my fitness business, not a company-company.”
Self-Deprecation removed: “I’ve built Cherie Runs This from the ground up, researched and self-taught myself the ins and outs of social media and I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years. What I don’t know yet, I will learn. I’ve done well for myself with social media and promoting this business of mine. Heck, I have over 22,000 followers on Pinterest alone. That’s more than some companies! I’m applying!”

Once I took the “just” and “only” out of my mouth, acknowledged my capabilities, gave myself a “Dayyyyuuuum girl” peptalk, I wrote a bangin’ cover letter, tooted my horn, I actually landed an interview AND a second interview is scheduled for this week! I of course don’t know what the outcome will be, but I know if I had listened to the self-deprecation spew I wouldn’t even be this far in the job consideration. I wouldn’t be considered at all.

It's Handled
{You can always channel Olivia Pope if you need to.}

So what to do to say sayonara to the self-deprecating you?

One, let people compliment you for a change. Most people, at least in this day and age, don’t have don’t want to take the time to blow smoke up your booty. If they don’t want to say it, they probably won’t take the time to tweet, message, post or tell you that they think you rock their socks off. They’ll keep on scrolling or walk on by.

Two, with or without their compliments you have to get to a place where you truly believe that you and your actions are worthy. You didn’t only squat 135lbs. You SQUATTED 135lbs!! That’s 20 pounds more than you’ve ever done. You didn’t just run a 5K. You RAN A 5K!! Remember a couple months ago when walking around your block one time gave you major grief? If you stop and think about it for a moment instead of automatically adding “just” and “only” before you speak, you’ll see your awesomeness coming out.

If you don't ask the answer is always no.

Three, remember the three “ifs.” This quote is the truth. If I’m ready to wuss out about something lately, I start reciting it to myself. It’s simple. It’s right. Try it. Seriously, like today. These have you ready to spring into action, tell fear to hit the road, and leave self-deprecation, “just” and “only” in the dust.

Well, I feel ready to just go be awesome all over the place now! {I hope you do, too!} And at some point, I will apply all of this confidence in talking the opposite sex. Because right now I’m still working on the “just” and “only” when it comes to landing a fabulous hot, sweet, loyal, dependable, sarcastic, musclely, tattooed, bearded guy who drives a big truck. It’ll come, it’ll come. 😉