I was so moved by the sentiment shared by my most recent woman of substance, Julia Webb, when she said:
“A year ago, I saw a quote that read ‘Stop shrinking yourself to make others feel big.’ That hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been shrinking myself so others wouldn’t feel intimidated or perceive me as a ‘know it all’ or ‘arrogant.'”
I think that many women underestimate or downplay their abilities and achievements. In my own experience, this “self-shrinking” goes hand in hand with the imposter syndrome I battled in my early 20s, when I was afraid that if I admitted that (or acted as if) I was succeeding at something, someone else would say: “Um, no you’re not.” As a corollary, for a long while, I found it very difficult to accept a compliment, nearly always wanting to qualify or shush or deflect, which, my younger sister pointed out rather frankly one afternoon, was neither a good look nor a kindness to the issuer. Only with considerable effort have I learned to say: “Thank you” and then bite my tongue. It’s taken even more willpower to issue that thank you with the heartfelt-ness I always secretly feel (who doesn’t love an earnest compliment?!) by willing myself to make eye contact with the issuer, smile, and let the “thank you” hang out there, unqualified, for a beat, before changing the subject. (Try it next time — see how you fare!)
At any rate, today, I’m challenging you to fill in the blank:
I am really good at ___________.
Please share in the comments! I’ll start:
I am really good at listening, writing, and logistics.*
*I wish I could claim I was good at piano, as the photo above insinuates, but alas – – despite years of private lessons, I am woefully out of practice.
+Pineapple laundry basket. LOVE.
+A more muted take on the exaggerated color trend.
+This fringed sweater has an Isabel Marant je ne sais quoi to it.
+What pants/denim are you wearing this fall? Are you trying anything new? I am ordering a few new shapes to try that are a little out of my comfort zone, like the J. Brand’s I mentioned last week, Trave’s Constance Straight Tapered, either Everlane’s cropped wide legs or Gap’s, and I’m very curious about these ones from Something Navy, which are very Ulla-esque, but at a better pricepoint. Can’t tell if I’ll look ridiculous in them…I’m usually more traditional!
+How amazing is this toile trench coat, on clearance for $37?!
+Ordered these darling scallop-edged boots for mini.
+We’re taking the children apple and pumpkin picking soon and they are so unaccustomed to car rides, I always need to pack some surprises for them. I got mini this fall book and micro this apple board book, which my sister recommended in her post on supporting literacy for little ones during coronavirus.
+This soft, traditionally-styled cotton robe looks a lot like my Eberjey robe, which I treasure because I bought it for the hospital after micro was born and I have such warm and fuzzy memories of snuggling with him wearing it.