The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 100 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here
I have a big personal problem. It’s hard for me to admit that maybe I am special. That I have an important and different perspective on the world. And you do too.
What’s keeping me from admitting this and weaving it into the truth I have about myself?
Personally, there are several factors (and I bet you can relate to some!).
Firstly, raised in a Cuban house in the United States, I was taught to put my needs last. My mother was one to downplay her strengths and I absorbed that. My mom was able to fix a friend’s heirloom crocheted tablecloth by reverse engineering the granny square pattern. She was able to remake some of the missing squares and mend the other ones that started to unravel. My friend offered to pay her for her time. My mom said she didn’t want payment because what she did was “no big deal” and that anyone could do it. I wish I had a photo because it was a big deal. My mom remade close to twenty very small squares and mended another thirty. I told my friend to write a check for however much she felt my mom’s skill was worth, so both she and my mother were fairly compensated. I had to explain to my mom that not everyone can reverse engineer a pattern like that. This is a bad habit that’s been ingrained in Latina women.
Secondly, no one likes a braggart. However, sometimes it feels like admitting that you are awesome is the same as bragging. It’s not. Am I the very best? No, I am a flawed person but I am a good person. And the things that I am the very best at are things I should be proud of. A braggart only talks about their super awesome skills and puts others down or dismisses other people’s strengths. That’s not me, therefore I’m not a braggart.
Thirdly, it’s hard for me to accept praise. I think this is something that many women are socialized to do. You don’t raise your hand too often in math class, you’re to be sweet and let others have the spotlight. Meanwhile, the boys are pushing each other out of the center. (Pushing men to be the best at all costs isn’t good either.)
What’s a gal to do?
Well, two things. One is that I’m learning how to talk about my work. It’s possible to talk about my work without boasting or phrasing it like a humblebrag. And talking about it doesn’t mean that other people are judging you. Take a step back and ask yourself if you’re really bragging or does it just SEEM that way? Chances are, it just seems that way. So push through that fear and talk.
The second thing I do is remind myself that I am worthy of praise. My voice is unique and that’s what’s wonderful about me. There’s a great prayer that I found that I’ve printed out and have it pinned up:
[...] There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.[...]
I try to stay mindful and let myself shine, as I was meant to. I invite you to shine along with me. My shine won’t dim your shine, together we’ll make the world brighter.