From a young age, we’re taught that it’s impolite to brag–especially if you’re a young woman. It’s engrained that you shouldn’t boast of your accomplishments because it’s rude [insert eye roll]. Y’all, toss those outdated lessons out the window! It’s not only OK to own what you’re good at, but it is IMPORTANT to own what you’re good at!
Listen, we all have things we excel at. That’s what makes us unique. Yes, there are things that you’re good at that someone else will not be good at. That’s life. You can’t be good at everything. And we should never have to downplay or disguise what we’re good at just to make someone else feel better about themselves. Now, that’s not to say that you should make someone else feel bad that they’re not as good at something as you are. You should never intentionally make someone feel bad, duh. I am bad at math, but I don’t knock someone down who states that won a big math award because HOW SILLY IS THAT?!
All my life, I’ve been an overachiever. There’s been few things I’ve not excelled at when I’ve put my mind to accomplishing something. And until the last few years, I’ve felt bad when I’ve said that I’m good at something. How crazy is that??! It is important to be able to speak our accomplishments with confidence and not shame. And if it sparks a desire in someone else to do better themselves, then that’s great!
It’s not enough to just know what you’re good at. It’s important to OWN what you’re good at. Owning what you’re good at is not bragging–it’s an acknowledgement of an accomplishment that you’ve worked hard towards. You should not only acknowledge that you’re good at it to yourself, but you should acknowledge it to other people as well. You should feel confident in looking someone in the eye and stating, “I am good at . . .” or “. . .is really my forte.” And when you can’t or you won’t, you’re contributing to the issue yourself. Because when other people hear those words coming out of your mouth, it will empower them to speak those words for themselves. In addition to being a good attorney in the areas I practice in, I’m also a skilled negotiator and have an innate knack for marketing.
After all, we should be our own biggest cheerleaders. No one looks out for your own best interest better than YOU. It can be so awkward when you’re talking to someone and you say what you’re good at, but you have to not only get over the awkwardness, you have to get good at saying what you’re good at. For example, when I meet someone and my blog comes up, I may say something like, “I do a fashion, lifestyle, and beauty blog called Bright on a Budget. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years, but it took me 2 years to make any money from it. Now, it’s turned into its own full-time side hustle and I made 5 figures off my blog last year.” (People hate to talk about money too, but that’s a conversation for another day.)
So often, women have to fight to legitimize their careers and accomplishments. By supporting open dialogue, having honest conversations, and not shaming others for acknowledging what they’re good at, we’re making strides in the right direction. Own what you’re good at, and leave the shaming behind.
Photography by Jenfolio–Lexington, KY wedding and portrait photographer.