Brag Baby Brag: Being Too Humble Is Holding You Back…
While you are being humble about your abilities, somebody far less qualified than you is living the life that you want.
Let that sink in. Whilst modesty in certain instances is indeed a most honourable trait, there are many more occasions where a low estimate of your own importance is standing in your way. Here’s why it’s time to drop the humility and start sharing your achievements with the world.
“Bragging” is about the confidence to promote yourself.
I want to start by redefining ‘bragging’. I’m not suggesting you adopt a conceited, or arrogant approach, nor over state or inflate your abilities. What I am recommending is that you are not ashamed or afraid to proudly share those abilities with others. In a world where imposter syndrome reportedly affects around 70 percent of people, you are in far greater danger of playing down rather than boasting about or overestimating your capabilities.
You may worry that being vocal about your skills is egotistical. Yet isn’t there actually far more ego involved in remaining silent. Ask yourself whether you are keeping quiet from sincere modesty, or whether you are being driven by a fear of what others may think, how you will be perceived, or the rejection you may face by speaking up. If it is the latter, then keeping your abilities to yourself and potentially depriving the world of your valuable skills in order to protect your pride is arguably more egotistical.
Are Men Better At Bragging Than Women?
As a transformation coach who helps people to thrive in life, I see women on a daily basis who totally disregard and undervalue their own experience, and there are plenty of studies which support this anecdotal observation.
Research from Yale University found that in a mock interview situation men were far better at answering questions that forced them to self-promote and talk about their achievements. Women on the other hand were more likely to deflect, give away credit and talk about collaborative efforts.
This is a phenomenon backed up by a recent study on the so called self-promotion gap, which claims that despite 83 percent of women saying they have been inspired by hearing about other women’s successes, 7 in 10 still avoid talking about their own strengths and accomplishments. It does seem to be something that disproportionately women suffer from more than men, with research at Lancaster University finding that 7 in 10 men confessed to openly bragging about what they are good at, compared to only 5 in 10 women.
It’s not the bragging, it’s the self belief that lies behind it…
The reality is that you may be missing out on opportunities by hoping that others discover for themselves all you have to offer, rather than letting them know. Sadly it is not always the case that achievements speak for themselves, and being overly modest can be harmful. Yet it’s less about the bragging and more about the self belief behind it.
A growing body of evidence suggests that your confidence matters just as much as your competence when it comes to success. Confidence not only gives you the belief that you will succeed, but it also provides vital fuel to take appropriate action. The difference between those who achieve in life and those who give up often relies upon this inner belief to keep on going despite setbacks along the way.
5 Ways To Big Yourself Up Without Feeling Big Headed:
1. See yourself from the outside
Have you ever noticed that it’s far easy to big up somebody else’s achievements and accomplishments as an outsider. How quickly we can lavish praise on those around us. Try seeing yourself and your abilities objectively as a third person might.
2. Reframe your perspective on bragging
Rather than viewing yourself as some sort of ego-maniac for letting people know about your skills, talents and how you can help them, see what you have to share as being of service to others. Don’t deprive them of what you can offer simply to protect your ego from worrying how you may be perceived.
3. Learn to accept compliments
The next time somebody offers you praise, be mindful of accepting it graciously rather than deflecting or playing it down. The more comfortable you can become with acknowledging and accepting your own accomplishments, the more comfortable you will become with voicing them to others as well.
4. Enlist a brag buddy
If you find the thought of self-promotion utterly impossible then ask somebody close to you to sing your praises on your behalf (a friend, colleague, mentor, client or partner).
5. Accept the discomfort and practice pushing your comfort zone
Being open and honest about your success stories and accomplishments will most likely feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s important to realise that the discomfort that comes with being bolder A) isn’t going to kill you and B) will fade the more you practice it. Simply stick to the facts of the situation.