How do you feel when others talk about themselves in a positive way? Does it seem like they should be more humble? Are you guilty of using the word “brag” for people who are easily able to name their achievements and positive traits?
Society and many cultures teach us that we are supposed to be humble. We aren’t supposed to boast about the ways in which we are great. If we do, then we get called lots of names. You know the names I’m referring to; narcissistic, self-absorbed, full of yourself, egotistical, etcetera.
What if society and culture got it wrong? Have you ever stopped to think about maybe, just maybe we should easily be able to proudly tell others that we are amazing? If not, then what are the reasons we shouldn’t do that? I’d really like to know those reasons.
Just like many things that society and culture have taught us; I am going to challenge the “be humble” garbage that has been thrown on us. My belief is that we should actually do the opposite and be able to name how wonderful we are to the whole world.
I Am Amazing
Now before I start naming the ways in which I am amazing, I want you to commit to being honest about how you are feeling before you read anymore. Acknowledge the thoughts and feelings that come up as I name things that I do exceptionally well. I will remind you to do that throughout this post and hopefully you will.
First off, I am an incredible mother to my precious three-year old “baby” boy. He gets all the attention and love he could possibly need that many children lack. I allow him to feel whatever he is feeling whenever his feeling it.
There was a time at the Dollar Tree when he was upset that he couldn’t have to sunglasses that he wanted. He had a meltdown while we were in line. Most parents would have that look of shame as they apologize to others with their looks or words. Many even threaten their children to behave when that happens in public.
Now, there are times that I do not handle his meltdowns the healthiest way, but I can say that is rare. That day in the Dollar Tree, I saw what was happening and I pulled my cart out of the checkout line.
I sat on the floor with him as he was crying and yelling about wanting the sunglasses. I identified his feelings of sadness and frustration. He confirmed that’s what he was feeling, and we talked about it.
Letting him know that I was right there with him, acknowledging his feelings, and allowing him to express his feelings in a healthy way resulted in him accepting that he was not getting the sunglasses. What do you think other shoppers were thinking as I was sitting in the floor talking to him so calmly while he was losing his mind for a few minutes?
Society and Culture Are Good At Shaming
The voices of society and culture were showing in their glares as I’m sure many of them thought I should “straighten him out,” or spank him for throwing the sunglasses and having a meltdown. Instead, I gave him time and space to feel his feelings until he was able to go get the sunglasses and put them up.
Also, I have taught him that when he gets really upset like that and doesn’t handle it in the best way, he can tell me what he needs and apologize for things such as throwing sunglasses. How many adults can do that? I know I didn’t grow up with adults doing that when I was a child.
That is just one of the many examples I have that tells me I am a wonderful mother. There are numerous others. It’s time for a check in now. What are you feeling as I talk so wonderfully about my parenting skills?
Be honest. Are you feeling like I am bragging? Does it seem like I think I am better than other mothers? If you are not having any thoughts like that, keep reading. I am starting out lightly. Your triggers may be coming.
I Am An Amazing Psychotherapist
Most of you reading this know that I am a psychotherapist. With great ease, I can tell you that I believe I am an incredible therapist who is insanely powerful in guiding others on their healing journeys. The ways in which I am able to help others are unique and life changing for many of my clients. There is no doubt in my mind as to how wonderful I am as a psychotherapist.
Triggered yet? If not, keep reading. I will go so far as to say that I believe I am one of the best therapists in the world. Wait, did she just say that? Yes, I did! I truly believe it too. Not only that, but I am comfortable telling anybody in the world that I believe that.
Obviously, I am also a writer because you are reading what I am writing. For many years, I wanted to be a writer. However, I let society and my mother tell me that I would not succeed. My Not Good Enough Stuff kept me from attempting it. If you don’t know what Not Good Enough Stuff is, click here.
I remember telling my mom that I wanted to write a book one day about my life and things I had been through. Her response is one that I will never forget. She said, “Why would anybody want to read about you?”
For many years, that response echoed in my mind. It kept me from pursuing this dream. Now, I am not trying to shame or blame my mother. After many years of working to heal the pain of the relationship with my mother, I can understand why she said that.
It’s not because she didn’t believe I was good at writing. Instead, she was subconsciously protecting herself because she knew that I might write about things from my childhood that she worked hard to cover up. My writing isn’t about exposing her or the things she didn’t do well.
Instead, my writing is about naming my truth, talking about the ways I have healed, and helping others who have similar struggles. So, my being a writer is also something of which I can confidently say I am very gifted.
My Writing Is A Gift To Others
I know that my writing has helped numerous people across the world. My style is unique, raw, and unfiltered for the most part. The world needs me to continue writing as I am a small part of the healing that can take place for it.
Did I just say that the world needs me? Did I just imply that I am that important? Yes, to both of those questions. Also, I know them both to be true.
Are you thinking that I am cocky, conceited, or full of myself? I am not any of those. What I am, is confident in my abilities and accomplishments.
The purpose of this blog post is not for me to tell you how wonderful I am. It is to show you how society and culture has taught us that we should not be able to talk so wonderfully about ourselves or be confident in the things we know we do well.
As with many things that society and culture teaches us, I vehemently disagree. I’m not fond of putting “shoulds” on anyone, but I’m going to do it here. We SHOULD be able to name our great abilities and tell the world about them!
We Deserve Praise Beyond Childhood
Think about how we interact with children when they do something well. We praise them. We teach them to be proud of things they do. This is another area as a mother that I have gotten quite right.
My baby will build a house, color a picture, or whatever else he does as a three-year old. He beams with pride and tells me, “I did a good job.” Not only that, but when I do things, he also says, “Mommy, you did a good job.”
It’s common, needed, and healthy for us to build children up for the things they accomplish. So, why does that change when we become adults? It shouldn’t, but it does.
There’s not really a magic age in which we stop building others up for their accomplishments. I tend to see it happening somewhere between the ages of eighteen to twenty-five.
I suppose that’s because they are becoming adults and they are just expected to accomplish things and to accomplish them well. It seems we just stop praising them for things like we did when they were children.
The praise seems to only happen when they do something big. This teaches them that they will not be praised or have value unless it’s something really big. That results in blows to their piles of Not Good Enough Stuff that were created in childhood.
Praise is Rare in Adulthood
These young adults begin thinking they aren’t good enough unless they do what others view as big or important. They also begin learning that if others aren’t encouraging them and showing pride in them, then maybe they shouldn’t do that for themselves either.
That is how we arrive at a world full of adults who struggle to believe they are important and valuable. That means that they are also not able to voice their strengths. If they do, more than likely, the world will call them all the negative names I mentioned earlier.
I have seen this with my niece. She had a really tough childhood and graduated a year early to escape it. At her graduation and when she was at community college, she was praised. When she decided not to continue school, she was demeaned and shamed.
What that did to her sweet, beautiful soul broke my heart. Her being successful in the eyes of society and her other family members was tied to her doing what they believed she should be doing.
The way I viewed it and voiced to her was that I was amazed and proud that she was living on her own and making the decisions she felt were best for her at that time. It is pretty incredible for a seventeen-year-old to navigate her life without hardly any help from others.
Fast forward a few years and she is still living independently. She is struggling financially and emotionally, but she is still taking care of herself. Not only that, but she knows to reach out to me when she needs help our guidance. That’s something I didn’t learn until my late twenties and that many never learn.
She still deserves to be praised and to believe in herself. Just like my precious niece, you deserve that too. You may not get it from others, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t give it to yourself.
In order to do that, you are going to have to tell the voices of society and culture to sit down and shut up. When those voices are telling you that you are bragging or that you should be humble, they are lying to you!
Name the Ways You Are Amazing
There is no reason that you should not be able to name the things that make you amazing. Also, you should be able to share with others that you are confident in those things. If they respond negatively to your doing that, it says nothing about you.
What it probably says is that you triggered them. They probably struggle with confidence themselves. Don’t let that stop you from being proud of yourself. It might even motivate them to be able to see their own strengths and begin to voice them as well.
Think about how beautiful our world would be if we were all able to have pride in ourselves and praise others. The things that we could all accomplish if we supported ourselves and others in healthy ways are endless and amazing.
Now, it’s time for you to sit and think about all the ways that you are amazing and all of the great accomplishments you have had throughout your life. I want to know about them. Share them with the Not Good Enough Stuff Community by posting them in the comments below.
Let the praise of yourself here be a test as to how it feels to publicly name how wonderful you are and the incredible things you have done in your life. You know you will get nothing but positive feedback here. Please accept my invitation to do that. It will be healing for you to do it. Don’t we all need all the healing we can get?
If you want to learn more about how I got to a place of being able to have pride in and acknowledge all of the amazing things about myself, click here to read about my journey.
This site is only intended for people who are truly willing to look at themselves with an open mind and have the ability to truly be vulnerable with themselves and others. Please understand that this site is in NO WAY THERAPEUTIC ADVICE. However, this site can be very beneficial in learning the causes of your Not Good Enough Stuff. This site is not intended to provide or replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Mary Beth HIGHLY RECOMMENDS finding a licensed therapist to help you process the information from this site and all that you learn about yourself. Visit Psychology Today to find a licensed therapist in your area.