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It’s no secret that women tend to downplay their success. A tangible example of this comes from LinkedIn, where women list 11% fewer skills than men, even when they have similar work experience.
That’s not to say men are right and women are wrong. Studies show men often land on the exaggerated/bragging end of the spectrum when it comes to touting their skills.
But, an unwillingness to talk honestly about achievements can hurt women. LinkedIn members with five or more skills listed receive up to 17 times more profile views.
Some women fear looking arrogant or worry that their achievements will make those around them feel bad. They say, “Oh, it was nothing,” when they’re praised in a meeting or they don’t share their accomplishments in a job interview.
For others, the problem is internal—they don’t feel worthy of their achievement. They cringe when they’re given compliments because they aren’t comfortable hearing nice things about themselves. Or, they fear they aren’t worthy of their success.
Owning your success, both internally and externally, will help you feel worthy of your achievement and give other people an opportunity to celebrate alongside you.
Mentally strong women know their worth and they refuse to shrink themselves for other people . Here’s how they talk about their achievements without sounding arrogant and how they own remind themselves that they’re worthy of their success:
1. They accept compliments graciously.
Deflecting comments, by saying things like, “I just got lucky,” or “No, you’re amazing!” means you aren’t giving yourself credit. Even though compliments may feel uncomfortable to hear, try responding with a simple, “Thank you.”
It’s OK to celebrate your success and allow others to recognize your achievement. Of course, this only applies to sincere compliments (as opposed to backhanded ones or unwanted comments about your appearance).
2. They avoid the qualifier.
If you start a sentence by saying something like, “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but…” you’ll sound as if you’re about to say something hurtful and you don’t care. Whether you’re telling your friends you got a raise or you want your family to hear about the latest deal you closed, spread your enthusiasm by saying something like, “I’m excited to share…” and you’ll set the tone for how it’s received.
3. They skip the humblebrag.
When you’re uncomfortable sharing your success, you might be tempted to mix a self-deprecating statement with a little self-praise. But making a social media post that says, “Ugh, I’m watching my interview on CNN and it’s so hard to hear the sound of my voice,” will make you sound insincere. Just skip to the good part and trust that people will be able to handle your success.
4. They express gratitude.
Owning your success doesn’t mean taking credit for everything. Express gratitude for the people, experiences, and good fortune you’ve encountered along the way. Saying something like, “I’m so grateful that my parents taught me the value of hard work,” can help you acknowledge the team who has helped you along the way—just make sure the credit you give is deserved.
5. They stick to the facts.
You’ll be sure to get some eye rolls if you say, “I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to my company.” Clearly, that’s your opinion. Stick to the facts by saying something like, “My team doubled their sales this year,” and you won’t sound arrogant.
6. They highlight their effort.
Acting as if college were a joke or that rising through the ranks were simple might make you sound a bit narcissistic. Focus on the effort it took to get there and you’ll earn respect. Say something like, “I’m so pleased to see that all the hard work I put in is starting to pay off.”
7. They remind themselves of their achievements.
Dwelling on your failures and beating yourself up over your mistakes will cause you to feel as though you aren’t good enough. Create a list of 10 things you’re proud of or keep an ongoing journal of your everyday accomplishments. Those reminders will help you feel worthy of your success.
Build Your Mental Muscle
Owning your success is about thinking, feeling, and acting as though you are comfortable in your own skin. So even if it feels uncomfortable at first, keep working at it.
Acknowledging your success to others as well as to yourself can help you begin to see yourself as worthy of your achievement. It can help you build more mental strength. As you grow stronger, the more comfortable you’ll feel owning your success.
January 3, 2019 at 12:49PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs