Recently I was talking to someone who had accomplished a major victory with a personal hobby. I had the privilege to see the work she put into it and knew the event was something she had been training for a long time. She won the event. When I praised for her dedication and accomplishments, she responded with…”yeah, but…” and began listing reasons it could have been better. She was devaluing the fact that she owned the award she received.
Her response reminded me that I have done this too. I know I lot of people, especially women, who seem to be uncomfortable holding space with their accomplishments. The word for it is, “self-deprecation.” Yes, there’s always room for improvement. Yes, sometimes things seem easier than they should, sometimes they are harder than expected, and there’s always something not “perfect” about the outcome. Always…something…to lessen the pride we should have.
Maybe it is how we were raised, because I remember being told “don’t be too full of yourself.” This in-grained thinking makes it challenging to be truly proud of our accomplishments. I personally have learned to hold the space. When something I’ve done is praised, I know the only thing I need to say is “thank you!” When I hold that space it is powerful!
Prior to this realization in myself, I was always the first to point out how my art could be better. I’d point out the flaws, even though no one else saw them. It always seemed easier to do that, then say “thank you.” The reality is, if we look, we’ll see flaws in everything. It takes courage to try and strength to grow. So be proud of what you do and enjoy the praise! You deserve it.