Own Your Awesome: Making Less of Yourself Makes Less for All Women

There’s nothing worse than the humblebrag, right? (I’m not able to come up with a witty example just now, but you can find lots of cringe-worthy ones here, here, and here.)

It turns out there is: Actually putting yourself down while trying to be self-deprecating because you were genuinely feeling awkward about something good happening to you or something great you did.

When you humblebrag, everyone knows it and they just roll their eyes and move on. But when you have an awesome opportunity or you achieved something great, you should decide to either share it proudly or don’t, if you can’t do it without putting yourself down. Otherwise you risk hurting yourself — or others.

In the words of my friend Madeline, please just “own your awesomeness.”

So this happened to me in February, and she called me out on it. I was chastened then and I’m still thinking about it now, two months later.

I was in a fashion show. I was in it because the fashion show was an awareness event for women’s risk of heart disease. It was also a design competition for local student designers, and most of the show featured real, actual models. Then we three heart disease survivors closed the show — fashion, with a sucker-punch of emotion to get your attention.

It was really a great experience — I like fashion, and thanks to watching 10 seasons of Project Runway I have some appreciation for it as an art form. I don’t mind being the center of attention. I love pretty dresses, high heels, and makeup. I care a lot about women’s awareness of their heart disease risks. An actual real live fashion designer made a super cool dress for me that flattered like it was . . . made for me. Some friends and lots of complete strangers watched me walk the runway. I’m a natural at standing hands-on-waist with a little sass. Professional photographers took my picture. I met two women who survived heart diseases way worse than mine. I was inspired and I was humbled.

I looked amazing. I felt that way too.

So why the need to make it less awesome? True, self-deprecation is a highly effective form of trust-building, essential for any public figure, leader, manager, or someone who wants to affect change. It can be really funny. And it’s actually a pretty integral part of my writing style.

But when does it cross the line? According to my friend, exactly like this:

My Facebook post:

“Heading to a designers studio for a fitting for the Go Red red dress fashion show. Here goes my first (and I’m sure, only) modeling gig!”

Her private message to me:

I’ve noticed that you often insert these kinds of self-deprecating remarks into your posts. I know it’s because you’re a humble person. However, it bothers me because I see it as you minimizing yourself. This is something that almost all women do because we are trained to do it by society.

You are someone I always admired as a leader and a feminist. I want you to own your awesomeness. And if you’re feeling scared or nervous or insecure, that’s okay to own too. Just PLEASE stop talking yourself down.

This is really so embarrassing; cringe-worthy, even. Profoundly more so than owning the awesome that was being chosen for this fashion show — chosen because I had a heart attack and then decided to combine the shock value of my story with my skills in writing, speaking, and communications to start publicly warning other women to pay attention to their health, because doing so felt strong and even professional.

I did that — I started a blog and I pitched articles to other publications and I spoke to audiences and auditioned to be the Go Red (American Heart Association) spokeswoman and was selected for that too. And because I did those things I was asked to be in this fashion show.

I did all that. And it was awesome.

Before I go, let me take a moment to express my gratitude to Madeline for pointing this out, mincing no words — nor wasting one — and making me see what making less of myself can do, to me and to others. Every woman needs a friend like this.

Jen Thorson is a marketing and communications professional, writer, blogger, and heart health advocate from St. Paul, Minnesota. This post originally appeared on her blog, Borealis.

59 COMMENTS

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is
    added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way
    you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  2. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  3. I believe this is one of the so much significant information for me. And i’m satisfied reading your article. However wanna remark on few common issues, The web site style is great, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Just right task, cheers

  4. Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!

  5. Thanks alot : ) for your post. I’d like to say that the cost of car insurance varies from one scheme to another, for the reason that there are so many different facets which contribute to the overall cost. For example, the brand name of the automobile will have an enormous bearing on the charge. A reliable outdated family car will have a less expensive premium over a flashy expensive car.

  6. One more important aspect is that if you are an older person, travel insurance intended for pensioners is something you must really consider. The mature you are, a lot more at risk you happen to be for making something bad happen to you while overseas. If you are definitely not covered by quite a few comprehensive insurance policy, you could have several serious troubles. Thanks for revealing your ideas on this blog site.

  7. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  8. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  9. It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  11. Just wish to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your post is just cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  12. Hmmm, yup no hesitation Google is most excellent in support of blogging except now word press is also good as a blogging because its Search engine optimization is fastidious defined already.

  13. I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are really good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend. :)

  14. I got this web site from my buddy who informed me about this site and now this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative articles at this time.

  15. fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  16. Thanks for your publication. One other thing is the fact that individual states in the United states of america have their own personal laws that will affect people, which makes it quite hard for the Congress to come up with a brand new set of recommendations concerning foreclosures on homeowners. The problem is that every state features own regulations which may have interaction in an unwanted manner on the subject of foreclosure procedures.

  17. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks a lot

  18. Hi there everyone, I be familiar with YouTube video consists of less bytes of memory due to that its quality is awful, but this YouTube video has wonderful picture quality.

  19. I am glad for writing to let you understand what a outstanding experience my cousin’s daughter enjoyed browsing your site. She realized a wide variety of pieces, which included how it is like to have an excellent helping character to let other folks very easily master a number of tortuous subject matter. You truly did more than her expectations. Thank you for producing such useful, healthy, educational and also cool tips on your topic to Lizeth.

  20. Wonderful work! That is the type of information that are supposed to be shared across the internet. Shame on the seek engines for not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

  21. Thanks a lot for the helpful content. It is also my opinion that mesothelioma cancer has an extremely long latency interval, which means that indication of the disease might not exactly emerge until finally 30 to 50 years after the primary exposure to asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma, which can be the most common kind and impacts the area within the lungs, will cause shortness of breath, breasts pains, including a persistent cough, which may produce coughing up blood.

  22. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable information to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  23. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my cousin were just preparing to do some research about this. We grabbed a book from our local library but I think I learned better from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent info being shared freely out there..

  24. Thanks for revealing your ideas with this blog. In addition, a fable regarding the financial institutions intentions if talking about property foreclosures is that the financial institution will not getreceive my payments. There is a fair bit of time which the bank will need payments occasionally. If you are far too deep inside the hole, they’re going to commonly desire that you pay the payment completely. However, that doesn’t mean that they will have any sort of installments at all. If you and the lender can seem to work anything out, the particular foreclosure practice may end. However, if you ever continue to neglect payments under the new program, the foreclosures process can pick up where it left off.

  25. One thing I have actually noticed is the fact there are plenty of misconceptions regarding the finance institutions intentions whenever talking about property foreclosure. One misconception in particular is that often the bank prefers to have your house. The bank wants your hard earned cash, not the home. They want the money they lent you together with interest. Staying away from the bank will draw some sort of foreclosed conclusion. Thanks for your publication.

  26. Howdy this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.