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You have a great day laughing and playing with your kids at the beach and after seeing yourself in the mirror you beat yourself up for how you look in a bathing suit.
You get up early, workout, make a healthy breakfast and even set an intention for the day but don’t allow enough time for traffic and end up late to work. Later as you share your day with a friend you only talk about how you were late to work. No mention of all you accomplished that morning.
You have a great time with your girlfriends, but you end up drinking too much. As you share with your husband about the weekend, all you mention is how stupid you were for drinking too much.
You find a great new job and are so happy you left your old one and all you can keep telling yourself was what an idiot you were for not leaving sooner.
Notice in each of these examples something great has happened, an opportunity at work, putting your health and yourself first, enjoying time with girlfriends, and getting a new job. These are all activities that make your shine.
And then notice in the retelling of these amazing events, you immediately play them down, focus on the negative, or regret they took so long. In essence, you intentionally dim the light.
It is an epidemic in my office the number of women who diminish, disregard and flat out disrespect their wins. Rather than celebrating our successes we are either immediately on to the next thing or we are bullying ourselves for how it could have gone better.
We are our worst critics.
So what can we do about it?
2. Ask yourself what are you gaining by diminishing?
Here are some myths that keep us stuck in this behavior.
MYTH: Don’t Shine too brightly. ‘Good Girls’ stay humble and small.
TRUTH: You diminishing your light, playing small or staying humble doesn’t shine the light on someone else more brightly, it just keeps you small.
MYTH: If we celebrate a win, we will somehow stop striving. We need to keep driving ourselves, and if there is something to be accomplished, there is no room for celebration.
TRUTH: That hard driving inner bully, doesn’t make us accomplish more…she just makes us miserable while we do it. Softening her voice won’t make us less driven but it will make us happier.
MYTH: We believe that we have to be perfect to celebrate. That a victory unless spotless, is not a victory.
TRUTH: There is no such thing as PERFECT. No matter how hard we strive, we have swallowed this myth completely and all it is doing it making us miserable.
Maybe it is a combo of all 3 or something different?
2. Surround yourself with celebrators.
Encourage your friends and family to celebrate with you and call you out when you aren’t celebrating.
3. Notice how often you diminish or disregard a win and force yourself to celebrate no matter how small
Throw a dance party for one in your office, enjoy a cupcake or tell a friend about your victory.
4. Remove the word BUT from your vocabulary. Instead, use AND.
The word BUT makes everything said before it unimportant.
I had fun on the beach BUT my butt looks big.
So while I might have had fun at the beach, what is paramount is I know my butt looked big.
I had fun on the beach, AND I wish I looked different in my bathing suit.
Both are true. And when I say it like this I naturally tone down the “my butt looks big” comment because I realize that my butt and playing with my kids are two compeltely different priorities.
This simple change was a game changer for me…once I started subbing AND for BUT it gave me more room to celebrate and see the possibilities in life.
I would love to hear from you…Can you relate? What do you gain by diminishing? How has it shown up in your life?