The Hemp Connection + [self-esteem]

Taking credit for being awesome…

Last night, I came across a post by Kate Harding* on her Shapely Prose blog that made me stop and really think for a bit about my own hard-wired reactions to compliments from people. Once in a while, I see, read, or hear something that makes a lasting impact and changes the way I live my life, moving forward from that point. Reading Kate's blog last night had that kind of impact on the way I accept a compliment from now on.

In the blog post in question, here, Kate points out how rarely we accept a compliment and just say,"Yeah, I'm pretty awesome." or"I worked hard for that!" or"I'm good at it!" or simply,"Thank you! I agree!"

We always find a way to downplay ourselves, saying how someone else is better, or how we could have done better, or how the person giving the compliment is crazy. But we never really take credit for whatever it is that the compliment is given. She makes a really good point about how we are programmed to think that if a woman acknowledges she is good at something, she is self-centered, egotistical, narcissistic, etc. Even if we just told her how great she is at xyz! If she says,"I know! Thanks!" Our gut reaction is commonly to think,"Wow, what a self-absorbed b*tch! Who does she think she is?!" And think about it. How many times have you received a compliment, where you know the person giving it is totally right. You gave a great presentation, you baked a phenomenal batch of oatmeal cookies, you sang an amazing rendition of Black Velvet at karaoke — whatever. And you knew it. Instead you guarded yourself and deflected the compliment so they wouldn't think you were stuck up. Right? Right? I know you did.

We're just used to that. Or maybe it's me. But I have a feeling it's not just me.

The comments from readers are priceless, and really take this from being just another blog post, to a great big celebration of our collective awesomeness. She encouraged her readers to post why they rock, and every time I finished reading a comment, I thought,"HECK YEAH!" I went in there and added a comment myself — and could have kept going!

I encourage every woman reading this blog post to read that blog post. And even if you don't add to the comments, take some time to think about all the things you're great at, all the things you've worked hard to accomplish, all the big and small things you dominate every day, all the things you know you totally own. And then go ahead and from today, going forward, give yourself permission to unapologetically take full credit for it and tell yourself out loud how awesome you are.

* Kate Harding is the co-author of Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body (with Marian Kirby who blogs at The Rotund). She is also a contributor on Salon.com's Broadsheet. Her writing mostly covers size acceptance and feminist issues with other things here and there.