This weekend at “soul school” I learned how to brag about myself. After years of learning that bragging is bad and egotistical and will make other people not like me, it turns out that it’s actually good for both me and everyone around me. How is that possible?
In the past, I held onto the belief that I had to keep myself small for others to love me. If I did well in school, I needed to downplay it or hide it or act like it didn’t matter to me, or else others wouldn’t like me. I remember the day when this belief really set in. I remember a teacher in one of my classes announcing that I got the best grade on a test, and one of my peers glaring at me and saying two words that felt like bullets through my heart: "Kiss. Ass."
At that moment I made an unconscious decision to downplay my talents. If I got good grades, I wouldn’t tell anyone. Then if someone found out and congratulated me, I would secretly be dancing around and celebrating on the inside, but on the outside I’d be like “yeah, whatevs.” If I got a compliment on a new haircut, I’d deflect by saying “yeah but when I do it myself it won’t look like this!” I’d secretly be thrilled and smile to myself as I walked away, but on the outside I wouldn't show it.
What would be so bad about me bringing the party inside my heart out into the open? And maybe inviting some friends over to party with me? Aren’t parties more fun when other people are involved?
The truth is, yes, a party is more fun when others are invited. And, yes, I deserved a big party. The truth is that sharing our talents and accomplishments with others is a great way to inspire them to do the same. Holding our gifts inside and keeping ourselves small doesn't help anyone. It actually sends others a message that they, also, aren't good enough to let themselves shine.
Something we learned in school this weekend was to identify and own positive projections on others. What the heck is a positive projection?! It turns out not only do we project negative traits of ourselves onto others-- for example, “He’s being so selfish!” which really means we’re concerned on some deep level that we’re being selfish-- but we also project positive traits of ourselves onto others.
The Universe (and the human ego) are so sneaky sometimes. Turns out everything we identify in other people, whether negative or positive, is actually just the Universe’s big, huge mirror reflecting those traits back to ourselves.
So who is someone that you idolize or look up to in life? It can be anyone, dead or alive. Oprah? Abe Lincoln? Babe Ruth? Martin Luther King, Jr.? Your mom? Me? (sorry couldn’t help myself—I’m owning it!!) What about them do you admire? Their inspired leadership? Their confidence? Their compassion and intellect? Their drive? Well, guess what, Sugar Plum, you have those EXACT same qualities inside of you—just waiting to be expressed!
Does that mean the other person isn’t an amazing leader or fabulously confident? Nope, don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. They probably are, BUT, more importantly, so are YOU!!!!!
How handy that we have this tool to use anytime we need a little help remembering some of the beautiful qualities that we have inside of us—we just need to step into them and OWN them.
So next time you feel jealous of someone else (“everyone loves her”, “she’s so beautiful”, “he’s so creative,” etc.), you can be sure that you have the ability to step into every one of those qualities. Everyone loves you. You're so beautiful and you're so creative.
You have the choice. You can either put that person on a pedestal-- and tell yourself that you’re not as good as them-- OR you can step up onto the pedestal alongside them and choose to remember that everything you admire about that person, you have and more.
So go out there and see the beauty in everyone around you and then use that as a GPS to finding the beauty within yourself. Once you find it, step up and OWN it. Share it with other people in a loving, authentic way. That’s not bragging in the “I’m better than you" way, but instead sharing your gifts with the world so you can uplift and inspire them to do the same.
Now go on with your bad ass self!! I’ll start: I admire my friend Leigh for her courage and beauty and talent. It turns out I have every one of those qualities in me. I am courageous. I am beautiful. I am talented. I am funny. I am outgoing. I am a sparkling, inspired leader. Do you feel jealous or annoyed when I say these things? I hate to break it to you, but that means you are every single one of those things too. :)
What is one gift you have to offer the world that you've been afraid to step up and own? I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Runways and Pedestals,
Tina Meyers is an Intuitive Coach and Feminine Leadership Facilitator and the founder of Women Advocates Rising and WARRIOR SCHOOL. She is a former attorney, and a seeker of creativity, courage, aliveness, and transformation in her own life and the lives of others.