Updated: Aug 10, 2020
I remember noticing it for the first time in middle school. A girl would say a compliment to another girl, then the girl given the compliment would either diffuse or deflect it.
Diffusing the compliment sounded like, "Oh, that? I got it on sale," or, "Oh, I didn't even put any thought into it," "I woke up like this." Or they would deflect the compliment with complimenting the person back instead of acknowledging the compliment given to them. I thought it strange. Why wouldn't they just say thank you? Why was the social norm to compliment back or play small?
At She Gathers event last night lead by Kristen Dalton Wolfe, Kristen talked about false humility. She explained, that is when you play small by taking yourself out of equation to seem modest.
But it's not doing anyone any favors and you're actually living in your shadow and not acting on your purpose.
Kristen gave a personal example. When she started the group, she didn't want to not seem humble, so she would invite others to speak. And then she got the message - that was not the reason she started the group. She HAD to speak, that was what she was supposed to do. And she's a marvelous speaker. She speaks the truth and so clearly and eloquently.
A similar situation happened with me. I used to think it was okay to produce a film if I wasn't in it because I liked producing. That was humility to me. That was false humility for me. But after doing it, it didn't feel satisfying. Actually, I felt like an imposter. It felt as if I gave up on my dream, which acting was a part of. I left myself in the shadow even though being a producer is a well-recognized role. That's when I knew I had to do both. I didn't have to have the lead role, but I had to be in it. That was my calling. My God-given gift was to create and be on screen. He called upon me to be a performer and there was a reason. He didn't want me to play small. He gave me talents of creating so I could use them for good.
And I want you to do the same. I want you to stand up for yourself. To stand in your light. To recognize your gifts and what's inside. Your wants and needs and dreams are valid. Step into that strength and power. I believe in you.
You can always play it humble when you win, succeed, and reach your goals, but till then - go for your dreams unapologetically!
So what is your gift that you have or haven't stepped into? Where in your life are you still playing small? How can you raise your confidence and step into the light?
If you haven't before, watch the video below that has two exercises on raising your confidence and positive thinking (0:51; 2:03). And if you have seen it, skim through it again because it is the Mental Health Awareness month and I talk a little bit about that as well.
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Let me know in the comments on Instagram @ValeriaSweetOfficial where in your life you will stop playing small and if you have any questions!