Why it's time to retire the #humblebrag


Yesterday a client posed a question to me that I hear from so many women.

How do I know if my inner critic is driving my determination to do things?”

The snarky answer to that question is that if you have to ask, the inner critic is probably in the driver's seat. The inner critic is so powerful. If you haven’t identified the why behind your actions, your inner critic is playing a part in choosing your actions. It has one hand on the wheel.

More seriously, we hear this objection ALL the time when we teach women about their inner critic. It sounds a little something like…

“If I stop listening to that voice then I fear I will lose my motivation to do anything.”

Are you taking action to get something or prove something? Those are tell tale signs that the inner critic is driving a BIG part of your world. It is behind the scenes suggesting that you aren’t worthy quite yet.

You are already worthy. 

And we want to help you cultivate that view of yourself. More often. When you do, you will have new motivation to do the things that matter to you. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, says, or does. We have a few ways to help you see your worth with a little more ease. A little more often.

Kristin Neff's research is helpful to identify when other people are driving our behavior. She differentiates self-esteem and self-compassion. Knowing this distinction can help you decipher when the inner critic is in charge.

Self-esteem refers to the degree to which we evaluate ourselves positively. It represents how much we like or value ourselves, and is often based on comparisons with others. We compare ourselves to others how and evaluate how we stack up. Our wins must come at others’ losses. 

Self-compassion is not based on positive judgments or evaluations. It is a way of relating to ourselves. Seeing ourselves as human has nothing to do with being special and above average. You don’t have to feel better than others to feel good about yourself.

Self-compassion is consistent. Whether you are getting promoted or getting fired, self-compassion is stable. 

Dr. Neff has tools to cultivate self compassion on her website (and her book).

On top of that, we want to introduce you to the wonderful art of bragging. We know. Your life programmed you to believe you should not boast. But it’s time to retire the #humblebrag and we are here to help you. When your bragging is not in comparison to others, it can be pure magic. Your magic needs no humility.

When I first moved to the Bay Area, I was in a role that felt way TOO big for me. Every day was a struggle. To feel less alone, I enrolled a colleague to be my bragging partner. Every week we’d meet to pump ourselves (and each other) up. We’d each find a private place in our respective offices to connect over video conference (yes, this can be remote). Taking turns, we would stand in our fiercest power stance and brag about 5 things working in each of our lives. This practice helped me get clear on what I wanted to push towards. I took the driver's seat.

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Identify things that are right about you, your life, your world. Make sure they are not good just because they look good in comparison to others.

  2. Find a woman who is willing and excited to be your bragging partner. You brag, she listens. She brags, you listen.

  3. On a regular basis (weekly at least), spend 5 minutes bragging to one another.

Do this on days with promotions, days with firing, and any day between. There is always something to brag about.

Shine On,

Alicia & Gina

Alicia Jabbar