Tip-toeing around everyone else’s emotions. Worrying that you come across as selfish. Refusing to accept a compliment. Bowing your head when someone recognizes your success. The disease to please is real. And it’s terrible. But that spotlight looks a little too bright for you to stand under, right? Wrong.
There is nothing wrong with humility. It’s a great quality–one you definitely want. However, there is also nothing wrong with admitting to the amazing, powerful person you are. Because that’s a great quality, too.
If you are still covered in the disease to please pox, look no further for your cure. It’s time you stand in your spotlight, completely guilt-free.
Own your ego.
No one wants to be cocky. That’s just insecurity wearing a really annoying mask. But there’s nothing wrong with being full of yourself. After all, what’s the alternative? What, you want to be empty? No thanks.
Stand on your two feet, chin high, proud of all that you are and all that you are becoming. You work hard to create a full life for yourself, one that you can own. Start owning it now. Don’t wait. Because when you are full–full of yourself, your true self–you have something to give away.
You are lucky. You worked hard. You worked so hard to get to where you are today. Yet you didn’t do it alone. Every person, every circumstance, every opportunity helped you get here. You have been weathered by them, perfectly sculpted into the you of today. The difference between cockiness and being full of yourself is gratitude. You can be full of yourself, rocking your spotlight while recognizing that you didn’t get there alone. That you were lucky. Yes, you worked hard. But you are not on a deserted island. Tavi Gevinson, the fashion, media, and now Broadway sensation said it perfectly: “I owe so much of my brain to so many people.”
Know what that spotlight represents.
Whether you are the CEO or the new kid in class, you are shaping history. I know what you are thinking: that sounds dramatic. Not everyone will end up in textbooks, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean that every move you make isn’t making an impact in one way or another.
Every time you reject a compliment with, “Oh gosh, well, I barely did anything” or “Oh this old thing? It’s so out of style,” you are essentially saying, “I’m not worth it.” And that doesn’t make you look humble. It makes you look insecure.
Own your spotlights and just say thank you. Thank you. That says, “Thank you for recognizing my efforts. Thank you for saying I matter to you.”
When you stand in your spotlight, you give others permission to own theirs. See? It all comes back to being full of yourself. Because now, you are able to give something away.
When all else fails, fake it.
The next time that spotlight beam falls on you, you may still be a deer in headlights. It isn’t easy to claim your power. But channel your favorite Hollywood actress and fake it. Stand in Superwoman’s power pose. Say “thank you” when someone gives you a compliment and then take a drink of water before you can add the “but” in there. Make it up. Eventually, it’ll feel authentic.
In those moments where you can’t help but want to run as fast as you can, away from any kind of recognition, think about a woman you admire. Would she do that? Mentally put on her shoes and walk straight towards that spotlight. In fact, run. Because you deserve to be there. Because you are full.