How do you react if someone tells you you are brave, or strong?
Over the last few weeks I have had cause to say something along the lines of “you’re so strong” or “you’re so brave” to quite a few women. Perk of the job is telling people when they are fabulous – love it.
The answer, if there is one, (because often my comment just gets ignored or giggled at) is usually along the lines of “I don’t feel brave / strong / both.”
But not FEELING brave or strong doesn’t mean you AREN’T brave or strong. And it is normal, when you’re a bit low or when you are suffering from the self-esteem stuff I so often talk about, that you genuinely don’t see yourself as brave or strong.
I am not trying to preach at you here – I have done this myself over the last few weeks – people have called me brave, or strong and I have denied it. But I decided it is time to own it. Yes, dammit, I am brave and strong.
Why do we do this?
Maybe we are comparing ourselves to someone we consider to be ACTUALLY brave or strong 😉 I mean, you know, because someone ALWAYS has something worse to deal with, right? But that’s not a very kind-to-self attitude.
Maybe we are mixing up fear with bravery or strength. Fear doesn’t cancel out either, trust me. We are all the stronger or all the braver for being frightened and carrying on anyway.
Maybe the fact we sometimes sob our socks off makes us think we don’t deserve to be labelled with brave, or strong. Excuse my language but sod that. We deserve it even more.
Us women tend to not give ourselves credit for being brave and strong. But maybe we could all give ourselves a bit of credit for being brave or strong, even, or especially, when we really don’t feel we are.
For when we go to work even though it makes us cry.
For when we want to give up on a project or business, but we keep going and see it through.
For when we write an article or blog post that we think twice or three times about posting and our stomach leaps as we click Publish.
For when we compare ourselves to someone else and feel, somehow, less than.
When we share with a friend, or a FB group, or an online forum, that we are feeling like shit and need a hug.
For when we deal with depression, or anxiety, or myriad other illnesses that affect our wellbeing, day in, day out.
For when we are tired. So tired it hurts, but we just find the time to do one more thing before calling it a day.
We are a lot stronger and braver than we give ourselves credit for.
This is for us xx
See also my post on how to accept a compliment.
A version of this was posted in my Facebook group, The Mindset Hub, a place where we give honest, not empty, support and encouragement to each other as we work on mindset shifts.