Within my circle, it has been discussed how men are intimidated by a strong woman who has herself together and sing Beyonce’ songs like “Who Run the World”. As the conversation looms on, I hear women with brains and beauty saying they will downplay their higher education and/or accomplishments (i.e. Master’s degrees, PhDs, CEOs, lead engineers, etc.) I myself can say I am guilty of this awful disease; I will call Downplay-itis (an inflamed down play of yourself). I have accomplished great things along life’s journey, but feel I must downplay myself so as to not be intimidating.
Here are the Top Side Effects and Cures for Downplay-itis AKA Downplaying Yourself:
- Side Effect: You are not offering your true self. You are constantly acting, rehearsing your lines and hoping to get it right. Cure: On a first date, maybe even a second date, don’t go into a whole resume submittal detailing all of your degrees and/or accomplishments. Though some dates are similar to an interview..the whole getting to know you thing, THIS IS NOT AN INTERVIEW! Yes. You are the bomb.com. But NO. Do not give it all away on the first date –intellectually or physically. While I am in no way saying be ashamed of all you’ve done, I am saying hit the highlights then allow your date to interject. If asked for further details, by all means expound and share. Allow it to all happen organically.
- Side Effect: Downplay-itis, while dating, will potentially carry over into your professional life as well. After an interview, how many times have you wished you would have mentioned all those great attributes you possess and accomplishments you have achieved? Well my friend, THIS IS THE TIME! Cure: Write out every magnificently awesome thing about yourself as well as the things you want to improve and/or achieve. Figure out which to offer up on a date and which are best for landing that job! Too much work? Well look at some of your past failed dates and past interviews then get back to me and tell me how it could have been better. Put in the time to knowing yourself better. This may be the very thing you need to lead you to your greatest opportunities to grow in various areas of your life. This is a great lead in for the third side effect.
- Side Effect: You stunt your own personal growth and you merely exist. For a butterfly to become the beautiful creature that is meant, it must go through stages (known as metamorphosis). Though there may be more for you to achieve, it may be hard to see the path to get there if you are downplaying the path you have already travelled for the sake of being “the right woman” for a gent. How can you go through the needed growth stages to become the woman you desire if you do not own the woman you presently are? Cure: Acknowledge and Accept that you are a woman of many accomplishments –some big, some not as big. Nevertheless, they are YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! For me, I worked two jobs and paid for grad school out of my own pockets. So when and if the topic comes up…uhhh yeah!..I’m gonna enthusiastically tell you about that experience, but will always remain humble (Also see the first side effect).
- Side Effect: You miss out on your gifts. Don’t mistake the companionship of a significant other as the main gift. Downplay-itis will cause you to miss out on the gift of being inspiring to yourself and most importantly –inspiring to others! There is someone needing to hear and know what and how you have achieved all that you have thus far. However, when one suffers from Downplay-itis, this person’s achievements will either be viewed as trivial and/or not worth obtaining. In turn, an additional side effect will ensue, where an onlooker may become deterred from his/her own path of greatness. Cure: Be true to who you are. You never know whose watching and taking notes.
Let’s enter this “Love Month” (aka February) with the mantra “The gent in my presence will choose to either be proud or intimidated. It is not for me to choose his degree of comfort within himself so as to accept the comfort I have with myself.”
Your Restyled Mom…who is applying The Cure