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I am a believer in pursuing one's passion and enabling others to realize their potential. Working with women and girls is my passion.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Modest? Not me

The other day I had an interesting experience with some friends in my circle that has left me with much to reflect on. I had been going through a rough period where for a month it was one bad news after the other until I felt I couldn’t hold up, but had to keep going. In between losing two friends and two relatives; losing some personal items like my mobile phone and my bank card, the world was really looking grey to me. I skipped weekly coffee with my buddies but kept in touch when I could while appreciating their support. Now here I was, when I could say the storm is over, and one of them commented, “Sophie you are strong, you look good considering what you have been through?”

I ignored this knowing it was to pass but my friend Mercy was not to let it go!! Soon the discussion became even more focused and in using mathematical language I literally became the subject of the formula!! They started pushing it down my throat that I am very modest when I am given compliments and my efforts to change the topic seemed to give them even more energy to go on. I wanted to go underground but the corner I was in didn’t give much advantage!!!

By the end of the evening I had a lot to reflect on, am I modest? If you ask me the question right now, I will tell you HELL NO. I know that I have a high self esteem so how can I be modest? No way!! Yet I know there are many times when I feel people are giving me more credit than I deserve. In fact, more often than not I think someone is talking about someone else, that can’t be me!! Sometimes I laugh as I tell someone u can’t use such a big term, which is for people with greater

I remember while in a training session where one of our colleagues had won some prestigious award but was not talking about it, the facilitator had to literally remove the words from her mouth and we got discussing about how many times as women we are too modest about our achievement. I was one of the most vocal in this reminding the sister that she is being too modest about her achievements at any opportunity I got!! Now I got into the shoes, and it pinches!!

As I reflected more about this, I realised that I was more bound to accept positive or even negative feedback if I agreed with this. The challenge for me is to realise others also watch and may think differently. I am now working at accepting compliments graciously. It feels nice, but then that would mean that I stop asking myself “really” and soar as high as I can when I can. That is not easy for me.

Many times we are so used to getting negative feedback and only get to get the positive words said when we can no longer hear them, when we are long gone. I take it upon myself to compliment others but I am cautious when receiving compliment. I believe that the much criticism we receive every day of our lives with rarely getting compliment make us more accepting to negative feedback than positive. Sometimes it makes us not believe in how good we are and hence not see our self worth as high as we should.

I am taking a lesson on accepting positive feedback without modesty, I am trying!!!!

Thanks to my buddies.