Self Acknowledgment versus Bragging: How Do You Tell the Difference?


shutterstock_33825031Most people don’t acknowledge themselves enough. Maybe it’s a fear of being a braggart. Many people are confused about what motivates humility and arrogance. It’s an important distinction to make.

Humility come from realizing you are an infallible human, but it also comes from knowing what is true about you. Bragging and arrogance are usually the symptoms of low self esteem. An arrogant person is over-compensating for shortcomings they are trying to hide.  But, a person with true humility is simply authentic about themselves and others, and will acknowledge themselves where appropriate. It’s really about being congruent. False humility is in the same category as arrogance, it comes from a place of inauthenticity.

If you want to truly be your best self, then recognize yourself for all the good things that you’ve done can change your self image for the better.  Here are five steps to accomplish that. Do this activity once a week for 4 weeks, and then it will likely become a default habit after that:

Step 1: List down your accomplishments—big, small, and anything in between.

What have you done that you are personally proud of? In the left column, create a huge list of what these are and on the column to the right, talk about how you felt (e.g. proud, happy, relieved, ok, good, etc.)

Step 2: Notice where in your life you have been hiding, when it was better to come forth

Where in your life have you been hiding behind a mask? Set up 2 vertical columns and on the left, see if you can write down 3 times you were hiding, falsely humble, avoiding being seen. Choose situations where coming forth with your wisdom, insights, truth, experience, opinions or expertise would have been best for all concerned.  Next to each situation, write down how it felt. Be brutally honest. What made you choose to stand back? Typical reasons people have are fear of confrontation, fear of looking like a know-it-all or a braggart, fear of being wrong, under-estimating the wisdom and power you really have, etc.

Step 3: Celebrate yourself once a week

Each week decide to celebrate all that you wrote about in #1. Go to a movie, a walk in nature, a dinner out at a special restaurant, an afternoon off reading your novel, a spa afternoon, buying yourself a little gift. It will psychologically help you integrate your learning and anchor your self image in a better way.

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