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Reverb 10 Challenge: Let Go

December 5, 2010

December 5th Reverb10 prompt is by Alice Bradley

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

This year I let go of a silly mental trick I played on myself regularly to keep myself feeling worthless.  I let go of the “I’m just lucky” mentality and my senseless modesty.

  via J.D. Hillberry

Case and point: I got a job interview about this time a year ago.  I went through the process and am now happily in the new position.  All along the way, I kept telling myself and others that I was lucky.  The job ad could not have been a better fit for me.  I often told people that they could have just written an ad that said “We’re looking for you, Nellie!”  I also happened to have had prior contact with 2 of the people on the search committee because of conference presentations and belonging to the same national association.

I felt lucky that everything was falling into place for me.  I was lucky that I had research ready to present that fit the needs of the job.  I was lucky to have had the experiences this position called for.

Do you see the problem?

I seemed to be refusing to give myself any credit.  So what if luck really was involved in this situation.  Luck is a natural part of life.  Had I not been prepared to meet these lucky opportunities, they wouldn’t have come to fruition.  I knew these search committee people because I went to conferences.  I presented my work.  I put in the effort to go, present, talk to these people.  THAT was not luck.  That’s work.  And so what if luck got me to the door of the interview.  I still had to walk through the doors myself.  I still had to perform and have my shit together to get the job.  Ultimately, I won’t keep this job until I perform to the same standard as others who came before me.  So why wasn’t I giving myself credit?

via I Need Motivation

Modesty… humility… call it what you want.  But my parents had brought me up to be modest and humble about my accomplishments.  I know these are qualities to value and be proud of, but I find that taken to an extreme they can really lead to feelings of worthlessness.  Being modest to the world is one thing.  Being modest to an extreme where you don’t realize your talents and the hard work you’ve put into your successes is not healthy.  Balance seems to be key.  I found that my modesty was leading to feelings of worthlessness and spiraling into feeling like a fraud that would be found out and fired.  These spiraling out of control feelings turned into debilitating fear of failure.  How can you work with such debilitating fear?  I couldn’t do it anymore.  I was tired of myself after all this fear and anxiety.

So this year, I let go of my senseless modesty.  I am NOT just lucky all the time.  I work hard.  I deserve what has come my way.  I am worth the successes I have achieved.  This is me, and I am proud.

What have you let go of this year?


From → Life

  1. What a wonderful post!

  2. It’s a way of taking away your own power. Shooting yourself down and saying that you’re more of a subject of avarice than a person with any talent and ability of your own. I think its a very common thing for people – and probably women in particular – to do to themselves.

    Lovely post. I found you via #reverb10.


  3. Senseless modesty is so perfectly descriptive. I saw it on the #reverb10 hashtag stream and I had to click through. Beyond the clever pairing of words, you’ve said something really important about owning our own talent and perseverance. It’s an old adage, but apt: Luck doesn’t make winners, Winners make their own luck.

  4. Brenda Swann permalink

    hear hear sista! Well written… I think I will try to follow your lead.

    • And you totally should Brenda! You deserve all the praise and success you have had! ALL.OF.IT! Not chance, not luck. You worked for it! Not just anyone could have made it work the way you have. It was YOU!

  5. I think this might be my favorite post on letting go. And congrats on everything that your hard work and excellence has brought your way!

  6. SO TRUE! I often discuss this exact point with my husband! We consider ourselves very lucky too, but “lucky” isn’t quite the right word, because there is a whole lot more to it than that! Good for you for stating it!

  7. We all need to take your advice and own our gifts. I am always thinking it’s all a lucky accident. Great post! sbr

  8. jeanburman permalink

    Bravo! So well written Nellie 🙂

    I am days behind in the Reverb10 challenge and have only just made it to Day 5. But I’m fast tracking the days as fast as I can and hope to catch up sometime before Christmas! LOL

    I was interested to see what others had said on Day 5 and yours was the first post I stumbled upon… [and luck had absolutely nothing to do with it!] So glad I got to read this.


    • jeanburman permalink

      Oops… this hasn’t linked. There wasn’t an option. Though we are both on WordPress so I must check my settings. Thanks again Nellie. My efforts so far are at !

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Reverb 10 Challenge: Lesson Learned « Wired, Witty, & Well-dressed
  2. Blog: 2010 in review « Wired, Witty, & Well-dressed
  3. #WEverb11 Day 3: Learn | Our Wired Lives
  4. Reverb 10 Challenge–Beautifully Different | Our Wired Lives
  5. Reverb 10 Challenge: Wisdom | Our Wired Lives

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