In case you missed our last post, we talked about how putting yourself down and making self-deprecating remarks might seem innocuous. However, unless you’ve reached the pinnacle of success and feel you need to demonstrate some humility, putting yourself down in an attempt to be humorous can be a bad idea.
Thoughts and words are extremely powerful and can shape how you feel about yourself — as well as shape how others perceive you.
When we feel insecure, we’re afraid others will judge us. Instead of waiting around for others to come to the conclusion that we lack a skill, we jump in and admit it right away.
By offering up “I’m all thumbs when it comes to computers”, you’re robbing others of the opportunity judge for themselves. It may be true, but they may not notice. While I’m not suggesting you should exaggerate your proficiency to try to impress others, just don’t mention your lack of proficiency unless there is a true need.
Even if you feel insecure around certain people or situations, you’re not doing yourself any favors by drawing attention to how you feel. Especially if you’re in a leadership position! Focus on what you’re good at and execute accordingly.
People follow confidence. Any display of a lack of confidence undermines your leadership and causes doubt. Let others assume you are on top of your game, and truly are the successful leader they need you to be. Don’t risk losing their confidence in your leadership by potentially believing your self-aimed “jokes” to be true.
But even more dangerous…
Every time you make a self-deprecating remark, you’re undermining yourself and your efforts to improve and achieve.
As soon as this remark escapes your lips, your attention is diverted from the fact that you’re organized, or good at making others feel comfortable, or a great problem solver – your attention is focused instead on that skill that you lack.
Your thoughts and words have an incredibly powerful impact on how you think about yourself a show you perform. By making negative comments that might not be entirely true, it’s only natural that you’ll begin to believe them. And you are what you believe, so eventually they will be true!
The good news is the same goes for positive thoughts and words. I explain more about how “positive convictions” are crucial for beginning to think and act like a winner in my book, WINology, World Class Performance.
If you don’t treat yourself kindly, how can you expect others to? We have enough negativity surrounding us. The last thing we need is to beat ourselves up.
So the next time a self-depreciating remark pops into your head, keep your lips closed and think about it later to see if there is any truth to it — this could be a trait you can improve on. By keeping quiet while maintaining self-awareness, you’ll be doing everyone a favor. Yourself included. Be the world-class winning leader people want to follow!
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” – Benjamin Franklin
Have you been guilty of making too many self-deprecating remarks? Let us know in the comments section below!