During a recent Sober Women’s group call, I was reminded of the fact that I often play-down my success. I was telling the story of getting through my first Thanksgiving without any issues staying sober. I explained that, due to Covid, my Thanksgiving wasn’t really a normal celebration. In fact, it was just another day. My sister came over and we decorated for Christmas. So, to say I stayed sober seemed like it wasn’t a big deal. Kate, our wonderful leader, was quick to point out that I was always quick to emphasize the things that make my sobriety “not that big of a deal”, when in all actuality, it is. In fact, some might think the fact I didn’t get to have my normal Thanksgiving along with the stress of Covid, might make the temptation to drink even stronger! It was a quick reminder that I really wasn’t giving myself credit for my accomplishment. In fact, I realized, I have been down-playing my success’s my entire life.
Low Self Esteem – three words that have been a part of my existence for as long as I can remember. I recall many times, people being surprised when I describe myself as having low self esteem because I don’t ‘behave’ the way we would expect someone with no self confidence to behave. But if you really “see me” and know me, you wouldn’t be surprised at all.
When it comes to giving myself credit for things, I never even think about it. Yes, I have been down playing my success in sobriety. Partly because I haven’t been able to share it with a lot of people. It just doesn’t seem like a “big deal”, when ultimately, it is HUGE! I have never been one to “talk myself up”. It is partly due to being a woman. Studies prove that women are far less likely to show the confidence that men show in most situations. I found this when doing some online reading and thought it was very interesting:
“A majority of women (83%) have been inspired by hearing women talk about their successes and accomplishments, but 7 in 10 (69%) women would rather minimize their successes than tell people about them.“
This is a serious problem! Us women will never catch up in society if we are afraid to talk about how successful we are. I am guilty myself. I am successful. I have a great job. I graduated from college and took time later when I was still young to go back to school to get into the career I am in now. But, I wouldn’t even think to share that like it’s a big deal or a sign of success. Obviously, based on the stat above, I am like so many other women out there.
Sobriety has given me a boost of confidence. I have accomplished something that many others have never been able to sustain. Something that many people struggle with on a daily basis. I am learning to live as a sober woman, and I am doing a damn good job at it. Unfortunately, I focus so much on the fact that I had to get sober in the first place, I don’t recognize the success of actually being sober. At some point I need to give myself the pat on the back I deserve – for sobriety, and so many other successes I’ve had. It’s time to stop down-playing the impressive things I have accomplished in my life and put them out there for others to see. Because, if I am not willing to share, how can I expect others women to be willing to?
Thanks for reading ~ Ms. K