how often do you say this?

By April 16, 2014 15 Comments

Last week a friend of mine gave a major presentation at work—a big deal, once-a-year kind of thing.

“I rocked it,” she said to me on the phone the next day. “I really rocked it.”

A grin spread on my face. So glad for her. Then I noticed, I felt super happy—like her saying this was changing my whole mood and how I felt about the day ahead.

I realized I was happy, yes, because she rocked it, but more so because she knew she rocked it and she said it, without apology or diminishment.

Even though women friends are incredibly bright and accomplished, I don’t have too many conversations with them where they say “I rocked it” and then leave it at that.

Of course, as girls we are socialized to never come across as arrogant, to be careful not to hurt others’ feelings or make them jealous by shining too bright. If our parents weren’t the ones sending that message, later we found out from movies or tv shows or the boys at school or the mean girls that if you are perceived as arrogant, as a girl? That’s will get you into big social trouble. Big.

I know a lot of women who still live with those beliefs. They don’t share about their accomplishments, maybe because they internalized early childhood messages about the danger of coming across as arrogant, but also because when adult women proudly speak about their accomplishments, we too pay some costs in how we are perceived. So we all learn to tamper down how we talk about ourselves.

But these influences cause too many of us to never declare, with joy and satisfaction, “I rocked it.”

The worst part is this: language helps us define our experience and know it. If saying out loud, “I really did a great job” is off limits, eventually, feeling like you did a great job becomes off limits too.

It is probably true that not every person in your life will respond with only support when you announce your triumphs. But there are people in your life who will. Those are the people to call when you are ready to simply declare your success.

I challenge you: see it when you’ve rocked it, and to say it to another woman in your life. 

You will give a gift to the woman you say it to, opening up the possibility for her to own her accomplishments more fully, too.



Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • Ana says:

    When I was growing up, I heard many times that I had “leader’s attitude”, as in “that’s not a good thing”.

    I’m glad I took your Playing Big program to be able to recognize how negatively this had impacted me and to be able to shift my perceptions.

  • Becky says:

    Here’s to you “rocking it” as a keynote speaker at the Invent Your Future Conference. Can you post your address for those of us who can’t attend? My mother constantly told me as I reached each level of success, even for the most trifle advancement academically and professionally, “Don’t get the big head or no one will like you.” May she rest in peace. My daughter is now in college, and I would never say those words to her. We tell each other constantly, “Go for it!” Tara, “Rock It!”

  • Tara, I rocked it! I wrote the best memoir I could and had the courage to put it out there. And if I hadn’t met you in Taos and taken your Playing Big course, I don’t know if I would be saying this now. By the way, I’m reviewing it again now that I’ve reached a different stage and need different tools.

    Thanks for being the leader and the woman you are!

  • Pam says:

    Tara, will it be recorded so that those of us who are not able to attend will have a link to view/listen to your message? I’m sure it will be a super message we all need to hear and having more senses than just text will help make it settle in and help some of us make change.

  • Corina Walsh says:

    Tara, another beautiful post. I am blessed to have a Mother that posts every single one of my accomplishments on Facebook. Sometimes I find myself asking her not to post stuff because I don’t want it to look like I am bragging. I will remember your words the next time I do this.
    Last week I did my 10th speech at my Toastmasters club on finding the courage to quit my job and forge my own path and I quoted your poem “A letter from your calling” in my speech. I got a standing ovation and yes, I rocked it! Thank you!

  • Laurel Taylor says:

    Tara, I have been following your blog for the last few months, and because of you I signed up for the conference next week in Santa Clara. Really looking forward to it. You have a unique way of saying bold, true things in an elegant and graceful manner!

  • June Miner says:

    I am not in the age group you are reaching out to, but I have a comment.
    I am 70. My husband passed away last October at 91. He was my encourager. I was his caretaker the last year. We always gave each other 100 percent. I now volunteer in my local elementary school, and I am rockin’ grief.
    Peace, June

  • Maria says:

    Tara, you are great! love your work and wisdom.

  • Gail Harris says:

    Hi Tara, With your friend’s declaration, the voice that said, “I rocked it” was the voice of her heart. And all those other voices inside of us that say, “don’t promote yourself,” or whatever are all those voices in our head that tend to keep us small and shrunken. We must trust the voice of our heart, whether it is saying, “I rocked it, or “I need to rest,” or, “I need to love myself more.” It isn’t always easy but it is worth all the effort, and more.

  • Maya says:

    Tara, this post came in such a perfect moment for me, and I wanted to tell you that for me you are that hero – the gifts your brought back from your journey were an incredible service to me and the people I love. I took your Playing Big course twice and listened to the recordings at least 5 times. There is almost no day passes by (literally), that I don’t remember something from your wisdom and it helps me make a tiny little step towards my calling in situations where I would rather shut my eyes and go under the quilt or run really fast in the opposite direction.
    Thank you, hero.

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