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Modest?? Not me

Modest? Not me

The other day I had an interesting experience with some friends in my circle that has left me with much to reflect on. I had been going through a rough period where for a month it was one bad news after the other until I felt I couldn’t hold up, but had to keep going. In between losing two friends and two relatives; losing some personal items like my mobile phone and my bank card, the world was really looking grey to me. I skipped weekly coffee with my buddies but kept in touch when I could while appreciating their support. Now here I was, when I could say the storm is over, and one of them commented, “Sophie you are strong, you look good considering what you have been through?”

I ignored this knowing it was to pass but my friend Mercy was not to let it go!! Soon the discussion became even more focused and in using mathematical language I literally became the subject of the formula!! They started pushing it down my throat that I am very modest when I am given compliments and my efforts to change the topic seemed to give them even more energy to go on. I wanted to go underground but the corner I was in didn’t give much advantage!!!

By the end of the evening I had a lot to reflect on, am I modest? If you ask me the question right now, I will tell you HELL NO. I know that I have a high self esteem so how can I be modest? No way!! Yet I know there are many times when I feel people are giving me more credit than I deserve. In fact, more often than not I think someone is talking about someone else, that can’t be me!! Sometimes I laugh as I tell someone u can’t use such a big term, which is for people with greater

I remember while in a training session where one of our colleagues had won some prestigious award but was not talking about it, the facilitator had to literally remove the words from her mouth and we got discussing about how many times as women we are too modest about our achievement. I was one of the most vocal in this reminding the sister that she is being too modest about her achievements at any opportunity I got!! Now I got into the shoes, and it pinches!!

As I reflected more about this, I realised that I was more bound to accept positive or even negative feedback if I agreed with this. The challenge for me is to realise others also watch and may think differently. I am now working at accepting compliments graciously. It feels nice, but then that would mean that I stop asking myself “really” and soar as high as I can when I can. That is not easy for me.

Many times we are so used to getting negative feedback and only get to get the positive words said when we can no longer hear them, when we are long gone. I take it upon myself to compliment others but I am cautious when receiving compliment. I believe that the much criticism we receive every day of our lives with rarely getting compliment make us more accepting to negative feedback than positive. Sometimes it makes us not believe in how good we are and hence not see our self worth as high as we should.

I am taking a lesson on accepting positive feedback without modesty, I am trying!!!!

Thanks to my buddies.


Hi, what a great article! Your writing is improving so much and your growth of spirit is showing!


Mercy Kareithi's picture


Congratulations Sophie for your move and resolve to take compliments. That is the way to go.

JaniceW's picture

A great lesson for all

Sophie, I am so glad you shared this with us as I think, as women, we are all susceptible to doubting people when they pay us compliments. I am learning that instead of immediately thinking "really?" which like you I often thought, I now say "thank you". To accept the compliment with grace not only makes me feel better but also expresses appreciation, as opposed to conveying the message that you do not trust their judgment.

So, thank you for this great lesson but for also bringing it to our attention in such lively and spirited writing. It made me laugh and smile.

Kizzie's picture

"Yet I know there are many

"Yet I know there are many times when I feel people are giving me more credit than I deserve. In fact, more often than not I think someone is talking about someone else, that can’t be me!! Sometimes I laugh as I tell someone u can’t use such a big term, which is for people with greater"

I really loved this part! It made me laugh a lot, I feel the same way sometimes. I mean the truth is not as painful as hypocrisy. I also need constructive feedback to improve :) Some people just don't get that! Good luck..great article!

I quote “Marianne Williamson from “A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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