Why is it Easier to Nit-Pick Our Flaws than Celebrate Success?

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Double standards are ugly things.

There are countless double standards in the world, but there’s one that I truly believe is dumber than all the rest.


That’s the double standard that disadvantages us, AND is self-imposed!


(Mentally insert emoji smacking its forehead here.)


Think about it… How often do you:


  • Tell a coworker how great their presentation was and deny any imperfection, but dismiss any similar praise when you receive it, pointing out all the things you should have done better
  • Compliment a friend on how nice they look, no matter what their shape/size/appearance, but tell yourself “They’re just being nice” when someone tells you how nice you look
  • Encourage someone to apply for a job they really want even if it’s a long shot, but hold back from throwing your own hat in the ring even when you’re qualified for an opportunity, out of fear that you’re not ready/good enough
  • Tell someone not to be so hard on themselves, while continuing to beat yourself up for a mistake you made eons ago?

Need I go on?


Sure, we can hide behind excuses like “I can’t help it, I’m a perfectionist,” but that’s a lame excuse, and here’s my proof:


  • Would you ever talk to a friend/coworker/loved one the way you talk to yourself in those situations?
  • Would you ever allow someone else to talk to you like you talk to yourself?

No? (Neither would I.)

Congratulations: Welcome to the elite ranks of Double-Standards Incorporated. (Not a real entity.) But I have to tell you, they throw lousy parties: their signature cocktail is two parts self-pity, one part hypocrisy, one part arrogance, a double dash of bitters, and garnished with denial. And it’s only served one way: straight up!

So what’s the antidote?

One great remedy I recently discovered is Jane Boulware’s book (Un)Worthy: From Cornfields to Corner Office at Microsoftwhich Jane and I dove into on this week’s Speaking to Influence podcast.


Despite her incredible career success, even Jane shared some inner demons that we can all relate to. As she expressed in both the book and on the show: “I’m happy to clap and cheer at others’ successes, but slow to recognize my own.”


A recurrent theme in both is the importance of overcoming self-doubt and claiming one’s worth.


Truthfully, I don’t read much for pleasure anymore, but I absolutely could not put Jane’s book down. The stories of what she overcame, personally and professionally, from the time she was a small child throughout her career, were incredible, and sometimes made me laugh out loud.

But what was more amazing is that although I could no more imagine being a day laborer in the cornfields of Iowa than being a senior executive at Microsoft (two jobs which in many ways bookended her career), she told her stories in a way that I could relate to every experience.


We also dove into why and how:


  • Overcoming self-doubt and claiming one’s worth is essential for success
  • Leadership involves inspiring and motivating others, while management focuses on tasks and deadlines
  • Using the word ‘yet’ can fuel determination and help overcome obstacles
  • Recognizing and removing toxic behavior in the workplace is an act of leadership, mercy and love
  • It’s important to celebrate successes and recognize personal worth.


And more.  Listen to the full conversation here or watch the video on YouTube here.


OH – just in case all of that isn’t a compelling enough reason to buy Jane’s book, she is donating 100% of the proceeds to support the Boys’ and Girls’ Club! (How beautiful is that?? Order your copy today here and help give more children the opportunity to succeed in life!)


Separately, I also had the pleasure of being a guest on Sue Parker’s “Lifestyle Entrepreneur” podcast this week.



Here are just a few of the topics we discussed in our conversation about how to Command the Room (or Screen!) Learn how to:


  • Own your space, using proper framing on video, and upgrading your microphone for better authority and presence.
  • Tailor your message to resonate with your audience by using relevant stories, examples, and soundbites that they can relate to.
  • Approach each conversation with the goal of moving the needle forward, whether it’s agreeing to the next step, referrals, testimonials, or signing up for programs.
  • Shift the focus from traditional social media influence to creating impact by helping others see themselves as the hero in their success story.
  • Avoid vocal pitfalls like run-on sentences, up-speak, and lack of vocal periods to sound more organized, intentional, and authoritative in your communication.

You are an expert. You deserve to be heard – and celebrated, so tune into both amazing conversations!

Don’t forget to rate the Speaking to Influence podcast on https://ratethispodcast.com/influence – thank you!

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