Embarrassed by My Own Success

On Pretending to Be Less Than You Are

My fake spillage situation (see my IG post all about that if you missed it) is for real you guys.

And if you weren’t QUITE sure how that could translate into real life, let me spill it on you.

(👆🏼Puns? Anyone?)


I rocked it in college with my grades. School is my jam, and I’ve always been good at it...and that partially because it’s a natural talent...but also because I work CRAZY hard to keep it that way.

I wrote all the papers, read all the assigned readings, never missed class, always attended the study sessions. (I didn’t rely on talent alone!)

I was a model student, y’all.

As classes narrowed into major-specific and upper level courses I started finding myself surrounded by lots of the same professors and students, and I pretty much always came out on top. 💃🏻

So obviously…

I minimized it.

I waited to get my usual straight A grades while using lines like:

“I had to guess on quite a few...I must have just gotten lucky.”

“I have no idea if I passed that quiz!”

“This material is just so dense, how can we really be expected to do all that reading?”

And so on and so forth.


I studied and studied and studied and took copious notes that I read and reread and organized and studied and studied and studied….

I 100% knew I passed, and I knew why...the only legitimate question in my mind was whether I scored a 100 or not.

Why wouldn’t I share that?

Why was my first instinct to act clueless and lucky rather than intelligent and hardworking?

Because I didn’t want to look like I thought too much of myself...didn’t want to “brag”...didn’t want to own something that would make someone else uncomfortable.

I just kept pretending that all those good results were just “accidentally” spilling out…

Can you feel me? Have you done it?

I’ve made a concerted effort to STOP selling myself short, undervaluing myself, and just all around acting like I don’t have my act together.

So here’s the truth:

I’m naturally gifted at academic subjects, and it spills over into my work as a course creator and copy writer.

I work really, really, hard to get better, improve myself, and be the best I can be.

Being “fast”, learning quickly, and having a talent doesn’t mean I’m coasting.

In fact, I’m pushing myself hard, and I have really high expectations for myself to be able to learn more and be better than “others”, and that includes the me of yesterday.

Sometimes that makes me competitive in a good way…and other times that makes me frustrated (bordering on aggressive).

I love being around people who work hard and are always seeking to improve.

I hate pretending I’m something I’m not just to make other people feel good.

So I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m going to be me, and if that means we get along really well and you find me inspiring or encouraging, I’m so glad!

And if not? I’m not going to stress over it. 🥳

I would love to hear from you - how do you diminish your own success or pretend you’re less than what you really are?

How can you stop doing that, even in just a small way, today?