‘I’m afraid people are gonna hate the movie and take pity on me; see me and think I’m just obsessed with myself,’ Jennifer Garner said before a screening of her new flick, ‘Peppermint.’
She must’ve known it would garner some praise.
Jennifer Garner cringed her way through a screening of her new revenge thriller, “Peppermint,” sharing video testimonials from before and after the flick on Instagram. “Hi. I’m in a movie theater and I have a movie out and I have to be here with my fans. And I’m afraid people are gonna hate the movie and take pity on me; see me and think I’m just obsessed with myself,” she said. “Nonetheless … I have tickets.”
One fan approached Garner to tell her the movie was “amazing”; the actress later hid in a dark corner as moviegoers filed out. “The studio encouraged me to go to the theater and see #PEPPERMINTmovie with an audience — maybe they thought I would conduct exit polls?” she captioned her Instagram post. “But I learned something about myself on this experiment — I am a chicken.”
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The studio encouraged me to go to the theater and see #PEPPERMINTmovie with an audience— maybe they thought I would conduct exit polls? 🤷🏻♀️ But I learned something about myself on this experiment— I am a chicken. 🙋🏻♀️🐥 Thank you to everyone who spent their weekend and their hard earned money with #RileyNorth and me. ❤️ If you go this week— you never know— I may be lurking behind a curtain at a theater near you. 😶
It can be uncomfortable to consume your own work, and even more difficult to appreciate your wins. But the benefits are boundless, said Pivot career coach Rebecca Fraser-Thill, a psychology lecturer at Bates College.
“The people who are willing to take pride in their work are more likely to be noticed and recognized for that effort,” she told Moneyish. “When we are hiding what we’re doing or putting it out there very subtly in the world in a quiet way, we’re going to be less likely to be recognized and then be less likely to have opportunities follow from that.”
And it’s hard to ignore the gender differences around confidence, Fraser-Thill said. For example, around 63% of women join the workforce armed with the confidence they can ascend to senior management, per a 2016 survey cited by the Wall Street Journal, versus 75% of men. (That number drops to 57% for women by mid-career, the survey found, and 66% for men.) Research has also shown that given performances of comparable quality, men tend to overestimate their abilities and performance and women tend to underestimate both.
“There’s a socialization that females are supposed to be quiet and humble more so than men, who are socialized to feel better about taking credit for what they’ve accomplished,” Fraser-Thill said. “There’s a big social stigma against a female in particular taking public pride in what she has created, in whatever form that is. … I think this is a lifelong struggle for most people, but especially for women.”
So how can you become comfortable with your accomplishments, or even proud of them? Here’s what Fraser-Thill and other experts said:
Learn how to take a compliment, an act Fraser-Thill suggests is “the precursor to being able to take pride in your work.” Figure out how to accept small compliments on your shoes or your astute observation in a meeting without undercutting yourself, she said, and get to a place where you can reply, “Thank you so much; I appreciate that.” “If we can start there — accepting compliments gracefully, period — then we can move on to being able to say, ‘I feel good about this thing I created,’” she said.
Build up your skill set, whether that takes the form of earning an online certificate or degree, taking an evening class or working with a mentor. “I’ve seen a number of coaching clients feel very confident putting themselves out there for a different type of job, or taking pride in the work they are already doing, just by taking that step of being intentional about building that skill set and/or getting it externally validated, if that’s what they need to feel good about it,” Fraser-Thill said.
Review the tape. Fraser-Thill says she has found it valuable to listen to radio interviews of herself to recognize verbal tics, places to improve, and what she did well. “Looking back at what you’ve done, what you’ve created, is not self-obsession,” she said. “Watching what you’ve created all day, every day, would be self-obsession.”
Career coach Maggie Mistal echoed that advice. “Any time you see yourself doing something, it’s horrifying, and you notice every little nervous twitch or tic … but it’s so powerful, because you’ll never do that nervous tic again,” she told Moneyish. “I think you have to give yourself opportunities to be under the spotlight and then watch yourself. Look at it. Review it. Improve your presentation skills or meeting-management skills or speaking.”
Celebrate with someone you care about. Take some time to reflect on what you did well — whether you write it down or just think about it — and then share that with a personal “cheerleader,” like your significant other, workplace psychologist Christine Allen suggested. Then invite them to celebrate the moment with you: “It’s something about the sharing it with someone else and not keeping it secret, so that he could say, ‘That’s great; that’s awesome,’” Allen said. ”We internalize things when other people acknowledge them and see them in us.”
Solicit specific feedback. “I think one reason we don’t take pride in our work is we take for granted what we are good at doing — it’s hard for me to know what’s unique about me as a teacher, for instance, without my (students) saying, ‘You know, this is something you do in the classroom that other professors don’t,’” Fraser-Thill said. “Only by having an outside lens can you really recognize the unique contribution you’re making.”
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