Excuses and Brags | Day 5/500

brag confidence entrepreneur fix this next fix this next for healthcare providers introductions Apr 19, 2021
Excuses & Brags | Kasey Compton

Prompt: What do you always have an excuse for? 

This weekend I read the book, Brag Better by Meredith Fineman. I listened to it, actually, with my eleven-year-old daughter riding in the back seat. We were on the way to Suntan City so I could get a spray tan. 

           My first audiobook experience was last Thursday. I realized I had no reference point—I had never listened to an audiobook before. I needed to hear what one was actually supposed to sound like before recording my own for Fix This Next for Healthcare Providers. On my drive to the studio, I snuck in a few chapters of Mike's audio for Fix This Next, which was probably a bad idea. As you may have noticed, he doesn't follow many of the "audiobook rules". My producer told me never to do that again!

           Anyway, back to Brag Better. I picked up the book at Indigo bookstore just a couple weeks before. It looked interesting, and I definitely need to learn to brag better. I'm the one who shows up for a workshop, and when asked to introduce myself, I fumble around the words "author" and "entrepreneur," and everyone there winds up thinking I'm just a spray-tanned girl sitting awkwardly in the back of the room.

          That's me, Kasey Compton. I help people feel less awkward by being the most obvious, awkward person in the room. Every time this happens, and I sit down, flushed and ashamed, and tell myself that I must get better at introductions. 

           But I never get better at introductions. I do these at least once a week, and again and again, I never know what to say. I had already been thinking that I needed to practice what I say when I introduce myself, so when I saw Brag Better, I knew I needed to read (or listen) to it. As Meredith describes in the book, I was like so many others, especially us ladies from the south, who grew up believing that bragging was bad. We don't talk about ourselves; we don't speak of money; we are supposed to be subdued and elusive. Not direct, bold, or braggy. 

           We are to be humble, start each answer to the question, "Who am I?" off with "I am a proud mother of three and wife of an incredible husband. I sure am a lucky girl." That's what I'm supposed to say; I mean, after all, an introduction should be about my family first, right? Would I come across as arrogant or obnoxious if I led with my successes, passions, and goals? Could I really tell people that I went from bankrupt to boss in a couple of years? Would they care that I own eleven businesses and don't actually "work" in seven of them? 

           In these moments, I revert back to being the kid with the high-pitched voice in middle school—the one who started a sentence and was always cut off by someone louder than me. With time the unstated messages were that I needed to speak quickly, succinctly, before someone could shut me down. In doing that, I learned to leave off the most important part of the introduction, the brag. 

           It was and is, actually, a lack of confidence— the presumption that the people in the room don't care what I have accomplished or see it as anything worthy of listening. I began to find comfort in the quirky humbleness of my introduction, and in the meantime, I lost myself there too. I'm only on Chapter 4 of Brag Better, but I can resonate with the message. I can see that I need to brag better, not just for me but for the other people in the room. They are there with me because they want to hear about my successes, passions, and goals. I'm letting them down when I dimmish my credibility to avoid sounding bold. And I must stop. 

           So, the prompt asks, what I always have an excuse for, and that's easy. I always have an excuse for why I stand down in the opportunity to be visible. I need to stand taller, speak louder, and brag better. And I'd say the same probably goes for you too.


Backstory: The first week of April, I flew to New Jersey to attend the Next Level Author workshop, hosted by Mike Michalowicz and AJ Harper. I stumbled upon a bookstore in which I got lost for nearly an hour. Not literally lost, but I couldn't stop looking, imagining, and soaking it all in. A journal called 500 Writing Prompts captured my attention, and I bought it. Then I committed to using one random prompt per day to share with my readers. 

This story is inspired by my upcoming release of Fix This Next for Healthcare Providers. If you haven't already, check it out on Amazon. It's available for pre-order. 

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