Let's Talk About Self-Deprecation

and How to Celebrate Your Accomplishments


Acts of self-deprecation may look like: consistent thoughts of one’s value as less than, down-playing or feeling anxiety when one receives compliments or achievements, a persistence that accomplishments are unimportant or unimpressive.


Most point the finger at low self-esteem or lack of confidence, which can contribute to a feeling of anxiety when faced with appraisal. But what causes someone to internally dismiss their own accomplishments in their work?

Do you exhibit confidence in your own work? When the work is challenging and the goal successfully accomplished do you feel proud of that accomplishment?

Accepting Compliments

Having difficulty saying thank you when someone compliments you is one sure sign that you may not be believe your accomplishments are worthy of praise.

Throughout high school and most of my undergrad I used to respond to someone saying ‘Thank you’ with No Problem. I did this because I didn’t want to be thanked. A former supervisor told me that she doesn’t like it when people respond with No Problem because when people say No Problem it sounds like they aren’t accepting their thanks.

And she was right, it was a term specifically to mean, I would have done it whether you thanked me or not, so don’t.

I still say ‘No Problem’ sometimes but it’s often accompanied with you’re welcome and/or no worries. Like when I help out with a project at work when my co-worker has to prioritize an emergency; they’ll say thank you and I’ll reply, it was no problem, you’re welcome.

Verbally accepting thanks, compliments on your work and rewards or accolades are important expressions to practice for those who find themselves self-deprecating.


Be mindful about when you naturally self-deprecate, allow yourself to feel that uncomfortableness or anxiety for that moment, and then give yourself permission to feel good.

“The most difficult permission to give yourself when you self-deprecate is allowing yourself to be happy, excited and proud of your accomplishments or to even boast about them to other people.”

Mindfulness takes practice and there’s no ideal end of the rainbow where you never self-deprecate every again. Self-deprecation can rear its head even as you're practicing like feeling annoyed when you forget to be mindful in the moment and question your dedication to this practice.

Please remember that any and all mental health and wellness tools rely on balance and practice, not just for today or the next few weeks but throughout your life.

Mindfulness Technique: Write out your Accomplishments

First Step

Write down your accomplishments, try to write 5 to 10 accomplishments you’ve earned in the last year. It may take you a moment for your mind to even recall them but be patient, there’s no rush, allow yourself time and grace.

Second Step

Review what you’ve written and what you consider an accomplishment. Did you scratch any out before you finished? How did you feel? Happy, nervous, proud, confused? These are all important things to note.

Third Step

Visit and update this exercise consistently, make it a point to recount your most recent accomplishments throughout the year and allow yourself to linger on those feelings of happiness and proudness. Allow yourself to celebrate your accomplishments even if it's just you reminiscing in your own head for now.

Be able to tell yourself:

Wow, I did that

I’m actually pretty amazing

That was challenging and I aced it!



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