Thursday, May 5, 2011

Let Your Game Do the Talking

I love to brag.

Well, I don't love to do it. It's something I do. And I hate that I do it. It's part of my lack of filter when it comes to the things that escape my mouth. But I love being good at things! Don't you? I mean, I'm not good at everything, so shouldn't I celebrate the things that I am good at?

Internally, sure. Externally, not so much.

I know, I know. It's a sign of low self-esteem. I have to build myself up so hopefully others will do it, too. Or because others aren't? Something like that. Comes from years of not being good enough for the people around me, even though my life is currently filled with loving, supportive people. Old habits die hard, I guess.

My husband is such a humble guy. He'll never tell you he's a good guitar player, but he is. He'll never say he's a great cook (especially when it comes to grilling), but he is. And he'll never say that he's a super great Christian who does what he's supposed to, but he truly is and he totally does. He's always reading his Bible and setting aside time for prayer and making time for God.

He's a good spiritual leader and he makes me look lazier. Like I needed help with that.

There are times that I'm about to open my mouth to brag about something, and I know Brandon sees it coming. He never quite catches me in time, but afterward, he always says, "Let your game do the talking, Rach."

As in, people will know you're the world's greatest basketball player by how well you play basketball, not by how many times you say, "I'm the world's greatest basketball player."

I don't know why I picked basketball. I don't even like basketball. Just saying.

Anyway, the more you talk about how great your game is, the more you'd better live up to it—and the more disappointed people will be when you don't. If you just do your thing to the best of your ability, other people will notice and say, "Wow, he's/she's really great at that." Because, unless someone else says that you're good at something, are you really good at it? How much is your inflated opinion worth?

My inflated opinion is worth very little, frankly.

So I'm trying to follow my awesome husband's example by keeping my yap shut and letting my game do the talking. No, you will not see me call myself the world's greatest blogger! The world's greatest mom! The world's greatest dancer! The world's greatest wife (though that's a stretch, anyway)! The world's greatest actor! The world's greatest basketball player!

I already told you, I don't even like basketball. Why does this keep coming up?

I'm going to attempt to be humble. And let my game do the talking, no matter what activity I think I'm doing awesomely, or how great the temptation is to broadcast it to the known world.

Do you have a problem with humility? Don't worry—you can tell me. I won't think you're bragging.


  1. How I needed this. I almost fell off the wagon of "letting my game talk" this week when I've repeatedly seen others at work get the credit for projects that I've led.

    I almost retaliated. Almost. I'm glad I waited and I'm really glad that I read your post today.

  2. Great post and worthy of discussion. Personally I rarely brag up my game these days. My perspective has changed entirely, all the credit goes to God in my world.

    But in business it's a bit different, I've found that I had to be ready to speak openly about my accomplishments, rarely did it help to talk about my talents before I'd proven them.

    In an interview for example if they as "What are your strengths?" It's much more impactful to list your accomplishments which highlight the strengths than to just list them.

    For example instead of listing "good with people" I would say something like "helped change the company culture to allow the employees to have a voice".

  3. Its funny how often someone brags about something they're good at and then stuffs up showing you how good. Always good for a laugh though. I must say, I really like your husband's line - 'let your game do the talking' so much more effective if you really excel doing whatever it is you're doing. Although sober Julie makes a very good point - God should be getting the glory. God bless, Tracy

  4. God really should be getting the glory, but sometimes that's hard in my Rachelcentric world. It's not like I came up with talents on my own. They're all gifts from him, should be used for him, and the glory should be given to him!

  5. I'm actually really really great at being humble. I'm pretty much the most humble person I know; probably in the world.

    But seriously, nice post.

  6. @Arthur At times like this, I wish comments just had a "like" button. Or, in this case, an "awesome" button.

  7. @Rachel @ The Lazy Christian
    You do need a "like" button! :) I want to like your post and comment about bringing God glory! :)

  8. I think I have the opposite problem: if someone compliments me, I always try to deflect it, as if I had nothing to do with it. That I think also takes away from glorifying God in that I don't give Him credit for making me the way I am. We need a happy medium!

  9. I have a struggle with this sometimes because I often need the approval of others. Somehow telling them what I've accomplished seems to get me the approval I need. This is a fleshly need I've had for a long time but God is showing me who I am in Christ and He is filling this need in me, I thank Him for being enough.

  10. Heh, I like Brandon's phrase.

  11. I wish I didn't have this problem, too. I feel like often when I end up exclaiming an accomplishment, it's because I feel I have to defend myself (due to poor self-esteem, as well). Regardless, if anything good is in me, it's not me, but Christ in me.


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