Monday, August 01, 2011

If I can do it, anyone can - a rant

One of the most irritating and self-depreciating phrases in the English language.  Seriously, it ought to be banned.

Someone, always female, achieves something...

If I can do it, anyone can, she gushes to all her friends, all over the chat loop, or on twitter, or Facebook.

It could be having a baby, writing a book, boiling an egg, winning Masterchef, paragliding, becoming CEO of a large company, driving a car, Morris dancing...

So what, exactly, is this person saying?

Well, literally, she is saying that the thing she achieved was so easy that anyone in the entire world can do it.
So not much of an achievement is it?
If anyone can do it.

When I hear this phrase, I hear the person saying 'my achievement does not stand me out from the crowd'.
I worked hard. I set goals. I dedicated myself to those goals. Spent hours of my life working towards them. I used my own gifts and talents and passions - but YOU KNOW, I'm not that special, my unique set of gifts not that special. ANYONE CAN DO IT.

Guess what?


I have a relative, who will put a superb home made cake (for example) in front of you, and then list all the things that are wrong with it.  To me, it has butter and flour and sugar and cream and it is delicious.  I have NO IDEA the recipe called for it to be sprinkled with the ground dust of fairy toenails and DJs were all sold out.  Stop telling me why it isn't good enough.  Stop telling me why you are not good enough.

Its all the same thing.  The self depreciation.  These women who have achieved or created amazing things, then embark on a mission to convince us all they're not that special.

You know what ladies? You are that special.  And its about sodding time you changed your tune.

I move the we remove 'if I can do it, anyone can,' from the English Language and replace it with...
I achieved this because I worked bloody hard and also I am AWESOME.

All those in favour, raise your hands.


9 people love me:

Melissa Mitchell said...

Hand raised. Awesome post!

Cathryn Hein said...

Well said, m'dear!

Loz said...

You just made me put down my coffee.. And go YES! (Scared the dog)
Love this post, I need to print it out and stick it to my forehead.

Simply Belinda said...

Hand Raised!

Nothing any of us do is equally easy, or hard, than it would be for anyone else.  Owning your achievements is definitely part of celebrating your "self".

Kind Regards

Mel said...

My hand is raised as well. I have said this on several occasions and I cringe at the thought. Never again!!

Rachael Johns said...

Here, here... heard that phrase VERY recently :)

Caitlyn Nicholas said...

Ahem, yes, it might have been the same place I heard it, which set me off this morning!!

Rachael Johns said...


Sam-O said...

Two thumbs up!