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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Willey

Fearless in 5: How to Stop Calling Yourself "Dumb"


It’s time to stop calling ourselves “dumb.” In a recent analysis of a social post we looked at over the course of one quarter, there were 50 people who had called themselves “dumb” before asking a question. Of those, 47 of them were women. And in original research that we conducted at Wet Cement, we found that women were more likely to feel judged when sharing their most creative ideas. So are we judging ourselves so that we aren’t being judged by others? In this week’s Fearless in 5, we’ll talk about five things you can do to stop calling yourself “dumb.”


  1. Ask yourself “Is it really a dumb question?” If so, don’t ask it because what it will do is dilute your brand capital when you want to ask a more important question later in the meeting.

  2. Don’t call it “dumb.” Once you do, you’re giving other people the license to stop listening.

  3. Beyond the self-criticizing, stop apologizing when asking for something.

  4. Ask yourself “Is this something I can research on my own rather than asking the group?” If so, make a note and do it afterwards.

  5. Stop criticizing women’s input in meetings more than men's. Research shows that this is a common practice by both men and women. Let’s put an end to it.


By giving ourselves a pause and a one-two beat before asking a question in your next meeting, we can all appear more fearless and stronger together.


For more tips on how you can be fearless at work and in life, check out Wet Cement at https://www.wet-cement.com/.

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