For many of us, the thought of self-promoting and pushing ourselves forward can feel quite unnerving.
Do we worry that if we speak well of ourselves we will be poorly judged?
Of course, this could play well in allowing us off the hook. We can mutter to ourselves that we are undervalued and deserve better responses but really we would prefer others to sing our praises so we do not have to.
Why has no one noticed just how good I am?
The truth is that perhaps no one has realised because in one way or another you are telling them that you are not really that amazing. Unless you can point out, honestly, where you have excelled and where your talents lie chances are that others will not necessarily notice or take the time to offer you their admiration.
You know how fast business life is; people really do want the easiest option – tell me why you are good – that sounds reasonable – I believe you.
A good deal of my working life is spent remodelling how clients talk about themselves – pushing them to notice and consider how they speak about themselves and how they sell themselves short all too often and usually without even realising it.
And even though I know all of that I have spent far too long today working on a piece on myself. Too long, because I was writing about myself and trying to be self-effacing and ‘little’ me. Exactly what I stop others from doing, and even with all my knowledge I had to step away, get my head in the right place and redo it, taking out all the wobbly content – the’ I thinks’ and the ‘ if I might’s’.
For most of us, it is incredibly difficult to write about ourselves. For example, if you look at the average LinkedIn profile it is consumed by people making very straightforward mistakes like;
• Talking about themselves in the third person; thus adding distance and disengagement.
• Putting just bare facts forward thus missing the opportunity to be seen as a real and engaging person (which is absolutely what people want).
• Or conversely proudly boasting a bit too much which I know, conversely, may be borne of a sincere lack of confidence and the need to overcompensate.
It is very very tricky
And that is why we invariably need a dispassionate view who can consider your profile, how you talk about yourself, how you respond to criticism – all the tricky ones really. Only in considering how you actually behave rather how you think you behave can you really achieve a balance that is attractive, engaging and allows you to speak in positive but realistic terms about yourself.
There is no need to share personal foibles or secrets, but with the world of reality television and social media making us all so much more observable, we are becoming used to connecting with people before we even meet them and even if we never meet them in person.
Every interaction you have offline or online is a reflection of you and what you stand for so it needs to be a strong and meaningful presence. Not something you leave to chance. Without this awareness, you take the chance that you are putting yourself further down the line from successful consideration for jobs and projects, and opportunities.