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Are you holding yourself back?

10th April 2019 | Beverly Landais

Sometimes it is easy to forget our achievements, and we can fall into the trap of displaying false modesty. The bad habits that can develop include attributing our success to others or saying phrases like ‘it was nothing’ or ‘I got lucky’ when thanked for something done well. Instead, receive merited praise as if it is a gift: say ‘thank you’ in return. After all ensuring everyone on the team receives fair credit includes you.

Achieving this does not mean becoming an egotistical self-obsessed person. However, you do need to make your strengths, capabilities and achievements known to others. Hoping that hard work and sheer effort will get you noticed is rarely enough. People are sometimes too busy to see without a prompt. The only person you can rely upon to be your best advocate is you. 

Start today by undertaking self-management with the same effort and care that you would give any vital project or essential task. Remember, if you don’t value yourself, why should anyone else?

So what will this take? Consider how you can confidently communicate your achievements in a genuine manner that is congruent with your values. Think of a time when you talked with pride about something that you did that went well. What were the circumstances? How did others react? What did it feel like to be on your own side? 

Now try this exercise: imagine that a magazine of your choice is interviewing you. View yourself and your achievements through the eyes of an interviewer who wants to show you in the best possible light. The resulting article will showcase all your skills, career highlights, and personal qualities to inspire their readers. Now write the interview in the third person as if you are the interviewer. Think about:

  • What is unique about this person?
  • Who or what has positively influenced them?
  • What are their values?
  • What motivates them?
  • What challenges have they overcome along the way – and how?
  • What personal characteristics have been valuable to them?
  • What would they say if asked to sum up their successes to date?
  • What advice would they give their younger self?
  • What are their hopes and dreams for the future?

When you have finished, read it out loud. Is this inspiring to you? Does it make you proud? Have you missed anything important? What else might you add? Now review the positive experiences and consider your strengths, values and resources. Then explore the themes and patterns that have emerged. What stands out to you? Develop these into crucial points with examples that demonstrate you at your resourceful best.

Pausing to recall specific times when you have used your strengths, been resourceful and overcome challenges is an excellent way to boost self-confidence at any time. Doing this is especially powerful when you need to show your abilities at their best, such as during a job interview or at an important meeting. This exercise also reminds you of what motivates, matters and works for you. Ultimately, this is about being your best self. Don’t be afraid to show people what you can do. Be brave, be bold and believe in yourself. 

10th April 2019 | Beverly Landais

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