It’s not polite to talk about yourself. Have you heard this before? I grew up hearing my mother’s voice in my head “I can always count on you to be appropriate”. My interpretation of this was that I should not talk highly about myself. I should down play my abilities and accomplishments, deflect compliments and not share my successes.
What I KNOW NOW is that this message from my past isn’t helping me to achieve my goals…and I bet some of your messages are not helping you either! And who’s kidding who, no matter what your title is, you are in sales. We always need to sell ourselves, no matter what our role is.
I wanted to share the 3 Biggest mistakes we make when selling ourselves, self-promoting and offer you solutions to be able to authentically talk about yourself in a way that doesn’t feel uncomfortable or salesy!
No matter what the conversation is about, if you engage in it, with any internal feelings of insecurity or self-doubt, the outcome will be less favourable than if you had entered the conversation with confidence. With self-doubt or insecurities, if you get any type of ‘push back’ you run the risk of getting thrown off, feeling totally uncomfortable, shutting down, etc…
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Be in line with your Values
To authentically and confidently engage, I recommend you make a list of your Values. (Here’s a quick worksheet to walk you through this http://bit.ly/XV6RHT) These are qualities that are important for you to live your best life. Are some of them: Integrity, Hard Work, Passion, Commitment, Loyalty, etc….?
This list becomes a Decision Making Tool. Go back and circle the values that you are honouring when you engage in speaking about yourself with confidence, sharing your wins and successes – your truths. Doesn’t it feel different? Being in line with your values, enables you can confidently stand, unwavering, grounded in all of your reasons why you are engaging in the conversation. This will generate a way better outcome!
MISTAKE#2 Not Owning it.
Going into any meeting or conversation unprepared leaves too many opportunities to second guess yourself and your accomplishments. If you haven’t done your homework and identified what the other person cares about, is looking for, once again, the outcome won’t be favourable.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Be Prepared and Speak Your Truth: Because you are prepared, you are able to share and present the facts. Your Truths, with confidence. I had a client who was up for a promotion to become a Managing Director in an Investment Bank. She’s incredibly intelligent, resourceful and competent, and an invaluable member of her team. She knew that she needed to make sure that she spoke with 3 key individuals that would champion her at decision making time…..but self-promoting initially felt cheezy. What she came around to realizing, that she was just sharing her truth! The facts speak for themselves.
MISTAKE#3 Letting Fear Stop You.
We are all SO good at the negative ‘What ifs”. It’s these hypothetical outcomes that typically keep us from taking action. Here’s my two cents – you are making them up….so make them up in your favour!
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD: Positive Hypothetical Outcomes. What are the potential positive outcomes? Just know, if you still choose to focus on the negative ones, you are making that CHOICE!
Also, ask yourself, “Is taking this one step out of my comfort zone worth the outcome I’m trying to achieve?” I bet you the answer is yes!
What’s your biggest challenge you face when you have to ‘sell yourself’? Post your response here. We’d love to help you through it or offer some advice!