Do you sell yourself short?
Do you find yourself often downplaying your awesomeness because you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging?
Or do you often find yourself skimming over what you do and hope the other person will just carry the conversation?
Last week I helped to organise a progressive dinner for the Australian Association of Hong Kong and many of the guests were my friends from different social circles, and therefore hadn’t previously met.
The exciting thing was that everyone got on like a house on fire but something really took me by surprise.
When two of my girlfriends introduced themselves they really downplayed their brilliance. To be honest, I was horrified and it was uncomfortable to watch.
Both women come from different professional backgrounds, are now both pursuing entrepreneurial ventures and they equally have some pretty amazing aspirations.
After witnessing their awkward introduction I couldn’t help myself and I had to step in.
I told THEIR truth and I didn’t hold back.
I didn’t embellish anything or try to sell their story. From a friend’s point of view I proudly and enthusiastically explained what each friend had achieved and what their big vision was.
We all joked that I was the girls’ PR Agent, but the truth is I didn’t sell them short…which is exactly what they did.
I’m not professing that I have all the answers and that I own MY awesomeness 100% of the time.
When I first moved to Hong Kong I would literally have to hold back tears (once I did cry!) when I was introduced to someone…as it meant I had to talk about myself and I felt I had nothing interesting to share.
Lately I’ve done a lot of work on building my self-confidence and really trying to identify and own my accomplishments.
If you want to stop selling yourself short here are a few tips:
5 Tips to Stop Selling Yourself Short
1. Make a List
If you’re struggling to identify all the ways that you’re awesome I suggest you write down all of your achievements across the different aspects of your life.
You can include your professional and sporting wins, achievements you’ve had in terms of your family and any hobbies you have.
You don’t have to share them with the world but it does help you to start seeing and believing in your own awesomeness.
Once you start listing down all of your amazing achievements, big and small, you will feel overwhelmed with pride.
You have achieved a lot!
2. Ask Others What They Think of You
I know this sounds a little daunting, but getting an outsider’s opinion can be eye-opening….in a good way!
As part of a business course I did years ago I had to ask a minimum of six people what they thought my three best qualities were.
All you have to do is send a quick email to a few people you trust and ask them this question.
If you constantly sell yourself short, I can definitely recommend this exercise.
You will be overjoyed at all the beautiful and heart-warming things people will say about you and you will see yourself in a new and positive light.
3. Get Your Story Straight and Own In
When you’re feeling down on yourself or not 100% sure of your direction it’s easy to fumble when trying to explain what you do or what you are hoping to do with your life.
I get it – I’ve been there.
Using all of the great material you would’ve received from tips 1 and 2, you can now go about crafting a really powerful and succinct story about yourself.
Here’s something I prepared earlier:
“My background is in psychology and marketing and I own my own designer handbag label. Currently I’m studying full-time to become a Life Coach.”
You don’t have to go into all the fine detail about your life; you can save that for later.
Having a strong ‘elevator pitch’ prepared will definitely help you own your awesomeness and prevent you from selling yourself short when you meet someone for the first time.
Remember to own your story and say it with confidence and enthusiasm.
You are interesting, amazing and you have a great story to tell!
4. Remove the word ‘just’ From Your Vocabulary
Words are powerful and it’s important to be mindful about how we use them to describe our situation or ourselves.
I’m definitely guilty of using the word ‘just’ too often and I noticed my friends used it when they were introducing themselves.
How many times have you heard or uttered these types of sentences?:
“I just have a blog and I haven’t been doing it for very long.”
“I’m just studying part-time and working on the side.”
“It’s just an internship at a prestigious law firm.”
We often use ‘just’ if we’re worried about being marginalised or we want to play small to ensure we don’t make someone feel bad.
We definitely use the word ‘just’ when we don’t feel worthy and we don’t want to accept that our accomplishments are a big deal.
Remove this dis-empowering word from your vocab STAT! It doesn’t serve you or anyone else!
5. You Are a Work in Progress
It’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere and that you are a beautiful ‘work in progress.’
By playing small and not letting your light shine bright you are denying your true potential.
You have goals and dreams and you will get there. But always be proud of yourself and your achievements along the way!
Own your awesomeness and don’t ever sell yourself short!
When do you find yourself not owning your awesomeness? Or do you have any other tips you would like to share on how to stop selling yourself short? What works for you?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
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