Have you got a list of all the things you would like to do and achieve?
Me too. Because it’s important to have goals and dreams.
But what about a list of everything you have already achieved?
How much of a challenge would it be to write down your accomplishments – all the things you’ve done, qualifications you’ve earned, awards you’ve won or been nominated for? Would you remember everything? Would you feel a tad uncomfortable listing it all?
Would you worry people would think you were a showoff?
I can reel off all the things I haven’t done yet but if you ask me about what I have done, the words won’t come so easily.
You see, I wouldn’t want you to think I’m self-important.
And that is a very common response.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post for a national women’s network questioning why some people, especially women, are reluctant to own their achievements.
It came about after seeing a friend advertising her mastermind groups without mentioning that she had been the recipient of a major business award. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t include any mention of it in her marketing. The award demonstrated that her own business had been successful and was a good reason why she was well qualified to help others with theirs.
So why wasn’t it in her marketing, or on her website for that matter?
Because she ‘didn’t know how to include it without sounding like a show-off.’
To her, and many others, marketing is synonymous with self-promotion and she didn’t want to be seen as ‘that person’.
Fair enough. We’ve all known people who spend more time talking themselves up than actually getting the experience and expertise. The person whose megaphone is bigger than their actual achievements.
But in worrying about what people might think of her, she was neglecting to deliver what they needed from her: solid reasons to believe in her ability to do what she said she could.
Whether you call it marketing or self-promotion, why is it a bad thing to let people know what you can do?
Surely by denying them the chance to know everything that’s relevant about you, you are only giving them part of the story.
It’s only fair to them that they know the full story about you and it’s only fair to yourself to tell it.
As for worrying about how people will judge you, here’s the real news – someday, someone somewhere will judge us negatively anyway. It doesn’t matter what we do or don’t say – it will happen anyway.
So if we can’t prevent it, why not give up trying and instead focus on showing what we can do for others?
Focus on how what we have achieved can be of service to people.
Focus on what we’ve done rather than how that might make someone feel.
So go ahead – put together that list of what you can do and what you have achieved. It’s not bragging or shameless self-promotion. It’s being an effective communicator with consideration for your audience. The ones who need you will thank you.
In our little chicken family, Teddy Roostervelt has no problems crowing about his achievements, and nobody thinks badly of him for it.