Boost Your Confidence & Your Career

Still playing small? Here's a suggestion: stop.

What is the point of being awesome if you’re going to make light of it?

Or even apologize for it. I’m all for self-deprecation, used strategically, but some of you (code for most women) go way too far with it.  Women, particularly, have this thing about not wanting to come across as arrogant or bitchy. In the meantime, our brands can suffer. The best, most awe-inspiring, memorable brands are respected for their…well…awesomeness. It is not seen as a problem. It is kind of expected.

Being awesome is not a right. It’s not a given. With the exception of a small group of people, it does not come easy. It’s something most of us have to work at, and typically it’s hard work.

This is why if you are awesome, know you’re awesome, and actually have figured out how to leverage your awesomeness, you DESERVE a little shine! This is especially the case in business. If you successfully run an office, team, division, or company, it is absolutely ok for you to accept a pat on the back. It is even ok for – GASP – you to pat yourself on the back. Here are a few reasons to stop resisting that pat on the back:

  1. There is really nothing positive to be gained. What exactly are you hoping to gain by apologizing for your swag factor? Compliments for being so humble (does anyone even notice modesty anymore, provided it's genuine modesty)? Some other misguided attention? Trust? The first two are insignificant, and the last one more than likely will not be gained in this way. I don’t necessarily trust people who constantly play themselves small. Nor do I tend to particularly respect them. No trust, no respect. What else is there?
  2. Someone out there needs you to be great. Whether it is someone you’re mentoring, your spouse, children, brother, assistant, or community, someone is looking up to you and needs you to be the BOMB! This person (or group) really respects you. They may know you’re flawed, but those flaws are trivial in their eyes, vs. what you do right. They have come to expect the best from you. When you make light of being the best, it kind of minimizes who you are to them. You may become common. Even if you want to maintain some level of humility, make sure you still embrace what makes you great. Remember, this is not all about you. It's about those watching and learning from you. In spite of what some of us say, we need a hero. Allow yourself to be a hero to others. That is just what some people, including members of your target market, need to be successful.
  3.  All that devaluing yourself will eventually affect your mindset. If you are constantly apologizing for and making light of your inner Oprah/Beyonce/Sheryl Sandberg, eventually (for some it won't take long at all) you will begin to question your worth. “What’s so special about me anyway? I really didn't work that hard. Maybe I really cannot handle all this responsibility.” Instead of just making it, you may start actually drinking your own self deprecating Kool-aid. This will inevitably impact your confidence. Don't we have enough, particularly as women, to mess with our confidence?

I do understand that you don’t want to come across as the Goddess of all Goddesses just tolerating the mere mortals around her. Nevertheless, you do not want to totally discount your greatness, the unique value only you offer. Frankly, you should rarely discount it. It is there to help carry out your purpose. Whatever that purpose is, it is not just about you.

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