There’s a fine line between not bragging about how fabulous you are in every area of life and talking yourself down all the time. I have noticed a difference with men and women over the years in how they promote themselves and their talents.
For example, when looking at job description, a woman is likely to look down the list of requirements for the role, see one thing on the list she cannot do and say to herself, “I’d better not apply for the job”.
A man may look down the same list of requirements, see one thing on the list he can do and say to himself, “The job’s mine”.
I believe that the same emotions are underpinning both reactions, it’s simply that men and women react to those emotions differently. Let’s briefly think back to Tip Two – Head Tapes. Whatever is going on inside someone’s head is likely to manifest in external behaviour. However, that behaviour can be two ends of the assertiveness spectrum.
One reaction may well be that a person will withdraw into themselves and become passive, therefore not put themselves forward for that particular role. Another reaction may well be that a person will ‘bluff’ their way through a lack of self belief and move towards the other end of the assertiveness spectrum and become aggressive (the job’s mine mentality).
What is likely to be at the root of both reactions is a similar emotion, the emotion of fear. Once we can recognise that fear is our imagination playing tricks on us and actually means:
Fantasy Experienced As Real
We can move beyond the limitations of our fake beliefs. Whenever I ask people to write down their perceived strengths and weaknesses, nine times out of ten, the weaknesses are easier to identify for people.
I invite you to do that exercise for yourself now. Get a sheet of paper and draw a line down the centre. At the top of the left hand column write Strengths and at the top of the right hand column write Weaknesses.
Then quieten the conscious mind and allow whatever pops up to be written down in each column.
I now want to challenge you. Because what you have written in the Weaknesses column probably isn’t true.
There are no such things as weaknesses, simply Qualities that are temporarily out of balance. So now I would like you to go get another sheet of paper, drawing a line down the middle. Then at the top of the left hand column write Weaknesses and at the top of the right hand column write Quality.
Now, go back to your first sheet and write down all the things you currently perceive to be weaknesses in the left hand column of the new sheet of paper. Then look at what you have written, quieten the conscious mind, and allow yourself to find the quality that is the true you.
Then look back at the weakness and ask yourself, “Am I under doing or over doing that quality, and how can I keep it in balance in the future?”
I always get taken for granted and find it hard to say ‘no’ to people if they need me.
A wonderful caring nature presenting in a compassionate personality, a great communicator and negotiator, a person who is a magnet and draws others to them
You may get taken for granted and feel ‘put upon’ by others, and eventually resentful. It will also stop people from being able to find their own solutions and will keep them dependant upon you which is unhealthy for both parties
You always put yourself first, regardless of the effect on others, and may appear unfeeling.
You care for yourself at all times, ensuring you are always overflowing with energy and resilience, allowing you to give to others unconditionally from a place of strength and love, whilst maintaining appropriate boundaries. With clear boundaries, you allow others to grow and empower them to find their own inner strengths.
So, remember to acknowledge your qualities regularly, and recognise that by keeping them balance you are not only honouring yourself, but honouring other people too.
Now, go back to the first sheet of paper and look at what you have written down under Strengths. And just make sure that you are not in danger of overdoing these. What can happen is that if strengths are overdone, they can end up in the weakness column. Balance is everything.