Every moment you achieve something, it’s because of you!
It was your work, your effort, your style, your personality and many other attributes that contributed to your outcome. Yet, so many people deflect praise with comments such as:
“Oh, it was nothing!”
“Anyone could have done it!”
“I could not have done without him/her!”
“She taught me everything I know!”
Sound familiar? Why don’t we take credit for our successes? I was curious, so I asked, and this is what I heard.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant.”
“I don’t like drawing attention to me.”
“It makes me sound better than I am.”
“I was taught never to talk about myself.”
If you do not know what your strengths and accomplishments are, how can you expect anyone else to? If you don’t communicate who you are and what you can do, how will people know?
Others will get the promotion, the opportunity or the new piece of business simply because they have visibility while you were taking a back seat.
Times have changed. The competitive landscape has changed. We now have to take steps to be seen and heard, or we will get lost in the crowd. We can still be humble; we can still be ourselves. We cannot be afraid to stand up and be recognized.
It starts with believing in yourself. You do that by knowing what your strengths and abilities are. Find out where you can make a meaningful contribution and setting out to do just that. Be aware of the steps needed to accomplish something and build the skills and practice them until you feel confident. You have to be strategic about how you go about letting others know how you are helping them, their mandate, the company goals, etc.
So, the next time someone says good work, perhaps you will have a different response.
“Thank you; I appreciate the feedback.”
“We/I worked hard to build the skills to accomplish this.”
“It was certainly a challenge, but we are really happy with the outcome.”
“Thank you; I feel really good about this.”
Again, I am reminded of my favourite quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Let your own light shine!