There are some talented, creative and just plain brilliant people in the Brave community (and in my wider network also). One of the things that strikes me over and over is just how modest we can be – this is not a good thing by the way.
What I’m really saying is just how much trouble some people have in first, claiming and secondly, expressing their expertise. These same people don’t have the same difficulty in using their expertise to help others or pursue their craft, by the way.
Some of my clients baulk at the word ‘expert’, and here’s the thing, the stuff we take for granted is often the very expertise others look to us for. You don’t have to feel like an ‘expert’ to share your expertise with someone who needs your help, and is willing to pay for your services or product. They have to feel like you are the ‘expert’ that can help them.
I have talked with many people about this very struggle – and if you are one of the lucky ones who has no difficulty claiming your expertise, you are probably wondering what the heck I’m even on about! The point of this post is two-fold – firstly; if you are too modest, to get you to ask yourself why; and secondly if you don’t have any trouble ‘blowing your own trumpet’ to ask you to share some ‘how’s’ in the comments, with those who find it more challenging.
My perspective – you are too modest because of the stories you choose to believe. We are often conditioned, as youngsters not to be big heads, show offs or to stand out too much and for some of us that sticks. It creates a real internal contradiction between genuinely knowing you are good at what you do, and comfortably being able to articulate that expertise to others in a congruent manner. One of two things happens as a result – and neither is good! You might skulk in the background, resenting those in your field who do get noticed, who you know are not as good as you. Alternatively, you might let yourself off the hook with a whole load of excuses about why you are hiding.
So how do you own your own glory?
- Remember it’s not just about you – if you are selling your expertise to help others, you can’t help them if they don’t know about you. If they don’t know about you, or are not convinced by you, they will go to your competitor – you know the one that is not as good, but doing better!
- Look at what story you tell yourself – I’m showing off, people will see through me, I’m not really an expert etc. Then decide if that is really the story you want to be telling yourself (or others).
In my view, by being too modest we are doing our potential clients and ourselves a major disservice. If you fall into that trap, start by making a list of all the things you are proud of, everything you have achieved, and all the great experience you have. When you look at this list, use it to authentically craft your CV, online profiles, intro statements – we don’t need to put a whole load of spin on stuff, the very things we take for granted are the things that make us experts in the eyes of those we serve.
I would love to hear your thoughts comments and ideas on showing up in the best way.