You may think I’m pandering (and using a cliché) but you are unique. Consider not one of the billions of people who have lived has the same mix of character traits, appearance, or fingerprints that you do. The spark of life within you cannot be re-created. I don’t want to swell your head but you are amazing. Have I convinced you? Read on.
A friend once told me I didn’t sound as successful as I was. Ouch! Her comment got me thinking about how much business I was losing by under-promoting myself. Don’t you think we walk a fine line between acknowledging how accomplished we are and bragging? Claiming expertise and achievements you don’t have is dishonest. Humility is admirable. But it can go too far.
You may not think about it this way. But downplaying your skills and accomplishments is also a kind of dishonesty. People get a false picture of who you are. As well, it means fewer resources for you and your family.
Aside from the risk of becoming a braggart, playing yourself up may hold back personal growth and development of new or better skills. Heck, if I’m so great why do I need to change?
So how can you balance being amazing (without being an egotist) while continuing to get better? Here are four recommendations:
- Couple a goal you’ve achieved with an even bigger one. Promoting yourself on the basis of concrete accomplishments isn’t showing off. By the same token, if you aren't content to rest on your laurels you will find room for improvement.
- Give yourself an honest hotwash. One of the hallmarks of a military exercise is a critique after it’s done called a hotwash. While all the events are fresh in the participants’ memories they review what went well and what could have been done better and how. Even your biggest victory probably could have been done better. Look for small, incremental advancement.
- Keep your brag sheet and self-improvement task list on the same piece of paper. Also from the military, a brag sheet lists your accomplishments from the previous year so an accurate Fitness Report or Evaluation can be written. Have it on one side of the page with the skills, character traits, and goals you’re working on opposite side. That way you’ll keep a balanced image of yourself.
- No one is more amazing at being you than you but someone is better than you at any particular trait or ability. You display your personality and abilities more amazingly than anyone else. From this, I hope you will take a solid sense of self-esteem. However, though you may possess one trait superior to most, even all, people, there are other people whose singularly outstanding quality is better than that one in you. While I discourage comparing yourself to other people, knowing that you are not the greatest in every facet of your being gives you room for growth.
A positive self-image is crucial for success. Boasting about how great you are will retard advancement. You will make the most progress in all facets of your life: Financial, relationships, spiritual growth, by being candid about the areas where you can improve. Having the desire and a plan for personal development will ensure you continue to become more amazing. Such is the essence of becoming intentional.
How do you present an honest picture of yourself? Please comment below.