For some reason, almost all women and many solopreneurs—both male and female—find that talking about their greatness is a little uncomfortable. Or a lot uncomfortable. This is a common block for people who want to be growing in their career or growing their business. It gets in the way of creating the visibility needed to make advancement happen. It makes networking excruciating and puts a halt to sales or promotive conversations.
I could write tons about why this happens, from cultural and family beliefs that are passed down, to how stress or trauma play a role. Instead, let’s flip the order and focus on what you can do about it first. You can explore the why later if you are so inclined. Or perhaps you’ll be too busy sharing how great you are to bother with that.
How to share your greatness with less pain:
- First, let’s reframe the idea of bragging. In the dictionary, bragging is noted as sharing one’s accomplishments in a pompous or arrogant way. This gives us our first clue: your tone and reason for sharing have everything to do with how it’s received. Trying to one up your colleague, yep, it’s bragging. Want to exaggerate your worth in the hopes you’ll be hired, nope, not on the right track. On the other hand, if you are conveying honest information to be of service to the situation or the other person, I don’t believe this can be construed as bragging. Accurately informing is a high service in these days where we are deluged with information and people appreciate having things explained clearly so they can make choices that are good for themselves. That goes for potential new clients deciding what services are best suited to meet their needs or the overwhelmed boss who needs to promote the best and brightest.
- Ok, so let’s say you are sharing honestly about your skills with the intention to serve. Now, let’s talk about being offensive. This word has two meanings: to attack or to cause resentment. Now as I said above, it you are sharing your greatness in order to push another down as in attacking, I don’t think you are doing anything great. If you are sharing about yourself by pointing out what others aren’t doing, ditto. There’s almost always a gracious way to share about yourself in a way that is about you, not about comparing yourself to others. When you make it about you and leave out the comparison, it’s more clarifying than you making a comparison. You look great for being responsible in your communication style, in addition to whatever else makes you great. This approach makes you a beacon for others who are looking for you. This let’s you draw in those you are meant to serve, be it a new customer or a new team. Now who could be offended by making the perfect match?
- Now if you try on these reframes and still feel uncomfortable about sharing, you may need to take a radical step. That is to recognize the uncomfortable for what it is. Instead of blaming outside circumstances for your feelings, instead consider that it’s pointing out some inner work you can do. Often, some past situation from your earlier life that still needs working out can rear it’s head as an uncomfortable sensation in our present day when it’s bumped. These inner issues can range from outdated cultural conditioning to times you experienced less than stellar reactions to expressing your greatness to some deeper self worth issues. Though they are from the past, cleaning these up can free up your present time to share your greatness without feeling uncomfortable.
- Another thing you can do is to lead with what you are comfortable with, as opposed to what you think you’re supposed to be proud of in your life. Make a list of things you are happy to have done in your life or qualities that you actually like about yourself. Toss out notions of what others think is great. This is all about authenticity. When you share what’s important and real to you, this transparency comes through as genuine and real to others. That’s actually a relief for the other person as they can see you and connect with you if desired. When you hide behind false notions, its uncomfortable to others. They can sense your hiding but don’t know why. It makes it difficult to connect. Bonus: your authenticity gives others permission to do the same.
Easy-peasy, right? Don’t just read these ideas and move on. Getting to ease in sharing your greatness take practice. Dive into these tips over and over until it’s second nature to share in a grounded, authentic way just what makes you special. The rewards for doing so are well, great.