I have always been firmly of the notion that a person doesn’t go about telling everyone how talented and skilful they are but rather a person waits for others to notice and if appropriate, tell them. It seems I am increasingly in the minority. Over recent years I have noticed how more and more often people are quite willing to sing their own praises. The old self-praise adage seems to be mostly forgotten. A couple of weeks ago I was speaking to someone I used to know fairly well, they said to me, “you will notice …”, and proceeded to inform me of what they considered to be one of their better qualities, emphasis theirs. If you know me at all, and one or two of you do know me in real life, you will have a pretty good idea how I reacted to that. I smiled at the speaker but my internal voice was in full flow. If they felt strongly enough about their abilities to tell me I would notice them, and to emphasis the “will” as they spoke, I knew I would certainly be on alert for signs if they had it right in their personal assessment. Noticers activated. So far, results are mixed.
I mention this because I don’t promote myself, even in situations where I am asked for an honest assessment of my abilities I tend to make some laughing remark or pick some pretty innocuous skill. If you asked others what they thought of my abilities, they would probably give you the same sort of reply, because that is what I feed them. Other people who believe in their skills, who tell them with conviction and mean it when they say it, whether or not their opinions of their abilities are actually a fair gauge or not, are generally believed. They own it, others buy it.
I have known this, logically, for years. During those years I have balked at doing the same thing. Who wants to be a braggart? Who likes a braggart? After all, don’t we all, no matter how knowledgeable, skilled or experienced still plenty we can learn and room to grow and improve? I never want to stop growing or improving however I am going to start owning what I do know, the skills I do possess and the experience I carry. When asked I am going to try to give an honest answer. I am not going to boast, nor to think I have all the answers or know everything but I am going to start owning what I do know.
Do you own your skills? I hope so. If not, what holds you back from doing so? Please share in the comments or link to a post in your own blog, I would love to know.
I hope your new week has had a gentle beginning for you.
All images © L. McG.-E. All rights reserved.
© 2012, Penbleth / L. McG.-E.. All rights reserved.