Forget Phil Spencer: Secret Agent:
how do you sell yourself? .....
No, I don’t mean the oldest profession, or even your performance at interview: I mean (firstly) … to you?
How do you describe yourself, to yourself, and to others? Are you presenting the grubby entrance hall, when in fact there is a spacious, light living space just beyond?
We Scots are famous for underplaying our talents, for not wanting to ‘get above ourselves’. And yes, being bumptious, boastful, is the flipside of this and is just as much of a mask, equally untruthful: a mask with which to hide our insecurities, the fears we’d rather not face up to.
What do we achieve by talking ourselves down?
I’m terrible at chess
I’m awful with money
Are they true? Or are they simply a misrepresentation?
Part of the trouble with repetitive statements about ourselves is that not only do we end up buying into them, but others do as well.
I may, in a flash of false modesty, say to my boss:
‘I’ve done the spreadsheet, but it’s a bit rubbish.’
Or ‘I’m usually terrible in meetings.’
Or ‘I’m such a ditz.’
I may wish my boss to recognise my sterling qualities:
Great with the photocopier
A smile for everyone
Calm in the face of the blitz
The go-to person for any staffing concern,
but I may be forgetting the image I have sold already, which she has unconsciously taken 100% on board: no questions, blind to the fact that I make a fabulous latte …..
And what about myself? These are blank statements:
I’m terrible in meetings?
Am I? Was this something I was born with? Perhaps my boss could support me in knowing how to contribute effectively; or I could focus on my breathing to centre, calm and collect before speaking.
I’m such a ditz?
Are you? Or is everything so overwhelming right now you sometimes forget your keys?
Perhaps you need some support: time for yourself.
Any of these statements could be replaced with: ‘Oops’ - an internal expletive as we observe. A mental note of how we might do it next time:
So, next time you talk about yourself, think about what you are selling: do I need to say it?
And forget the weeds in the back garden - focus on the lovely period features and that lovely airy living space!
By Catriona Murray
Find out more on the Shiatsu Society website.