Underselling Myself: It’s time to change

If there’s anything us Brits do well, it’s undersell ourselves.

Underselling Myself

As a person that works in and loves marketing with a steady blogging habit, it amazes me how utterly embarrassed I feel when bigging myself up. I’m great at selling a product or service, not so great at selling me, and any extension of me, such as this blog. Definitely a flaw when job searching btw, as I currently am. Even when I think I’m sounding a bit cocky, people have told me I’m not selling myself enough or that I’m not ‘going big’ enough. My ex-boss told me to be louder, and sound proud, and I genuinely always thought I was putting that across.

I am proud. I’m proud of the person that I am and the things that I’ve achieved, so why is this so hard to put over to others? It could be that I find egotistical people a little hard to handle. Or it could be because I never feel I’ve done enough. Either way, underselling yourself can be quite a detrimental trait. When job searching, even though I am very much qualified and capable, I’m afraid that I’m not showing every quality or talking myself up enough – which should be almost impossible because all I’ve done lately is talk about myself to others (interviews, yay!). 

I’m not shy. I will talk about anything with anyone, but when it comes to little ol’ me, there’s a block there.

Professional Underselling

During my five year career, I have progressed so much and can now do things I never thought I’d be able to or even would have thought about doing. While I’ve been better at showing that lately, there’s a little part of me that still thinks I should be doing more and be much more impressive. I forget sometimes that I am impressive and it takes someone just saying it to remind me of how far I’ve come.

When it comes to my own business, I have found it difficult to keep up with selling the products, which shouldn’t be a problem for me as that’s what I’ve done for years for others. For some reason, when it’s my own shop, I feel like I’m being pushy or trying too hard. But I should be trying hard! I have a great little online shop with gorgeous products and for some reason, I’m scared to say it because it’s not a massive success yet. I keep waiting for my own things to be a success before selling them and of all people, I know that’s not how it works.

It’s difficult to grasp why I’m so good at selling others, but incapable of a little nod to myself sometimes. This is not just a work issue though. It’s something that is prevalent in my personal life too.

Personal Underselling

Even though I love fashion and believe I dress well (I cringe even writing that if you needed another example!), whenever I get a compliment, for some reason I shy away a little. Although I have finally learned to say thanks and not put myself down – you know the ‘oh thanks, but it’s a bit short/tight/old/other-put-down-of-awesome-outfit.’

With regards to blogging, I think I do pretty well. I’m actually super proud of my little space, and love my blog, but have basically kept it quiet just in case it was embarrassing. I hid it from people in real life. Even at blog events or online, I don’t tend to sell the work or effort I put into it. Rather like I’m just lucky it’s doing okay, even though I actually put out good content (I’m not joking, I had to change alright content to good content there – what is wrong with me!), my photos have improved a lot and I’ve gotten better at every part of it. I still feel like a little droplet in a big pond and it makes me shy away. I’ve met people with much less happening for their blogs, but they beam with pride and actually talk about it like it’s a massive part of them and so they should! However, while happy for them, I always feel a little cringe because I just never think to talk about myself or achievements in that way. I feel like I take that stuff way less seriously than I could and don’t feel comfortable acting as though my little website is a big deal, but in turn it makes people see me less seriously.

And don’t even get me started on blog awards! My blog gets a lot of hits, attention and engagement, but I feel a bit missed when it comes to awards, and I’m not surprised because I don’t think I’ll get a vote so don’t even try. The odd tweet is about it and then I feel like a nag! (Okay I got myself started there!)

Knowing Your Worth

I’ve thought a lot recently about knowing my worth, and thanks to fellow bloggers and my recent unemployment and more blogging opportunities, I’ve realised that even though I have great confidence in myself, I don’t put it across and this is massively underselling me. I don’t charge enough for blog posts, I don’t fight for a wage I’m worthy of, and I don’t always tell people how good I am at something for fear of sounding big headed. However, my head could do with a little growing.

Sometimes, I know I’m great at something, but when somebody else says they are, I don’t want to seem competitive or like I’m playing the black cat blacker game (We all know those people). I think my dislike of tactless braggers has actually made me hide away and become the opposite.

Upon realising this, I have come to the conclusion that I need to start putting myself out there. Selling myself, my blog, my expertise and anything else worthy of showing off a bit. I know I’m awesome, I love me, I’m just not very good at loudly telling others. But I’ll learn!

Do you find it difficult to sell yourself? How do you get over the feeling of seeming too egotistical or do you just not think about it?

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  • Brilliant blog. I am always under selling myself. I hate in interviews when they ask what your strengths are. I always say I am on time because I can’t think of anything else. My boyfriend tells me I am beautiful everyday and I just tell him to shut up.

    • Tina

      Aw thank you! The strengths question is so annoying! I have a list that I try to keep now, so I’m ready for those kind of questions ha. Aww, I’m glad he keeps telling you anyway x

  • I totally agree that self deprecating is a British trait and does none of us any favours! Great post 👍

    • Tina

      Thank you! We’re terrible, aren’t we! 🙈 x

  • I’m just like that. When somebody asks me to say something about myself, I’m done in 20 seconds with one sentence. I don’t know how some people can go on and on about their lives and accomplishments and I really admire them. My brother has this great balance between sounding egoistic and actually feeling proud of what he’s done. I can’t do that.
    As for the blog, people around me don’t know about my blog yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever tell them haha
    we are weird 😀

    xo Honey – blog Royal LifestyleTwitterInstagram

    • Tina

      Haha we are! That’s a great balance to have, I’d definitely like to achieve that. I actually feel better for being more open about my blog now, but it still does feel a bit weird to talk about it. I got asked for my flaws today in an interview and actually gave a bad one to hat I’m not even that bad at! What’s wrong with me? Rubbish at this! Honesty is my flaw I think! Haha xx

      • hahah
        oh the crap I’ve told people during job interviews… I get so nervous and then I ramble a lot and half of it is probably not true at all 😀

        • Tina

          Haha I know! I’m like ‘Stop Tina!’ Hehe xx

  • I relate to this so much! I have huge imposter syndrome and am always doubting myself at work, or assuming that other people know more than I do. I’m starting to get better at valuing my skills but it takes time! ~ Kate xx

    • Tina

      Oh no, glad you’re getting better. It’s weird because I actually feel confident most of the time, but never seem to put it across. I think I hold back too much, but am getting better too, so maybe soon we’ll be the divas we deserve to be! 🙂 xx

      • I think that women in particular are often made to feel bad for being confident – like where men would be called assertive we’re called ‘bossy’ or ‘too loud’. 🙄 We need to call time on that shit! xx

  • Amy

    This is such a fantastic post! I feel very similar in the way that originally, even on my CV I found it hard to talk about myself and really talk about what I’ve done. A lot of it comes with true confidence and worrying about how I come across. Beautifully written xx

    • Tina

      Thank you so much! I agree, I think even though I’m confident in my own abilities etc, maybe I’m not when it comes to telling other people. Definitely getting there though! Writing this post helped me realise what I should be doing xx