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