Are you selling yourself short?

By Mel Sim

How to stop doing it so you can come up on top.

Nobody likes someone who brags a lot, especially on about how great they are at work. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t acknowledge the hard work you’ve put in from 9 to 5. The thing with acknowledgement is that when it is really genuine, it is well deserved. But because people are afraid of being labelled a brag, they don’t claim the acknowledgement even when they should! And this could be the reason why they aren’t getting the right credit that will eventually get them the promotion they deserve.

Are you afraid of flaunting it when you’ve got it at work? Often downplaying your superb role in the project because you don’t want your teammates to feel like you’re stealing all the glory? Don’t think that what you do at work is all that important? Claim that oh whatever you did is really nothing but thanks for noticing anyway.

If you answered yes to the above, we have just one thing to say: No.

As in no, don’t do that! Because selling yourself short at work could mean you’re jeopardizing whatever opportunities you might have (like finding a new job or being promoted) simply because you are telling others that you don’t deserve it.

In fact, if you really want to excel at work, a little bit of bragging is necessary. Notice how it is the ones who are so sure of themselves who get all the attention and therefore the really fun, cool and challenging stuff to do? That’s because they portray themselves as really positive individuals who will rise to the occasion, even if they don’t know what they are doing in the first place!

But that’s the deal though – the attitude. When you sell yourself short, you are indirectly saying that you’re not good enough or that whatever you did is just meh and surely someone else can do better. Is that how you want your boss to think of you? Obviously not!

But if you own your work and claim credit for all that good stuff done, then you are showing to your boss and peers that you are confident and have what it takes to excel and even lead. Which is the straight path to success at work!

How do you know you’re selling yourself short? When you say things like these: “Maybe this is not a great idea but what if we did this instead?” An idea is an idea, good or bad! “I haven’t really thought this through but perhaps we can try this?” Come on, you definitely have thought it through; you just don’t want your colleagues to think of you as the boss’s pet. “No, I don’t think I am the right person for this job. How about him instead?” Seriously, you rather give someone else an opportunity? “Hmmm…. Ahhhh….. I don’t know.” Get to the point, which you already know like the back of your hand!

So how do you stop selling yourself short? It’s not easy to ask you to blow your own horn when you’ve been especially modest and humble at work. But if you want to excel and be noticed, then it is necessary for you to do the below:

#1 Be accurate but be bold
Especially when sharing the work you did. You obviously don’t want to claim credit for something you didn’t do but if someone asked what you’ve accomplished from the recent project, it isn’t time to downplay your contribution. Own it and be honest about it. You may think it’s nothing but let the other party decide if it really is nothing at all.

#2 Stop using words like just, I think, Oh it’s really nothing
Like I just did that. I think what I did was OK. Oh, it’s really nothing my contribution in it all. See where we’re getting at?

#3 Start saying yes
Yes, I came up with that idea. Yes, I did that bit in the proposal. Yes, I can do that if you would like me to! See how much more confident you sound when you use this powerful word? And another word to add to this list? Thank you. Like “Yes, I came up with that idea. Thank you, I worked really hard on it!”

Got a story on how you decided to own it at work? Share it with us at [email protected].

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

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