Humility may be losing ground.
However, for some reason I value it more than virtually any other human trait. I don’t know why, but the people I respect most are the ones that are out there, doing incredible things, but are so humble about it that it makes their accomplishments that much more amazing.
A colleague once told me about an author that she really liked and that she was excited to meet in person at a conference. Then she met this author and got the sense that he was pompous and it totally turned her off. It’s difficult to say what function this serves for us as human beings, but it’s wired into us.
It’s important to acknowledge that in our “marketing wins” world, you do have to promote yourself. I’m not advocating for a silent promotion strategy. What’s important is how you come across – in my opinion, you should be confident but not arrogant.
Note for the psychology majors: I know that an ego itself is not a bad thing. It is your definition and perception of yourself, and without one, you would be lost. A healthy ego is important for self-esteem. Here, I am speaking about common usage of the term – like in the phrase “Wow, that guy really really has an ego.”
Here are some considerations when you are telling others about yourself, your business, your charity or your product.
Don’t: Have an overly inflated ego.
Do: Value yourself. While it is possible to overdo ego, this does not mean you shouldn’t have pride or a sense of self-worth. True confidence comes from self-acceptance and embracing who you really are, not trying to be someone else.
Don’t: Only talk about being good. It will likely have the opposite effect you intended.
Do: Be good. Be your best self and you will build a strong reputation, which will serve you well in the long run.
Don’t: Put yourself in the spotlight all the time.
Do: Encourage and support shining a light on others. Give them the credit they are due.
Don’t: Promote yourself heavily or loudly to the point of annoyance.
Do: Ensure others know you exist and the value you can add for them. Stay in touch, add value over time and be consistent. That will do more for you than just trying to be the noisiest.
Don’t: Dominate conversations.
Do: Listen strong and let the other person speak. It will help you build a stronger connection, give you information that will help you better serve others and meet their needs.
Don’t: Assume you can solve all of the problems of the world alone..
Do: Ask for help. Give others a chance to succeed, present ideas and speak up. Sharing ideas can yield a better solution and a place to build from together.
There’s always a place and a way to sell yourself, get in front of the right people, let others know you exist, and show your value. Just don’t overdo one-sided self-promotion.
Smash your ego. Channel your inner Incredible Hulk.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis
Constant Questions: Do you agree with this view of confidence, humility and self-promotion? How do you feel when you meet someone arrogant? Do you feel that it doesn’t matter how you come across because you are just so amazing, awesome and the best person ever and no one else is even close to as good as you? You might need some ego-smashing.
This video does a great job of explaining the difference between confidence and arrogance.