Go ahead, blow your own horn

I don’t interview well. I’ve know that for a while and I’ve been told that more than a few times. In an interview for example, I have all the answers, the qualifications and the skills the interviewers are looking before, but I have trouble telling them. Why? it’s simly about modesty.

I can’t blow my own horn and I find that quality in people undesirable. I’ve always been modest. Working in Tokyo for 13 years immersed in the Japanese culture only enforced this trait. Being modest was a desirable quality in Japan and it got me far. Here, it’s a hindrance to advancement.

Two simple but productive tasks you can do to build confidence are to blow your own horn often and note those down in a reflective portfolio.

First, blow your own horn. I’m not saying you should adopt the “I’m better than you” approach, I’m saying you should remind people of what you did and what you can do. Use the words, “I think…”, “What worked for me in the past was…”, “I think this idea may work better than that (don’t use “your”) idea.”, and “From my experience we should…”. Use this often, and dismiss those who feel you are bragging, they’ll get over it.

People want to hear what you are capable of doing because they just may not know what you are capable of doing. Make it obvious and feel good about it.

Second, throw your successes into an online ePortfolio and make it public. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees it, it is primarily for you. If it gets a few clicks then good on you. It’s for you when you’re feeling inferior, disheartened, or lack confidence. It’s for you to reflect on and say, “Wow! I’m good. Look what I’ve done. I can do this. I’m the one for the task.”

Regardless of the task, be it teaching a class, launching a new product, negotiating a new deal or just expressing yourself better in your family, these two task will help you gain the confidence you may be lacking.

These two activities will also help you demonstrate to others that you are confident in yourself and you are up to any challenge. Because you are.

Start a WordPress ePortfolio. Start blowing your own today, with your children and get them to do the same thing. Teach them early.  Tell you spouse what a great job you did today.

I have trouble blowing my own horn, but after being forced to in a job interview, I walk out feeling wonderfully confident ready to move the world. Doing the two tasks make that feel last a lifetime.

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