Have you ever wanted to fit in? Be recognized? Included? If you are like most of us, the answer is: Of course!
Some years ago, I joined a professional association. All the members had different and impressive resumes. It seemed everyone else knew the “secret sauce.” But I was no amateur, I told myself. I had experience and credentials too. I needed to let them know how good I was.
After all, my mother had always told me, “She who tooteth not her own horn, same shall not be tooted.”
In other words, if you want someone to recognize you, you had better toot your own horn. And in part she was right. Too many people, especially but not limited to women, feel reluctant to claim their own expertise, to step up and shine.
But was I getting the results I really wanted? Not really.
Of course I thought I was being subtle, but in hindsight I was probably as subtle as a charging rhino… not very.
Fast forward many years…
Coming home from this year’s conference, I reflected on what a great time it was. I had interesting conversations, learned new approaches, and exchanged ideas. It was fun and relaxing and I was invited into new roles and associations. I felt like I had a community, that I was valued for who I am.
Even though I have been to this conference many times over the years, something began changing for me several years ago. What was it?
When I was a newbie, what I really wanted was recognition and acceptance. Paradoxically, I think the more I tried to convince people that I should be recognized, the more it escaped me. It’s no longer important nor can I remember why I stopped, but I did. I began to ask others more questions. I became willing to let others see I didn’t know it all. In other words, I let the real me show up – warts and all.
Then an amazing thing started happening. People began to seek me out. They wanted to hang out, talk, know what I thought, and yes, that recognition and appreciation began to come my way because I had been willing to be real.
So if your routine isn’t getting you the “applause” you want, consider putting away the act and showing up as who you really are.
I’ll bet that you’ll get what you want instead of repelling it.
Until next Tuesday.