Many people are uncomfortable talking about themselves. They are reluctant or reticent to tell others:
- who they are,
- what their goals are;
- about their gifts; even
- about their plans; and lastly
- about their dreams!
I have found this to be particularly true about helping professionals (Counselors and even Coaches). The reasons seem to be myriad but here are a few that I’ve been able to surmise.
- They think talking about their goals will “jinx” their outcome.
- They may feel anxious about sharing more of themselves and believe no one is interested.
- Some fear that others may “steal” their ideas; or work against them in some way.
- Others don’t totally believe in themselves or their goals; harboring a fear that what they want is impossible or unattainable.
So let’s address these concerns one by one!
- It is true that there are very few new ideas “under the sun.” That being said, almost any idea you have is something that others currently have or already had.
- Another person entering the same niche, offering similar services or sharing the same interest as you is not a grand conspiracy. It is life, it is market forces, it is their right to pursue their goals and dreams.
- No matter what professional path you are on there are many on your journey. I have found it is best to join forces when possible. Recognize that what you share or know collectively as a group is greater than what you can come up with on your own. That is the power of the group in action.
- This is why the colleagues in my supervision and consultation groups benefit from the multiplier effect of more than one person gathering around a solution and around learning.
- It seems that people who are anxious believe no one is interested and would rather skip to or engage in relationships where there is already some familiarity or comfort before sharing more about themselves professionally.
- The truth is from a marketing and sales perspective you will occasionally have to engage in a “cold” start. You will meet people unexpectedly and there will be an opportunity to share about your self.
- The anxious person will often try to get through the introductions with as few words as possible, so that the spotlight will be on someone else. They may struggle to listen to the other person’s introduction of themselves because they are focused on how they came across themselves. I think the best way to get past this and really show up for yourself, for your goals and for others goals is to learn to focus on the other person and what you might provide for them.
- Show an interest in what they are doing and how they are moving toward. People like talking to people who are interested in them, unless they are also anxious. If that is the case, you will know because your dialogue will be brief. And you have now learned that there will be very little pressure in your exchange. You have found a kindred spirit and they will forgive you your awkwardness if you forgive them theirs.
- Lastly, some people have limited interest in others or on some level resent that they may need to listen to or endure others. Yes… that may seem harsh, but it is true. If you find yourself resenting listening to others you could be burnt out…. overworked… out of balance as it relates to fun and self care or not really passionate about your chosen profession. Whatever it is, work through it with a colleague, counselor, friend, coach or consultant. You don’t want anything hidden from your conscious knowing to block your success.
- There may be universal, spiritual, and physical principles at play in mysterious ways that we many never fully understand.
- You are not inviting disaster or bad luck by expressing who you are and what you want. In fact, an unwillingness to share these things is a good way to practically guarantee that you won’t benefit from opportunities and information that others would share with you; if they only knew who you were and what you wanted or planned.
- After all, we often comment as therapists that we should not be to committed to going into session with too much of a plan because the client will have their own needs and agenda and your plan will not be implemented. The truth is we always have a plan to implement our counseling skills. Depending on your theoretical approach, you have a set of interventions and activities; and we should always be on the clients’ agenda anyway.
- It is not wrong to have dreams, goals and plans in any aspect of life. What becomes stifling is if we are inflexible and don’t adjust when adjustment is necessary. Often something going wrong is in an opportunity to find what is right!
- Lastly, some people don’t really believe that what they want is possible or attainable.
- They fear they won’t get what they want!
- They fear what they want itself!
- They fear what they will do if they get what they want!
- They fear how they will handle it if they don’t attain their dream!
- They fear how life will change if they get what they want!
- Lastly, they fear not being able to live with the critic in their head if they “fail.”
- Well I have written about failure, like so many others before me. Failure is a part of success. You have to be willing to risk failure to get or have the life and career that you want.
- Believing in yourself is necessary if you want others to believe in you and participate in your products or services. No one wants to engage with someone on a business level who comes across as uncertain.
- This does not mean that you should be a “know it all.” Because no one knows it all and that is an annoying characteristic. It means that you should be authentic and work to build your confidence through practice. Obtaining information is the easy part. Putting it into practice effectively is the tougher element that leads to self efficacy (I believe I can do it).
Today I received support from various friends from all different fields – both online and offline.
I was touched and very grateful for all of their support. In fact, I have found that when I regularly speak to others about what I am doing or what I want… people show up with amazing suggestions and gifts of their time, knowledge, skills and resources.
Show an interest in others!
Share about yourself!
Be courageous and bold in the pursuit of your dreams!
Be humble and gracious about the generosity you will receive from others!
The next time you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to someone or to get reacquainted with someone, share the real and authentic you. When you share yourself, you are giving… and giving and receiving cannot exist without one another.
Copyright © 2015 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.