On Letting Go of Proving Yourself

On Letting Go of Proving Yourself

The most successful people I know shy away from constantly proving themselves. In fact, they are usually the person in the room entirely comfortable in their skin daring you to accept them as they are. Granted they are typically more seasoned professionals and have been around the block, but you don’t have to wait for a few gray hairs to own your agency.The key is to let go of the idea that you have to show that you belong in the room. No matter what role you fill in the company, you belong in the room.

Avoid these traits – they wreak of trying too hard.

Being overly eager to please, saying yes often. 

It’s natural to want to do a good job and raise your hand often, but there’s a fine line you have to balance. Demonstrate enthusiasm at work, but temper it with asking high quality questions before saying yes. Add the phrases, “let me think it over” or “can I get back to you next week” to your lexicon.

Name dropping at every turn or sharing nuggets of information you know about a person or work project so you can come across as in the know. 

People who do this should take several seats. Trust me, you are not being slick with the name dropping or information sharing. You are demonstrating that you cannot be trusted and that your resolve is weak. Stand on your own thoughts and ideas without peppering your discussion with names of higher ups or privileged information.

Giving too many compliments to a senior or important person in the company you barely know.  

Most people can see through empty compliments. Sometimes we fill nervous situations with unnecessary chatter or compliments. Relax and remember that the person breathes the same air you do. There’s no need to butter them up. Instead comfortably ask them about a project they are working on or a recent company initiative that everyone is talking about. Be jovial, but relaxed in your skin without the need to prove who you are and the grand things you are working on. Intentionally focus on them and encourage them to talk about themselves. You will be remembered as a good listener who didn’t sell their own skills at every turn. You would be surprise by how much respect you will garner from a senior person by not talking about yourself – in their world most people approach them with self-aggrandizing bravado. So your approach will be refreshing.

Of course there’s more to being fully comfortable in your skin, but letting go of the feeling that you have to prove your worth is a good first step.









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