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HOW TO… Confidently Share your Accomplishments with Others

Sometimes we are too tired to be confident

Do you panic when you are asked to introduce yourself in a work-related situation? Do you awkwardly stumble, mumble or rush through opportunities to pitch yourself?

It turns out that a lot of women are uncomfortable talking about their professional accomplishments, even when they believe that self-promotion plays a leading role in furthering their career or educational opportunities. You may be so uncomfortable that you further diminish the accomplishment with comments such as, “It was really not a big deal,” or “Anyone could have done it.”

But here’s the hard truth: If you don’t make others know how good you are, you shouldn't expect them to figure it out on their own. We’re all busy, often moving too fast to pay attention to who and what other people do unless it has some benefit for us personally.

Self-promotion can be especially challenging for women who have been socialized to act in polite and selfless ways so that others don’t feel less worthy. We share a fear of being labeled self-centered or conceited. But you know intuitively that confidence is attractive and infectious - so start by being the president of your own fan club - and don’t be surprised when others proudly want to be part of and brag about you, too!

But first, how do we overcome the pressures of society and our own self-imposed ‘good girl’ boundaries so we can confidently showcase our talents and contributions? Here are ways to confidently promote yourself for a raise, in an interview or just to share a professional milestone:

1. Phrase it like this “I’m so excited to share with you that…” When you share this with someone directly, they will feel honored that you are telling THEM about this accomplishment.

2. Consider how your accomplishment might help THEM. Knowing that you have that specific skill or experience may just be an asset for the other person in the future. You can say something like, “I just led a very challenging project so let me know if your team would ever benefit from my experience.”

3. Don’t be surprised if others don’t clearly congratulate you or even respond. Your accomplishments may intimidate them or make them feel unworthy. They may not even understand or appreciate the effort that went in. Instead, take the time to mark this small win for yourself to build your “confidence library.”

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