Can you stand up in front of a group of people and say this, honestly and from your heart? If you can’t, then you will unintentionally be holding yourself back from succeeding in your business.
I know it’s not very British to do this, but it really is a necessary statement to be able to make. It’s not immodest, it’s not untrue (unless you truly aren’t very good at what you do), and it’s not blowing your own trumpet. Well – there is a qualification here. It may be perceived as blowing your own trumpet if there is any hint of emotion attached to the statement, whereupon it becomes something other than a fact. And it’s that which others react to.
I’d like you to try this exercise right now. Stand in front of a mirror and say to yourself “I’m very good indeed at what I do” and notice how you feel. You are watching for any signs of the following: hesitation, embarrassment, doubt, worry, despair, pride, exhilaration, joy, changes in body posture or facial expression, numbness – there are any number of emotions that can accompany this statement. When you are simply stating the fact that you are good at what you do, there will be no need for emotion to accompany it, at any time. That’s because it is simply a fact, like saying “here’s a cup of tea” or “I’m walking now”.
But if you can’t say this statement without some emotion accompanying it, then what do you do?
The first thing to recognize is that in the world of duality in which we live, there is always an opposite. The opposite of “I’m very good at what I do” could be “I’m not that good really”, or a variation on that. To fully be able to state the truth of what you do, you need to be able to embrace the times when you feel you aren’t doing very well – and we all have them!
This week, on a course I have started, I confronted the part of me that is critical of not doing better business in this last year. Yes, I know there have been extenuating circumstances, but even so, the Inner Critic sometimes has a field day. I was invited to inhabit this place more fully than normal (usually this is not a nice thing to be feeling and so it is pushed away). I found myself crawled into a corner in the room, hunched down, feeling angry and like I was sulking.
The next stage involved walking towards the opposite position, that of being successful in managing business very well, considering I am mourning my husband’s death. What I noticed was how much more comfortable it was to stay in the so-called ‘negative’ position; it was much harder to walk towards the positive, and indeed, I was limping as I did. When I arrived there, I was standing lop-sided, but with much more acceptance of how well I have managed so far.
But it is neither position that is true. The truth is in between – where there is less emotion and more simplicity; less drama and more rationalism; less ego and more essence of Self. It is where the truth of the matter lies – I am very good at what I do.
You can try this yourself, although in the full exercise there is much more to it than I have written about here. It’s particularly useful because sometimes the body can tell you things that your mind simply does not have access to.
If this doesn’t appeal, then another method of getting to “I am very good at what I do” is very practical – go back over your customers and clients and write down the results that were achieved by them as a result of your work with them. Then read them out loud to yourself. Be very honest, find specific things that improved, and allow those facts to enter in. Again, watch for any negative thoughts or feelings that might threaten to undermine this process. These are facts, and no-one can dispute them. For instance, when I first did this exercise many years ago, I had to accept (whether I liked it or not) that a client, as a result of working with me, had been able to open her bank statements for the first time in five years, and not only that, but set up a whole recording system for her finances, and operate it successfully! Now that is a specific result.
Finally, you will know you really have embraced the truth when you can easily and comfortably state “I’m very good at what I do” in front of others. At which point you are just plain accepting that fact, which allows others to accept it, inspires trust in you, and helps ensure success in your work together.