by Bryan Golden
Selling yourself short results from undervaluing your abilities, capabilities, potential, and worth. Whenever someone sells himself or herself short, they limit, from the start, what they’ll be able to accomplish.
There are numerous reasons people give for selling themselves short. They proclaim they’re too old, too young, not smart enough, don’t know enough, don’t have enough time, don’t have the right connections, or don’t know where to start.
When you sell yourself short, you hold yourself back. You set an artificial barrier your mind believes is true. As a result, your mind won’t allow you to get past your self-imposed boundary.
This self-imposed restriction is based on a lack of belief in one’s self. It becomes a constant source of self-criticism which is far more destructive than fault finding by others. Your perceived reality is shaped and reinforced by your short selling proclamations.
You can become so used to selling yourself short that you aren’t aware you are doing it. Your negative reaction to opportunity becomes an involuntary response. A cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy that validates your initial beliefs is then created. Consequently, your false premises are transformed in your mind into fact.
I try to motivate people, who are selling themselves short, by pointing out how much they are capable of. Invariably, they construct a vociferous argument as to the validity of their beliefs. Their thinking has become so entrenched they adamantly resist any outside attempt to encourage removal of any mental barriers.
At the age of 55, Mark was laid off from a job he had held for the last 20 years. He doubted he could effectively compete with younger people for a new job. Mark halfheartedly applied for a few positions in his field. After several interviews without an offer, Mark became convinced his age was a liability.
Mark lowered his expectations. He applied for jobs below his skill level. Ultimately he took a position that wasn’t based on his many years of experience. Although Mark was frustrated and unhappy, he was resigned to live with his perceived age limitation. As soon as Mark convinced himself he couldn’t get the job he wanted, he effectively eliminated any possibility he would.
A better strategy for Mark would have been to enthusiastically market his experience, skill, and maturity. Especially in today’s labor pool, knowledge and competence are a valuable asset to any employer. Mark had many qualifications younger job prospects just didn’t possess.
You have a choice. You can sell yourself short and come up with reasons why you can’t do what you want. Or, you can identify reasons you can succeed. Then start today taking the necessary steps to reach your goal. Either way, you will meet your expectations.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper.