Are you Cocky – or Confident? And Does It Matter?

She was talking about her attention to detail, and the meticulous way she managed complex legal agreements.

As an attorney whose work often involved extremely complicated agreements between different entities, her work was challenging, to say the least.  And it was the kind of work where a mistake could cost someone hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You’d want a detail-oriented person handling that, wouldn’t you? Of course. But in a world where legalese is actually the language of choice, her work stood out. She was careful, thorough, patient, detailed – and very, very sharp.

She was worth every penny she earned – and then some.

But owning the value of that work seemed to make her uncomfortable. It was as if she was apologizing for some quirky flaw.

But her work was nothing to apologize for. It was something to own, and to be proud of.

Do you do that?

Do you minimize your skills, downplay your accomplishments? I’ve seen this for so long I’m surprised when it doesn’t happen. My women clients, in particular, hesitate when I ask them to tell me what they’re good at.

“Well, I don’t want to brag….” they’ll say.

It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true, I say right back.

Just last week, one let it slip that she’d sold three of her new higher level packages, each of them packed with value and priced at just under $1000. That’s a long way from the $15-$20 an hour she was making when we started.

But she didn’t want to brag. I clapped and whooped and laughed with joy for her, while she blushed. :)

In another business I’m a part of where we train women leaders how to own their brilliance, I’m already seeing the same thing.

What is it? Where do we get the idea that we have to hold back who we are?

Listen: your playing small serves no one.

There’s a difference between being arrogant, and being genuinely proud. There’s a difference between being cocky and being easy and confident.

Your clients want you to be confident, because if you don’t believe in yourself and what you do, why should they?

Your business needs you to be proud – because if you’re not willing to share your good stuff with the world, how will the world know you can help?

If you won’t do it for yourself, and you won’t do it for your business, do it for the women and girls who follow you. Model this for them – or do you want them to play small too?

So I’ve got a challenge for you-

– something I really want you to do. You won’t like it, and most of you won’t do it. But those of you who do, will be amazed at what this does for you.

I want you to write your 101 BIG BOLD BRAVE list.

That is, I want you to pull out a sheet of paper, and write down 101 Big, Bold, Brave things you’ve done in your life, things you’ve accomplished, moments that made you proud.

One hundred and one.

EVERYTHING counts. Winning the spelling bee in 3rd grade. The first time you ran a mile – or twenty. The first time you said no without feeling guilty. The time you spoke up for something you wanted. Your first promotion. Your first client. Your first dollar in your new business.

Write it down. Read it out loud. Feel it.

Then carry that energy to your business, and let it shine.

Photo Credit: CLemens v. Vogelsang on Flickr | Catherine McMahon on Unsplash



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