Are You Selling Yourself Short?
Have you ever thought to yourself “Heck if I can do this, anyone can”? If that thought has run through your head, chances are you are selling yourself short. If there are days where you look around and think you are not enough, you are selling yourself short. Each of us has our own God given talents and guess what, just because you can do it, does not mean anyone can!
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Why You Sell Yourself Short
Maybe you sell yourself short because you are worried about hurting someone else’s feelings, maybe you think you will sound to proud, or maybe you don’t see the value in what you are doing. The truth is there is value, you can say thank you without sounding prideful and you actually hurt the other person’s feelings when you don’t acknowledge your accomplishments.
Romans 12: 4-8
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Saving Someone Else’s Feelings
You have just redecorated your living room and it looks stunning. When your sister in law comes over, she says “Wow, this is amazing, I wish I could decorate like this!” and of course you reply “Oh it was easy, I just read a bunch of magazines, I am sure you could do it too if you tried”.
You don’t want to hurt your sister in laws feelings. Even though both of you know that blind monks are better decorators, you don’t want to point that out to her. Your kindness is noble but misplaced.
You might actually make her feel worse by down-playing what you both know is a great accomplishment. In effect you are saying “everyone can do this, why can’t you?”
A better way would be to use your gift, to help her. “Wow, if you really like it, I can help you design your living room” is a great response. It gives you the opportunity to use your God-given gift, without making her feel bad.
1 Peter 5:5
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
We are always taught not to brag on ourselves. The above verse tells us to act with humility. Humility does not mean not valued. It means not bragging about our accomplishments. It means giving thanks to God that you were able to accomplish these things. This verse and others like it are telling you not to run to your friends and say “Guess what I did!”
However, if someone compliments you, there is nothing wrong with a simple “Thank You” You do not have to make your accomplishment seem less than it is to be humble. Making an accomplishment seem less is degrading to yourself and the grace God granted you to make that accomplishment.
You Don’t See the Value
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows
Sometimes we accomplish something and immediately start telling ourselves why it isn’t that awesome. Other people have done it better, other people have done more, it’s just a little thing. This is the hardest one to correct out of all of them and I have to admit, it is the one I suffer from the most.
Here is an example:
Me: I finished my book!
Hubby: Awesome, great job!
Me: Well, it’s just a little book
Hubby: It’s still a book
Me: Yea, it’s just a first draft though
I think you get the idea.
I did indeed write a book, but instead of being happy about it, I immediately started down-playing it. It wasn’t until I realized how much grace God had given me to accomplish this, that I started to feel a little better about it.
This type of self-doubt can be damaging to your confidence and prevent you from going forward, and you must find a way to stop the negative dialogue going through your head and coming out of your mouth. Try these three R’s
- Recognize when you start down this path. You need to be able to identify when you start selling yourself short. If you stop it when it starts, you will find it much easier to stop doing it.
- Replace the dialogue with something more positive. When you recognize yourself going down this road, verbally change the tune. If you are saying, everyone does it, change it to not everyone can do this.
- Rejoice in God’s Grace. God gives us all special talents and they are all important in this world. Rejoice in your talent and thank God for his grace in giving it to you.
How to Recognize Your Talent
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
So you read all that and thought, “yea but I don’t really have a talent!” Honestly, you do have a talent, some are more abstract than others but everyone truly has a talent. You are selling yourself short to think that you don’t.
Think of the difference between a carpenter and a CEO. A carpenter has concrete skills, he can point at a house and say, “I built that”, the CEO can not look at a million dollar deal and say I negotiated that, but that doesn’t make his negotiation skills less valuable.
Hard skills are the things that are definite and measurable. It can be something like carpentry or it can be something like doing brain surgery. Both skills are definite and measurable.
Hard skills can be cooking, accounting, surgery, typing, web design, anything that is easily measurable and creates something definite at the end.
Soft skills are things like negotiation skills, sales skills, people skills, and organizational skills. Don’t let the name fool you if you are someone with no people skills, chances are you aren’t going to get much work. If you aren’t organized, you are not going to keep much work.
These skills are as important if not more important than hard skills. The problem is they are hard to measure, so this becomes a huge area where people sell themselves short.
Make a List
Sometimes, we just need to see it in writing. So grab a notebook, draw a line down the middle and put hard skills on one side and soft skills on the other. Then list out every single skill you are moderately good at.
Do not say “well everyone can do that” or “Lots of people can do it better” because honestly, it’s not true. Once you have your list made ask a close friend or spouse to read it over and add to it, because I am sure you forgot a few things that other people see, and you don’t.
You Were Created in God’s Image
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Remember when you are wondering if you have value, or you are putting down the things you have done that you were created in God’s image. He values you and every hair on your head. He gives each of us a talent, and that talent is important to the way the world works.