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When enough is enough

“A few moments of preparation may give your words more influence than you’d expect.”

Self-promotion or “tooting your own horn”, as it was referred to it in the last article (click here to read it), is often difficult for many. It can initiate dozens of alarming feelings which are often associated with selfishness. Yet sometimes it’s a necessary part of the job description. Athletes, for instance, frequently use it as a psychological tactic against their opponents and anyone running for political office can’t go on the stump promising only miraculous mediocrity.

So how does one know when enough is enough? What is the appropriate amount of self-promotion for any occasion? Perhaps you’ve surmised by now that there is no single answer for every situation. However, a little preparation can be extremely helpful for any challenging circumstance in which you may find yourself.

Remember, there are numerous conditions and contexts that could possibly demand different responses. A job interview, for instance, requires a better crafted speech than a casual conversation you are having with a complete stranger.

An extremely prudent step would be to actually practice what might be said in more challenging environments. Mull over in your mind or better yet, write down what you could say or do. In private, it’s okay to exaggerate or embellish some of your hidden talents, strong abilities, and fortitude. This kind of practice is especially helpful for those who are inclined to sell themselves short. Focus on the important aspects of why you are promoting you and not how conceited you think you might sound. The advantage of practicing this kind of speech will develop your words into a more naturally flowing and confident statement.

There will always be those that no matter how sincere your intentions are, will scrutinize everything you say and search for any thread of evidence which they believe proves you are just another blow hard patting yourself on the back. But you’ll know within yourself whether or not you are being sincerely honest and truthful, or smug and arrogant. In the end, that is what really matters.

Self-confidence is a key ingredient for a happy, productive life. Many of us have been impeded from gaining it or even falsely taught that it is not true. But those who seek to rob you of this ability are really trying to gain power over you and in doing so, prove they are the ones who are truly arrogant and lack a sincere form of confidence in themselves.

It may not always be clear when enough is enough but practicing using the above techniques will help in those crucial times. The more opportunities you take, the more you’ll learn to be discreet and when to taper or even escalate your hidden talents. It is not easy and no doubt mistakes will be made but think of them as learning opportunities which will sharpen the ability to toot your own horn.

If you have any additional questions or would like some assistance with learning the art of self-promotion, please feel free to contact me. It will be a pleasure to help in any way I can. My thanks to Alberto Restifo on Unsplash for the beautiful photo and I look forward to your comments.

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