Self-promotion

Since I started blogging more consistently last summer, I’ve fallen in love with it. I love the community and the friends I’ve made. I love being able to go back and read my old blogs and see exactly how much has gone on in the past year. I love documenting the little things which I’d probably forget otherwise. I like that I can share my life and connect with others who relate.

I think writing about my life, thoughts, and experiences on a semi-daily basis has also helped me to learn more about myself too. It’s helped me to get back in touch with my more creative side and its forced me to address some of the issues I have with time management. What I’ve noticed lately, however, is how it’s revealed to me something I’m lacking.

Now, I’m not talking about what I’m lacking compared to others… we all know that if we compare ourselves against other people we can find 1,000,000 + 1 things “lacking”. I’m talking about how I perceived myself vs how I actually am.

I’ve come to find that I don’t have enough confidence in myself. Now, my self-confidence isn’t at an all time low. I believe in myself: I can get just about any job done and my work is something to be proud of. I believe that I am intelligent in the manner of being thoughtful and I have strong opinions. I’m not afraid to talk to anyone and I don’t feel insecure in my space.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset
Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

So what kind of confidence am I referring to? I’m talking about the kind of confidence required to grow my reading audience. You see… there’s something about blogging that I don’t love. I don’t know what to call it except “self-promotion”. Basically, I’m talking about putting myself out there. Eeek. It’s not that it bothers me when others do it, I understand that it is vital to growing your business/brand/blog. It’s just that it is difficult for me to do.

Although blogging is what brought this to my attention, it doesn’t just apply to my blog. I think I struggle with putting myself out there in general. I struggle with saying things like “yes I am the best person for the job” or “my input is important.” I have tendencies to second guess myself. What if I am not the best for the job? What if my input is way off base?

I wish I could be noble and say that all this is due to my extreme humility… but truthfully it’s likely the opposite. I think the heart of the issue is the fear of rejection. And where does the fear of rejection originate? Pride. Honestly, I think the fear of being embarrassed from rejection or being wrong comes from the my own self-pride. Maybe the best advice for that is simply: get over yourself. Maybe believing that people want to read about me not the me that tries extra hard, but the me in truest form. Maybe people are not ready to pounce on my errors, but genuinely curious about what I have to say.

I think it’s important to care what others think in some situations, but when it comes to being your true self, caring too much what others think can mean stunted growth. If we are scared of rejection, we never try, so we neither fail or succeed. Growth comes from success and more often it come from failure, but it never comes from staying in our comfort zones. If I want to grow, I have to be uncomfortable for at least a little while. This applies in all walks of life.

how-to-expand-my-comfort-zone

I’ve found the best way to overcome my fear of rejection, is to just do it. Rip the band-aid off. Hit enter. Don’t overthink it. For the love of Pete, DON’T OVERTHINK IT. The more I do it, the easier it will become (I hope). The softer rejection will feel (I hope). Letting my insecurity and pride run the show won’t make for anything exciting. I will never reach my full potential.

My goals for my career and life in general are going to involve taking risks. Coming out on stage without the reassurance of an applause. The hope for an applause, but no guarantee of one. Still, I can’t let the fear keep me backstage.

So you tell me:

Does this sound familiar to you? Is putting yourself out there terrifying or just plain uncomfortable?

If this isn’t familiar to you… what’s your secret?!

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30 thoughts on “Self-promotion

  1. Putting myself out there is really hard because I’ve gotten torn down before and it sucked! I have to continue to press myself to do that because it is really scary. For me this is when it comes to love and finding a relationship. I’m just not sold on the chance to get my heart broken. I’m not sure it’s worth it. Still working on this lol 🙂 Great post!

    1. I was lucky to meet my future husband at 16, but I’ve felt that way with making adult friends. It kept me from being social for a long time, but I am so grateful I was able to get over those fears. I think there is a lot of truth to the “better to have loved and lost than never to love at all.”

  2. Sooo I think we were on a similar wavelength today. Whatever I did not allude to in my post today (it was already a novel) you finished off for me here. In terms of blogging – I’ve basically made that step to start “promoting” myself, and as I think I discussed in my post, am now feeling all sorts of uncomfortable about it. I am so so uncomfortable with self promotion – it makes me feel guilty. But. I know this is my own self confidence issues and truly, there is nothing wrong with it – if it is does in the right way. We all deserve to have ourselves heard and say, “hey – ya, I do have a gift and I would be great for that job.” My career is ALL about self promotion – so that doesn’t exactly make sense with my natural tendencies – but at least in that scenario I feel like I can put on a bit of an “act” (actor – get it? ha). I think there can be a way to retain what is true to you, AND put yourself out there in a confident way, as long as you know your true motives. This is so important to be learning now as you are getting ready to begin your career. I don’t think that helped at all but just to say – I am so with you on this one ❤

    1. Yes it honestly makes me sick to my stomach. That’s sounds extreme, but I’m being real here.
      My dream job is to have my own nutrition counseling practice so if I don’t self promote, I’m screwed. No one else is going to do that for me!
      That’s such a good point about acting vs. blogging. Our blogs are about US, OUR lives. If people don’t like that it’s like a personal offense. However, those are the fears that make us act like people we are not, which never ends up going well.
      I’m glad we are on the same wavelength, but I don’t find your self-promoting obnoxious at all. I think you are doing a wonderful job with your blog. Obviously, it’s one of my favorites!!

  3. Kate, I think we can all relate to this. Self-promotion can often feel inconsiderate and selfish – in terms of blogging, I’ve been trying to self promote here and there and I always feel weird doing it. I think that’s normal. But on the other hand like you said, it is almost required for growth and gaining new readers today because there are so many other choices out there. I think what’s really helped me with my confidence (And I totally have a Thursday post coming up about this) is really trying to make myself look like an ideal candidate for jobs. The job market is tough – even with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. If there’s a job you want, you HAVE to self promote and make them know why you are the better candidate than everyone else. It’s been a tough learning curve and I’m constantly learning.

    1. I think a lot about my career and how I am going to need a boost of self-confidence to make it. Thanks for sharing your experience. I think you are doing it in a very graceful manner… which makes me believe I can do the same.

  4. Get out of my brain, Kate. 😉
    But seriously, even though I am older, I still struggle with this. I have always, always, always been afraid to put myself out there for fear of rejection. I’m not sure if I lack confidence or if I am just a complete narcissist, actually. I know – objectively that I am good at certain things, but I still fear failure/scrutiny.
    I’m glad you’re at a point where you’re ready and willing to take more risks! It’s a a constant work, for sure.

    1. Yes, I think it’s a combo of insecurity and pride for sure. I know you’ve talked about also dealing with perfectionism and I think because we think others expect us to be perfect we don’t want to be less than that. Yet in reality no one has those kind of expectations for us. Just us.

  5. THIS! All of it. I am the BIGGEST reason I don’t succeed, because I literally am my own road block. I am so fearful of failing, of not being liked, of not succeeding, etc. etc that I just don’t put myself out there at all. I’m glad you are taking the risk and just diving in head first. That’s the only way to bust past insecurities!

  6. I 110% percent agree with this!!!! I always feel weird or uncomfortable when I try to ‘self-promote’, like who are YOU to say these things about yourself, Heather!
    And I feel like I’ve turned over thinking things into a hobby or something; there is not a day that goes to that I don’t second guess my choices.
    I read your blog Kate because you are intelligent, interesting, creative, and I care what you have to say. ALWAYS!
    Whatever self promotion you want or need to do, you should do it because you are awesome.

    1. Ugh, overthinking is the WORSE. As much as I love alone time with myself, sometimes it can be more harmful than helpful.
      Thank you for always being so kind and uplifting. You make me feel so good!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this! I struggle with the same kinds of things when blogging. I find it helpful to remember that sharing parts of ourselves can be incredibly helpful to those in similar situations. When we open ourselves up, we help create connections and build a bigger community 🙂

  8. “caring too much what others think can mean stunted growth”

    This. This is something which can really be what holds you back from truly blogging to your potential (or as you’ve alluded, in any moment/time of life).

    When I first started blogging, I told absolutely no one- No friends, no family, nobody. Even as time went on, I still didn’t, and let things occur naturally. I felt like it was something embarrassing or that people would laugh- Only now do I realise they are all championing me and being an amazing support- Putting yourself out there can be scary- But that’s the hard part.

  9. I’ve definitely had this thought before, but most of the times I literally think “screw it” and try going for it. I was so scared to be overly self promoting on facebook but then I realised that the people who are interesting in reading will, and the ones who aren’t simply won’t. I am generally quite outspoken and outgoing and this might help me with my “self-promotion”, however, in real life, I barely ever talk about my blog for fear of annoying people. I guess I suffer a little bit from this too. What I have come to realize, however, is that you can gain such amazing feedback from promoting yourself, and it can help you grow so much!

  10. yes! I am always scared to do these things. i always worry about the what-if’s or allow people to overshadow me because im pretty soft spoken. lately ive also been trying to stand up more for myself and speak up. its so hard!

  11. This! Literally every word you said could have come from my mouth/pen/keyboard. All of this is me. I’m afraid of putting myself out there. I’m horrible at promoting myself. Not because I believed I was the worst ever at everything but saying loud and proud that I’m the best and deserve the job/the admiration of others/you name it …. Just feel wrong. It doesn’t come naturally. Some people can just pull this off, confident in themselves even if they’re probably lacking a few qualities that the more shy people have but don’t show.
    And overthinking? By how often I’ve used this term on my blog before: my life. Every day. Given that I’m way too similar to you here I have no words of advice. But I do believe that us overthinkers have a place in this world, too, and by that I also mean ways to make it work for us.

    1. Ugh! Being a deep thinker is definitely a blessing and a curse. Yet, we were all created differently, so I’m sure us thinkers have our place, like you said!
      I’m not shy but I am very awkward about talking about my accomplishments. I tend to think no one cares… But I love hearing about it from my friends, so maybe it’s mutual!

  12. Yep, all of this. I’ve always been a “put your head down and work” type, which has always worked well for me because I do good work and people tend to recognize that. I never want to feel boastful, and talking about myself always feels that way. But as I get older and figure out what I want, I know I have to put myself out there a little bit more and that is HARD. We can do it, though! 🙂

  13. Sometimes putting myself out there is SO hard, but friends and family are always continually reminding me that God’s strength is sufficient and that He will give me an abundant amount of courage needed to step out there and really get a little uncomfortable so I can grow.

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