11 Unusual Disguises of Fear

My youngest son will be wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume and my oldest will wear a Pirate costume to the church Fall Harvest party this month. There are super cute costumes, but no matter how much green make up we put on my youngest or how deeply we color in a beard on my oldest's face, my husband and I will always recognize them. There costumes will never keep us from knowing who they really are.

Did you know fear can wear costumes? Some of fear's costumes are so well clothed in your own skin that you don't recognize it as a foreign body at all. Fear is much more of a chameleon. Fear can take on the costumes of other emotions, thoughts, and physical problems so seamlessly that you'd never recognize it.

Fear boldly masquerades as so many things for one single purpose: survival. If fear kept it's most common form, a distinct feeling of dread or doom, then we'd just learn how to overcome that fear and it would forever be vanquished. So in order to ensure it's survival it became a master of disguise. Iyanla Vanzant once said,

"Fear wears so many clever disguises it is virtually impossible to always recognize it. Fear disguises itself as the need to be somewhere else, doing something else, not knowing how to do something or not needing to do something." 

Since you can never conqueror what you can never identify, let's pull the mask off of some of fear's costumes.

Fear can masquerade as:


How To Self-Promote Without Feeling Sleezy

In a world of selfies,  YouTube, and a host of other ways one can say "hey look at me" some women find self-promotion off putting...but you can't afford to think that way.

October is national self-promotion month. Yes, it is a real observance. I doubt you'll get the day off work although I am sure someone will make a great case for why you should. In fact, you can probably think of several people for whom EVERY month seems to be self promotion month...and you want to be nothing like them.

If you grew up like I did, you were taught that is not "lady like" to draw attention to yourself. The "lady" of yesteryear is supposed to wait for others to praise her, then graciously divert attention away so as to remain humble.

I submit to you that one of the reasons you haven't been promoted or gotten that big opportunity you really want is directly related to your lack of self-promotion skills. 

Don't shoot the messenger. I have good news though. You don't have to be obnoxious about promoting yourself but you DO have to learn how to comfortably and effectively promote yourself.

I'll let you in on a little secret. My biggest mindset challenge these days has to do with self-promotion! When you are a business owner, self-promotion is commonly referred to as marketing. I know marketing is important...essential in fact. But in the beginning, I didn't like it. It felt icky, braggadocios, and just not me. Many of my clients feel the same way in their jobs. Many hardworking women hope and pray that their hard work will be all that's needed to get them further.  And that's just not true.

The 21st century woman in leadership has to challenge the "anti-self-promotion" mindset if she wants to be a leader of influence. 

So I'll share with you one of the ways I, and my clients, have overcome this limiting belief in order to clearly see ourselves and our work.

Coaching Activity

#1 Redefine what self-promotion is to you.

In the beginning of this post, I mentioned how you probably knew someone who shamelessly self-promotes and the negative feelings you have with that person. What they do has you saying "Uh-uh, no way" . Don't define self-promotion by the annoying people. Set a new definition for yourself. Just as you can pinpoint the "all-about-me" folks, I bet if you think hard enough, you can also identify the people who self-promote in a way that feels authentic to you.

Take notice of that person. How are they self-promoting without being obnoxious? What are they doing? What are they not doing? 

Define what healthy self-promotion looks like for you is the first step in opening yourself up to doing it.

#2 Create a new mantra

With my coaching clients, once we've identified the limiting mindset. We take time to craft a new one. We work on the wording so that when the old mindset shows up (and it will) there is something new to reinforce the new way of thinking. 

So what could be your BRAVE new mindset around self-promotion? If it helps, don't use the word self-promotion if it bothers. Finish this statement....

"By highlighting my accomplishments, I ......." 

Now list 5-10 positive things that will result from you highlighting your accomplishments.

#3 Make a Triumph Tracker

One of my biggest breakthroughs came several years ago when I was revising my resume. My career coach suggested I list all the successes I had in my jobs. It was hard because I didn't pay attention at the time so I didn't think I had any successes.

If you don't count your blessings, you end up thinking you don't have any.

I learned my lesson. Now, I encourage all of my clients to keep a "Triumph Tracker". It is just a running list of every win, success, or big step they take in their professional lives and the results of said actions. When performance review times rolls around, my clients are ready with specific lists of what they did and the results that happened. Sometimes, their lists gives them the courage to ask for a promotion.

Why self-promotion is necessary

You need to promote to:

  • build your self confidence and finally putting to bed the "am I good enough?" question 
  • remind yourself how awesome you are
  • get that next big job
  • showcase your skills and accomplishments
  • to compete in a global workplace
  • to differentiate yourself from all the people who do the same thing

Bottom line: If you don't talk about your success, identify the ways you've met or exceeded expectations, and highlight your big wins and their impact to your organization...who will?

If you know you want a raise, but deep down you know you hate self-promotion, contact me today so I can show you in 30 minutes how to eliminate that limiting belief and set you on a path to comfortably and un-apologetically claiming what you want. Click  here to schedule a complimentary chat today!