Stop undervaluing yourself – Start realizing how great you are
Yesterday I was looking over a resume for one of the ladies in LevelUp. I had the same thought I almost always do when reviewing a resume. “She doesn’t realize how great she is.” This woman runs a business, founded multiple community organizations, and has an excellent education. Unfortunately, her resume didn’t show how dynamic and capable she is. I know how this happens. As women, we frequently downplay our success’ and achievements or all-out miss them. The stuff to brag about gets lost, and often forgotten, in the business of going on to the next task or project.
Think about it. You do this, don’t you? I do too.
This is magnified when you don’t work in a typical corporate environment. Without the corporate HR circus, we don’t have the forcing function of analyzing our performance regularly. For those of us that flipped the bird to Corporate America to go after our own endeavors, we really enjoy that we don’t have to sit down for annual reviews, that may or may not be accurate. However, we often don’t take the aspects of the corporate HR world that benefit us.
In many environments, you have to submit very regular updates on accomplishments and project progress. I lived and died by a Weekly Activity Report (WAR) for many years. I didn’t even do them very well, I rushed about all week and when it came time to do my write up and call it a week, more often than now, I sat there blankly. “What the hell do I write here.” I didn’t feel this way because I wasn’t getting ish done, but because I was already thinking about what had to happen next. The moments where I said to myself, “Yes! I crushed that.” were only as long as it took me to walk to the next meeting, or open the next email.
Think about it. You do this, don’t you? I still do too.
On the other hand, I knew that my success required me to have these together. I knew that I needed to be able to articulate my value to the team and the client, I still do today. That’s just business, it isn’t negative. Your success requires this. You have to be able to understand AND articulate what you are doing to help and bring about the desired outcomes.
You: “Megan.. what the fluff does this have to do with a resume?”
Okay, let me walk you through this. Your resume is meant to be a summary of how great you are. It is a peek into who you are, what your knowledge base is, the experiences that shaped you into precisely the amazing woman reading this today. It is the big picture made up of all the individual parts. Think of a photo mosaic. No matter if you are pitching a client, applying for a position, or asking for promotion this is a valuable tool. For your entire working career. No matter what you are doing. Yes, even if you are a freelancer. Yes, also if you run your own business. If people compensate you for your time and efforts, you need this. Hell, if you are working for free, you need this. Change my mind.
I won’t go into the different resumes and their uses, how to tailor one for a specific position or any other nuts-and-bolts of a resume. Snooze…. Instead, I want to talk to you about what you need to be doing to have the information you need to put it together in the first place. This will save you tons of frustration and anxiety when it comes time to put one together.
Keep a Brag File
The WAR I put together weekly forced me to do this. Each week I had to articulate what value I was bringing to the client and the company. I captured the wins. I documented the progress. When it came time to put something together, I had all those notes. It was a massive time saver. So a simple Word Doc is just fine. Be sure to have dates and note the essential qualifiers if you can (how much, how long, how often.) It doesn’t have to be pretty; it just needs to have critical information and details.
Make it a priority
Set a time for yourself each week to capture these things. Friday as a final bow on your workweek is really lovely. Other options are just a running doc you fill out between meetings. However, it works best for you! Just be sure to do it regularly before you have moved onto the next thing, and lose your memory of what the heck happened.
Review it occasionally for EVEN BIGGER brags.
It is hard to see some of the more significant achievements that happen over time because we are in the thick of the day-to-day. Going back and reviewing your Brag File after a while is an excellent way to see the bigger stuff. This is how you catch more significant items like “promoted early 3 years in a row” or “Managed 3 projects under budget and on time simultaneously”.
I want to hear from you! – Let me know how it goes! Do you already do this? What is your method?
Remember the “Yet”
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the things that aren’t possible…yet. We get stuck thinking about (read: wallowing in) our limitations. That teeny-tiny little itsy-bitsy three letter word creates a MASSIVE shift. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat across from someone who felt like everything is impossible because the end goal is currently out of reach. We have all been there. I know I have.
Don’t get stuck
Are you so stuck on what you can’t do that you forget the “yet”? A great way to test this is to look at what you ARE NOT doing because you think it may be out of reach. Olympic gold medalists didn’t start the day before, it took Amazon 14 years to become profitable, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting stuck in what you don’t have, can’t do, or don’t understand YET isn’t creating your goals and desires. So quit wallowing in it, yeah?
Take some time to think about what you have to do to create your vision. List these things, evaluate how impossible they actually are. Figure out what the “yet” reasons are. What is holding you back? What are the barriers you are currently experiencing? What would it take to remove these?
Now, take action!
Now, your job is to remove barriers. Now, you have an action items list. You can now start with the doing, instead of the wallowing. You have something to figure out, crush it, and move it out of your way. Once done, the “can’t, yet” has become “Do It Now!” Action is the name of the game when it comes to growth, change, and the life you want to live. Even if all you can handle is one thing a day, do that one thing. Even if you are scared or overwhelmed do it anyway. It will get easier. I promise. While choosing the right action is important, taking any action is more important when you are feeling stuck.
Now, get after it!
Need help figuring these things out? Cool, I happen to do this for a living. 🙂
QUICK NOTE ON… IMPOSTOR SYNDROME
“Oh Gawwwd they are all so much better than me”
“I don’t belong here”
“Oh hell…. I’m not qualified for this.”
I’ve been there. I remember. This came from my personal journal several years ago…
“Thee and a half hours airtime before hopping on another flight onto Reagan International. I’ll pinch myself over the next two days of meetings and handshakes hoping no one figures out that I am the only one in the room without the pedigree or resume to stand among those giants. I’ll pray no one looks down and identifies my new heels as from a store where I also bought tampons and a garden hose. I’ll shake hands firmly, speak clearly, and exude confidence… [f-words], I’m totally freaking out. I can do this.”
Everyone is making it up as they go
I have a great story about a room full of white-haired men that were all making it up as they went. No pressure.. they were making decisions with multi-millions of dollars and with national security at risk. That DID NOT make them wrong. They were doing their job, they were qualified and capable. But more than anything else, they were willing to lean in and do the work that needed doing.
You can too
When you are feeling like you don’t belong, remember, that you made your way to that room, circumstance, or conversation. Know that all that you came from, experienced, and learned brought you there. You, YES YOU.. are there for a reason. Embrace it, have confidence in yourself and what you have to offer, and then offer it.
Today’s topic is something I work with women on all the time. Smashing through this block helped these women find the work and lifestyle that they loved – and not for nothing – paid well. It’s super powerful work that will have a massive impact on all aspects of your life.
Let me know if you want to chat in a Sample Session about it and how we could work together on this for you.
Keep being awesome!
TAKE THE HIGH ROAD… EVERY. DAMN. TIME.
I can’t tell you how many times I have sat across from a woman who describes an interaction that was super-icky. You know the kind I’m talking about…. It is either in their demeanor, actions, or discussing something that really runs the line of your ethics. We have all been there.
A long time ago I found myself in a place where I was surrounded by this culture. Where people were willing to eat their own young (figuratively) to get ahead. For me, I knew I had to make some important decisions, draw a line, and then be firm. I simply decided I would take the high road every time.
You’ll be noticed
It might be frustrating to see people get ahead with their icky-ness, but don’t stray from your conviction. “The high road is always respected. Honesty and integrity are always rewarded.” Scott Hamilton. People will see this in you, respect you for it, and want to do more with you.
These are your people
This is what people are looking for in life and business. Soon you will find yourself with plenty of company on the high road. You’ll find that you have created a circle that you can trust, and trusts you. People that have way less drama and conflict because they aren’t constant dodging the fallout from something gross they did. Here you will find success and fulfillment.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MY VALUES
It’s about real results. It’s about making the real changes and implementing the things that really work. Through the years there have been somethings that have really shaped my success wherever I go. These values are at the center of how I get these real results for my clients. How they get real change and success, they are looking for.
Integrity – Integrity is the state of being whole and undivided. This is number one for a reason. Any effort that doesn’t come from a place of true integrity is a total waste because it isn’t whole. It divides us from what we truly are, and as a consequence, we feel like a total fraud. I help clients understand what their whole and undivided self is, and how to live in integrity.
Openness – Regardless of who I sit across from they are an important being in this world. Their life, experiences, decisions, and actions matter and are important. That means I am too. At some point along the way, I decided to stop hiding. I decided that I was just going to be open, vulnerable, honest. This is where I have to push myself. What happens when I do this is, I show up for people in a way that holds a space for them to be open, vulnerable, and honest. This is what leads them to breakthroughs.
Perseverance – Failure doesn’t happen until we give up. There are plenty of things we haven’t mastered yet in our lives. That is not failure. There is no failure until there aren’t any more days to try. I found more happiness and success in just giving it another go. I encourage this in my clients, and share with them they can try again, and then again. Each “again” is a new opportunity for lessons and growth.
Love – I am a passionate people person. I believe that humans are incredible and valuable. I lead with this love for all people. This way I support them when they can not see the way forward. With heart-forward support, my clients know that I truly believe in their success, that they can and will. I am in love with this world and the people in it. That means I love you too.
Action – “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” ―Dale Carnegie. For myself and my clients, intentional and consistent action has been the real results-maker. I work with clients to identify what consistent intentional actions are going to take them where they want to go.
I am a coach, but I am also a student. I love love love this life, and the opportunity I have to help others love love love theirs too. These values are what guide me and are at the core of how I lead others to live their best life.
HOW TO FIND THE PERFECT COACH FOR YOU WITHOUT THE OVERWHELM
Trying to find a coach can be very overwhelming. Once you decide that you think you are ready for someone to help you navigate a path into the big next thing, you’re suddenly faced with many thousands of options. It is a very common experience! So, to help you narrow your search, here are some considerations to find exactly the right coach for you!
Personality – What type of coach personality is best matched for your needs. The best coaches can match the energy you need in the moments you need them. They understand what type of energy motivates and inspires you. However, coaches are still people too.. We all have a different personality. You must be able the gel together to build the deep trust and connection a great coaching relationship needs.
Specialty – Sometimes it seems there are as many coaching specialties as there are fish in the sea. There are coaches that only work with specific demographics, spiritual or religious coaches, business coaching, health coaches, personal, professional… the list goes on and on.
Approach and Practice – Each coach works with their client in a little different way. How does a typical meeting look? How often, and in what medium, do you work together? How accessible are they outside of meetings? Are the virtual only, or do you want to meet them face-to-face?
My best advice is to walk into every first conversation with a potential coach open. Listen to your intuition and look for a connection. The coaching relationship is so so SO important. Look for someone with training in the specialty that speaks to the reason you reached out in the first place. Lastly, evaluate their approach and practice to see if it will work for you and your life.
As always, reach out if I can help!