Sunday, April 25, 2010

Self-Promotion and the Signs of Uncertainty

ALMOST EVERYONE IS BLESSED ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. Yet, there comes times for us to feel rather uncertain about ourselves and our “fit” in this world. These times we get tempted to self-promote because we think people aren’t noticing us and what good we’re doing, our talents etc.

These times—on the balance of everything—are simply a call to hold out some faith that we are getting the recognition due us, and there are many things we don’t know that are perhaps colluding for us behind the scenes. These things we’ll never really know about.

The “Self-Promotion” Balance to Achieve

When we go for a new job, for instance, we must “sell” ourselves. So, self-promotion is a necessary evil.

Anyone who’s in any sort of “industry” where marketing themselves and self-salespersonship are key elements skates a fine line—if they over-correct the balance—that threatens the relationships on the other side to the core.

People can be very easily irritated and upset at us, and frankly turned off, at our overtures for exposure, success, acknowledgment and recognition. The irksomeness of the overly zealous self-promoter is an itch everyone wants to scratch—for all the wrong reasons.

A Change of Focus?

When we start to absorb some of the negative self-reflection everyone tends to make, we can easily start to worry for our success, especially if our focus has slipped onto the issue of the “me” inside us all. We look in our own backyards too intently. We over-analyse. We make little issues into bigger ones than they need to be. We protect our own too much.

Perhaps we’ve just launched out new, published a book or created a product, service or website—and this, in our own minds, can only ever be a moderate success at best, even if people love it. Ambivalent responses just aren’t anticipated. Again, even if they do love it we’ll only be moderately satisfied. Anything less is just disappointing.

This is dangerous territory. But we’ve all been there I suspect.

High and False Expectations – the Danger

For starters, we’re setting our expectations unrealistically high—if they’re not met, and rarely are high expectations ever met, we’ll be crushed, annoyed, confused and even more uncertain and fearful about ourselves. We’ll reinforce a negative and quietly destructive loop.

And what’s more, sadly contentment and achievement become divergent goals. One or the other, not both.

The Call to Faith

All we can really do to remedy this situation is have a little faith.

We try not to think about ourselves, our plans and ‘our successes,’ and focus on others’ needs of us; this way when we do experience those little and large milestones we can enjoy the serendipity of them, for what they are—i.e. little joys.

We all need to be reminded from time to time.

Faith can help us better align simultaneously both contentment and achievement objectives; they don’t need to be mutually exclusive; they can be achieved simultaneously with faith.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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