November 12-19 was #IamRemarkable Week, a cool initiative from Google to empower women and underrepresented groups to speak about their accomplishments and advance their careers. There were workshops, talks, and exercises to help participants identify why they’re remarkable and improve their self-promotion skills. That’s something I often struggle with, so I was excited to take part and learn from other people’s experiences.
Although I couldn’t attend a live workshop, I did the online challenges and watched several inspiring talks and the Build confidence with self-promotion workshop on Google Digital Workshop. Besides discussing the importance of self-promotion and why women and underrepresented groups find it harder to do, they offered some helpful tips to make self-promotion easier that I wanted to share here.
The first tip was to ask yourself
“What makes me remarkable?”
Taking a minute to think about what makes you remarkable and writing everything down can boost your self-coincidence, and give you a clear understanding of your accomplishments and how your skills can be valuable in your career. At first it felt weird to list this stuff, but it turned into a fun exercise. Some things I put on my list were:
- I started my own successful business when I was 24.
- Over the years, I mentored students and interns who became excellent professionals. I’m so proud of them, and some are my close friends to this day.
- Through my content marketing and public relations work, I helped over 50 professionals and companies become known, strengthen their brand, and make a lot of money.
- I had the guts to leave everything behind and emigrate when things got bad in my country. Started over in a hugely different culture, language, and climate — it was hard and I wanted to quit at times, but I persisted, adapted, and am thriving in Canada.
- I’m fluent in two languages and can communicate in other two.
We usually take our achievements for granted, especially if we pay more attention to what others are doing than ourselves — social media, anyone? So, dedicating this time to myself really felt empowering and inspired me to talk about my skills and accomplishments.
With your list ready,
Ask your friends and coworkers
After acknowledging and listing your accomplishments, the next #IamRemarkable suggestion is to email your friends and coworkers for their opinion. Ask questions like:
- What makes me remarkable?
- What was the last time I helped you and what did I do?
- What are three things you really value about me?
Doing this feels even more awkward, but it’s so worth it! I had already asked similar questions for the personal leadership course I did with Groundswell months ago, and the answers gave me such a fresh perspective about my abilities and how people see me. It was enlightening, and I totally recommend overcoming the awkwardness to ask those questions if you want to learn more about yourself and boost your self-coincidence. Well, unless you’re awful and everyone hates you, then the effect will be the opposite. LOL
Now that you’re aware of your accomplishments and qualities,
Create your confidence backpack
This is a trick they taught to boost your confidence in situations when you need to talk about yourself:
Visualize a large, bright backpack on your mind and put your skills and past achievements inside it, one by one. Then save this backpack full of amazing stuff in the back of your mind and mentally open it every time you’re in a situation when you need to talk about yourself and all the cool stuff you’ve ever done.
I haven’t used it yet, but my confidence backpack is ready and stored right between the warm beach scenario and the all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet I visualize in challenging situations or when I’m stressed out.
Practice, practice, and practice more
Self-confidence is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. So, the more you practice talking passionately about yourself and your achievements, the easier it’ll be when you need to do it for real.
Got a mirror? Talk to yourself. Have a dog? Tell her why you deserve that promotion. Stuck at home in a pandemic with your significant other? Tell them why you’re so great and how lucky they are to have such a bright, accomplished professional by their side. You’ll become good at it! And maybe single. haha j/k
#IamRemarkable presentations I recommend
Becoming Actionable Allies
What makes you remarkable? Anna Vainer hosts Susanne Daniels
Identify and love your own voice
Talks at Google presents: Combatting Imposter Syndrome with John Amaechi
Now let’s strengthen that confidence muscle, folks! 😀