Are you making your accomplishments look bigger than they are?
Are you worried that others may think you haven't accomplished enough, so your own pleasure at meeting a goal isn't as strong as it could be?
Do you streeeetch the truth so others think you've accomplished more than you have, or more than you are confident to report?
I saw a great message from a nationally-known author. He speaks around the country, commands very high fees, and has been featured in numerous, large publications. He has a very large following.
This is verifiable - use your GoogleFu.
This is what he posted yesterday evening:
"To give you an idea, we ordered 35 copies of my new book today seperately for different clients/etc... And it ranked the book #700 on Amazon and one of the "best-selling" business books.35 copies.Remember that when you see someone claim to write a best-selling book. Like me :)"-UnMarketing
Besides the refreshing honesty - he could have EASILY just left it at 'one of the best selling business books.' That sure would have sold more of them, wouldn't it?
But he didn't. He was transparent to the point that it could have hurt him or his brand. "A national author but not a #1 author? What a liar!" But that honesty will only serve to win him morefans, I think.
There are several ways that we stretch the truth - whether intentionally or not:
1. We write misleading headlines on our articles or blog posts.Not the kind designed to tease you and get you to open it up - you make a claim that can't be backed up by anyone with internet access and five minutes of spare time. Don't assume that others can't figure out when you've pulled a fast one on them. You don't get many opportunities to redeem yourself after that.
2. We fudge our content.We create scenarios that didn't actually happen, or relay our viewpoint of a situation that occurred in which we are painted with a nicer brush than the one that was actually used.
3. We make up testimonials.Maybe you have clients who just can't get around to recommending you even though you rocked the house for them. Maybe you only have had one or two clients and don't feel confident asking them for their words. So you make them up. You might be able to back up what you say about yourself, but putting a fictitious name on them is leaning towards lying, would you agree?
4. We change our title according to the occasion.Maybe we call ourselves the Featured Speaker when we're really part of a group of speakers who each get 10 minutes. Perhaps we call ourselves an Author when we haven't yet published a book, even through Lulu.
...and I'm sure you can think of more, but I think you get my point.
That's what I'm pondering today. I think it boils down to basic insecurity - we ourselves are not proud of the actual accomplishment - or feel that it is 'too small' to be of any significance to anyone else as it is in its present state. Not worth tooting our horn over, in other words.
So we modify things so that we create a picture that is 'more acceptable.'
The question is: more acceptable to who? To others? Or to you?
Food for thought?
Michelle Gower provides kicka** results for kicka** people at Gower Power Consulting, a premier WordPress training, coaching, and solutions authority for business and bloggers, in Raleigh, N.C.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and, her wit can be enjoyed in full glory at http://www.facebook.com/gowerpowernc.
She is about to teach Beginning WordPress at Wake Tech Community College to awesome small business owners and freelancers just like you starting July 23. Get in while you can.
Copyright 2012 Michelle Gower. No part of this article may be redistributed, in part or whole, without express written permission from the author.