“…to thine own self be true”
– Polonius in Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82
“…to thine own self be true (sort of, it depends?)”
– Johnny Elle
Have you ever been too honest?
- If your wife asks you, “Do I look fat in this?”, how do you reply?
- If your boyfriend asks, “does size matter?”, how would you reply?
While “authenticity” and “stronger together” are buzz words du jour, as a Socially Upward you know better than to fall for 100% honesty. After all, loose lips sink ships.
We are probably pretty versed in telling “white lies” – take your answers to those questions above.
Yet how often is it that we tell the “truth” and are “honest” with ourselves?
- We see a job ad that requires 8+ years experience and has a laundry list of pre-requirements. So we are “honest” with ourselves and say we are not qualified for that position.
- Or we play down our achievements or our qualifications. Perhaps due to culture (being humble is a virtue in Asian cultures, for example).
When I was sending out my first resumes to law firms for a summer job, I put down I was “proficient” in French (after all, I had earned a Certificate of Bilingualism). When getting my resume proofread by an upper year “mentor”, she laughed at my “proficiency” designation.
“What the hell does that mean?”
I explained my French training although I was admittedly rusty and she was truly bilingual (so I was sheepish in responding in French.)
So she declared that at most, I should declare I am “conversant” lest I be LYING and COMMITTING FRAUD in a (gawd damn) job application.
Later that year (and not getting these unicorn jobs at firms), I read the profiles of the summer students. I read about one summer student who talked about how she taught piano. Yet she had a piano training a few levels below me. She was teaching people? Reminds me of those people who audition for talent shows, like:
Sometimes you will need to FAKE ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT. Now, I am not saying you tell people you are a black belt in kung fu (only to get your ass kicked by kids like Kosmo Kramer).
Rather, you have to realize that you are your own enemy if you sell yourself short. Fake it ‘til you make it means you take your skills, your story, your experience, YOUR EVERYTHING. Then you package that and make your mark in the world.
Don’t blame (supposed) sexism.
Don’t blame (supposed) racism.
Don’t blame your mom for dropping you when you were a baby.
- Is there any goal or task you are holding off because you (falsely) believe you don’t have what it takes?
- If so, what is your background, resources, story, skills, experience that will enable you to surmount that mental block?
I reached out to a few small-firm lawyers in my social circle to give them tips on rainmaking and marketing. I don’t have an MBA (waste of time). I have not run a law firm. What I have is a passion for online marketing and selling. I developed my own education on it. What matters are RESULTS. (For example, I’ve helped my lawyer contacts with their pages and their web content for lead generation.)
Speaking of results, I wonder my “mentor’s” reaction when I tell her “va te faire foutre” if I ever see her again?