What does selling yourself short mean

There are many people who cannot show their talent off. And for those who can do it, they often irritate, and they’re usually predictable in their actions.

But in the current job world, things are different. If you want to get the job, you should learn how to show your talents off.

In this post, we’ll discuss selling yourself short at work – what it signifies, the ways of selling yourself short (or underestimating yourself), and gaining self-confidence.

The meaning of “selling oneself short.”

The expression of selling oneself short has its origins in the stock market. For estate agents, it’s a widely spread practice that consists of the following: the dealer lends the stocks that, in his view, will fall in value and quickly sells them. As soon as the cost of the stock goes down, the dealer purchases the stock back to compensate for what he’s lent. The dealer’s income is contingent on how much the stock cost goes down. So, selling short signifies the faith shortage. In our situation, it means a lack of faith in you as a specialist.

When you hear that you sell yourself short, this way, people wish to tell you don’t treat yourself fairly and not take all your achievements for granted. This phrase signifies that you do not have faith in yourself (or it can seem this way).

How do we underestimate ourselves?

The situation when you underestimate yourself can happen to anyone, even to people who are full of themselves at first sight.

The reason why people sell themselves short is in the perception difference. The way you accept your success is different from the others.

How do we underestimate ourselves? There are many ways to do it:

  1. Personal achievements understatement – When you minimize your progress, people will think you’re not self-confident and have no faith in yourself. Or what is the worst is that people can think you’ve done nothing spectacular. There is nothing wrong with being humble, but you should learn to accept both ups and downs. And learning to take bows can be somewhat helpful to end underestimating yourself at the job.
  2. Characterizing your statements – Maybe, you often use such words as “perhaps”, “I feel like” when characterizing your statements. We strongly recommend you stop doing it since this truly affects your statements, plus people can start doubting whether these statements are true. Besides, we advise you to stop beginning your thoughts or ideas with such words as “maybe, it won’t work but…”. When you express opinions, try to tell them without condemning them beforehand. You should take all your thoughts and ideas seriously, and then others will do the same.
  3. Keeping your success in secret – Not mentioning your accompñishments in summary is a big mistake. Even if you’re sure in your progress, but you transform them the way nobody can reveal them, it’s also a big mistake. You must include all your success in the summary since they are the things that make you stand out among other candidates for the position.
  4. Not facing challenges – When you learn how to complete your duties, you can be afraid to take on something new. Of course, we all make mistakes and don’t do everything perfectly on the first try, but it helps us learn and grow as professionals and individuals. The fear of not facing new challenges will put a bigger noose on underestimating yourself. Don’t let it happen!
  5. Avoiding attention during talks – It’s a great feature to listen actively, but you also need to be an active speaker. Don’t be afraid to speak about your achievements when someone wishes to know them. When talking about achievements, you feel insecure or trust the other opinion more people can start to doubt that you do your job independently. Even when you’re mistaken, it’s better to do anything than sit and wait for what to do.
  6. Remaining silent on your desires – It does not matter whether you ask for a higher position or help in your job; underestimating yourself produces actual consequences in terms of money. Besides, if you fear what others will say about you and your ideas, you won’t be able to share your thoughts with others. And this can complicate the process of getting a higher position in the future.
  7. Not trusting other’s minds of you – You should know that underestimating yourself doesn’t depend on how you accept yourself. It means the things that other people see and realize about you. And it can show an accurate picture. If anybody cannot realize the things you do because of the way they’re portrayed, you sell yourself short.

The steps you should make to end underestimating yourself

Sometimes those people who underestimate themselves do not see how to stop doing it. Even when someone realizes he is mistaken, he does not know how to change the situation. Below, we’ll share with you some steps you should make to stop selling yourself short:

  1. Being precise and brave – You should always be sure in how you speak about yourself. You should be careful about the things you’ve not done, but you should bravely share them when it comes to speaking about your achievements.
  2. Taking your achievements – When you succeed in something, we recommend you writing it down. We also advise you to make a folder where you’ll keep all notes claiming you’re great or links of successful projects and statistics that will remind you about your achievements.
  3. Asking for review – If you see that your achievements don’t gain recognition, you can ask your management to review your job.
  4. Taking complements – If you wish to reject the compliments or minimize them, you need to fight this desire. The first thing you should do is to learn to thank and keep eye contact with the person who says good things about you. Besides, it would help if you learned to give compliments to others.
  5. Rising to new challenges – When you have a chance to learn something new, bravely use this opportunity. This new knowledge will help you feel more self-confident in various future situations. Firstly, you can make small steps – develop new abilities in your free time or simply offer some ideas.
  6. Ensuring your summary corresponds to the actual time and it can be read easily. The first thing your potential employer will do is read your summary. And if it’s not clear and precise, your accomplishments will not save the day.
  7. Remembering your weak points. Fighting your weak points is always great, but you should not let them win and determine you. You wish people will remember you for your strong points, don’t you? 

To sum up

Speaking about yourself can always be challenging. Nobody wishes to be the worker that irritates everyone when too much bragging about his success.

 But minimizing your achievements does not also bring something good. It kills your self-confidence and makes everyone feel sorry about you. And in the end, your career will die very quickly.

That’s why you should find a perfect balance between bragging and minimizing your success. It is rather challenging but possible.


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