Much of the humility we adopt is something we don't even notice, though. My anecdotal evidence (and please challenge me on this if you know otherwise) is that there are a great many people who struggle to accept compliments, who put themselves down when someone says they're doing a great job, that they look great, or whatever. And yet when I asked people in my community and on my personal page on Facebook I heard from one person after another that when they receive a compliment they simply say "thank you".
I'm not suggesting these people are lying to themselves or to me - it may well be that I have such a strong community of positive people who believe in themselves that this is the case, plus there are some cultural differences too, as people in the US seem to find it much easier to say a simple "thank you" than we do in the UK. However I do believe that there are ways we put ourselves down that most people don't even realise they use. And that's the qualifiers - and in many cases over-qualifying.
You see, many people, particularly women, use qualifier words such as think, believe, just, only, kind of, ok, sort of, quite ... and other similar words with such regularity even when they have every right to own the pride in their achievements and in what they do that they no longer notice they are saying these things. I know you've heard it all too - "Oh, I'm just a stay-at-home-mom", "I'm just a secretary", "I only got a degree but my husband got an MBA", "I'm kind of good at selling", "I sort of know how to do my accounts", "I think I'm quite good maths" .... we've heard them all and many of us have used them too.
Do you use qualifiers? How often do you use them? What about the use of the word "sorry" when you didn't even do anything? The use of qualifiers, and the over-use of qualifiers along with the word sorry are great indicators that you may not be feeling confident in your business, and you may be downplaying your expertise, the very thing that the successes of your business depend on. Here are the 4 steps you can use to put the qualifiers to bed, and to believe in who you are in business.
- Have a friend point out to you every time you use a qualifier.
- Keep a tally of every qualifier you use and how often you use it.
- Each time you go to use a qualifier take in a deep breath instead.
- Practice saying out loud on your own that you are good at what you do.
What do you do when you notice that you are over-qualifying to the point of business-harm?
Want a game to play? Find my qualifiers in my blog posts. You'll find some, I'm sure!