Are you self-effacing, down to earth and humble?
Or do you shout from the rooftops about how great and wonderful you are?
Gandhi was a very humble man, but he was a very powerful man indeed!
Though there is no one right or wrong way about how one should put themselves across, I have often wondered what makes some people more powerful and effective in getting their message out to the world.
The dilemma I have faced for a while is if I have a powerful message for the world, how will anyone know about it if I remain shy and coy about sharing what I offer?
Conversely, will anyone really want to listen to me if I brag about my ideas, achievements and successes?
I am now at the point in my life that having done much personal development work on myself and lots of introspection, I am building up my profile in the online world and gradually interacting more and more via social media.
My intention is to have a solid, grounded presence with a clear message about who I am and what I stand for.
I have learnt that it is indeed okay to blow my own trumpet in the nicest possible way.
Here are my lessons and tips to help you do the same:-
1. Be Clear About Your Message
For me the most important key is for you get clear about who you are, what you stand for and what your message is to the world.
Do whatever works for you to get more clarity and direction – such as working with a coach, reading relevant books and blogs around your areas of interest, attending appropriate seminars, meditating, walking and so on. Anything really that helps you gain greater self-awareness and clarity.
At the same time, your life journey is evolving and as you grow, your message will change too.
So rather than waiting for the right time to blow your trumpet, get started today in some way.
2. Stop Playing Small
If you are good at something, then don’t hesitate to tell the world. This is especially so when what you have to offer can make a big difference to the world.
I get my daily inspiration to let me my light shine from the famous words from Marianne Williamson (often incorrectly attributed to Mr Nelson Mandela) – check out here why it is time for you as well to let your light shine.
To paraphrase Marianne’s words, remember that you are powerful beyond measure and who are you not to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
And as you blow your own trumpet and let your light shine, you unconsciously give other people permission to do the same, and as you are liberated from your fears, your presence automatically liberates others.
3. Know That You Are Enough
A few years ago after a life changing event, I was at the lowest ebb in my life and very low on confidence, direction and enthusiasm for life. A friend who is also a coach, Aboodi Shabi, then made a huge contribution to me with these three words – “you are enough”.
“I am enough” then became my mantra or affirmation for many weeks and it worked miracles in my life.
Wherever you are in your life right now, know that you too are enough. You are ready to blow your trumpet in the world just as you are now.
There is no need for you to attend another personal development seminar, master another skill, finish that long overdue project etc. You are perfect where you are – just start blowing your trumpet.
4. Share Your Wisdom and Add Value
I have learnt that everyone has something valuable to offer and by sharing with others, you actually get to improve their life and the world in general.
So from today onwards, know and believe that whatever you can offer is of value and is worthy to be shared with a wider audience.
Look for ways of adding value to others and you will already be blowing your trumpet in your own way.
5. Overcome Your Shyness
Though my friends may now find it hard to believe, I used to be painfully shy at one time. It is only through forcing me to interact with other people face to face that I overcame my shyness. I have now delivered many public talks but a few years ago I didn’t even have the courage to stand in front of a small crowd.
I overcame my fear by forcing myself to be a “microphone runner” for the UK’s leading lifecoach Fiona Harrold, whereby I got to stand in front of a couple of hundred people and then whiz around the room with the microphone anytime someone had a question. Fiona was very kind with her support and helped me greatly on my path to public speaking.
I can now almost be considered an extrovert, but not quite. I will never be extra boisterous or loud, though I have had my moments such as when I ended up dancing on a bar table a few moons ago, 🙂
6. Find Your Own Way of Blowing Your Trumpet
Over the last few weeks, I have realised that I really do enjoy writing and am inspired to share my thoughts and ideas much more with the world. I intend to do so by building up my blog and getting more people to read what I have to say.
Writing is my preferred way – you may be more attracted to videos, public speaking, seminars, teleclasses, webinars etc. Find what suits you best.
Of course you are not just restricted to one option – experiment and find what works best for you.
In time, I see myself using quite a mixture of the above options to help people make it happen. And you can too.
7. Accept and Work Around any Cultural and Family Norms
Though I am now becoming more pro-active in getting my work out there, I believe that in the past I have been held back by being unduly self-effacing and humble due to my Indian heritage.
We were brought up in my family to play ourselves down and I hesitate to say it, but we were almost encumbered with playing small – it was just not the done thing for us to be out there “making waves in the world”.
So be aware of what cultural or family values may be preventing you from blowing your own trumpet. And then work around them – you will find that your family and your community will actually be quite proud of you.
8. Remember that Humility Has Power Too
At the same time, appreciate that there is great power in humility. Blowing your trumpet doesn’t mean having to be extrovert, brash, in your face and out there.
(It is also said that the meek will inherit the earth – but only as long as it is all right with everyone else !)
Gandhi was a very humble, down to earth, ordinary human-being but therein lay his power and authority. His power came from being very clear about who he was, his values and his mission.
So the clearer you are about who you are and what you stand for, more power you will exert in the world, whilst remaining humble and as down to earth as you wish.
Of course, by power what I mean here is not the power that corrupts but one that changes the world and makes a positive contribution.
9. Do Not Allow Others to Hold You Back
Sometimes other people may try to hold you back or cast dispersions on your work or message. Just know that this is their stuff and not yours.
It is okay to sound out your ideas and get balanced feedback but ultimately you have to believe in what you have to offer, so do not let others hold you back. Other people can either be raised up by your vision or left behind.
I remember a few years back when I announced plans for a project to help with the Tsunami disaster in South East Asia. I was all fired up and ready to create a fundraising event until I shared my idea with a friend.
She immediately voiced reasons why it would not work and why I shouldn’t even bother. I felt deflated and eventually lost all energy around the project, which subsequently never happened. Her negative feedback wasn’t the main reason for it not happening, but it certainly didn’t help at the time.
Since then I have learnt to share my ideas and projects only with supportive friends and colleagues whose balanced input I value and respect.
So be careful with whom you choose to share your plans about spreading your message and blowing your trumpet.
There you are – I have enjoyed sharing my plans for the future and for blowing my trumpet.
It is okay for you to blow your own trumpet too – after all, if you don’t, who will?
There is no room anymore for false modesty!
What I would like to know now is what will you be doing to blow your trumpet?
And most importantly, what is your message for the world?