I had a great lunch the other day with two friends, Kathy and Gigi. It was one of those lunches where the topics moved from one subject to the next and the time seemed to stand still until it was time to go. Then we wondered where the time had flown. I'm sure the waiter was not too pleased with the length of time we took at his table but he was very gracious about it.
Both ladies are Reiki practitioners with professional practices and part of our discussion was the sharing of experiences in having a professional practice. Kathy has just closed hers. She said that she feels as though Reiki is not right for her and that there is something else she should be doing. At the moment, she does not know what that something else is but is confident she will have some indication in the near future.
As I drove home from lunch I pondered that part of the conversation. Reiki is not for everyone, I know that, but Kathy also talked about how difficult it was to sell herself and her practice to potential clients. But it is not just people like Kathy who feel this way - celebrities can too. I recently watched an interview with Chelsea Handler on CBS Sunday Morning. She blushed when asked about her generosity. "Well, I mean, I'm sitting here talking about how great I am," she laughed. "So, obviously, I mean it's embarrassing. I'm sitting here -- what a generous person I am!" Kathy did not question her ability as a Reiki practitioner because in her volunteer work she always got great feedback. However, like Chelsea she has a hard time acknowledging the gifts that she has to offer.
This is true no matter what field you work in. Allison, a freelance designer, is a creative genius. She would tell you herself that she thinks "sideways." She is currently working on a project that, if successful, will be huge. And she has finally identified the right spokesperson for this project. She knew it when they talked. And then she sent me a text that read, "She's in. Wow. This makes me nervous." Rather than basking in the joy of finding the right fit she surrounded herself with doubt and fear.
The problem with selling yourself, no matter where you are or what you do, is that you have to be open to receive but what you may receive is rejection. This is the dilemma. Every time Kathy, or anyone selling themselves, worries about how they will be perceived you can bet the potential client can pick that up. The potential client may not be able to say exactly why they’re not interested but it won’t feel right. As Kathy puts her brochures in the gym, counting them, returning each day to count them, fretting over the fact that none have been taken, she surrounds herself with doubt and fear.
We all have gifts to offer. But you can only give to others what you already have. Have you truly received, accepted, and given thanks for your talents and abilities? Or do you think them silly or unworthy? Do you compare yourself saying others are smarter, more organized, or more talented? If so, drop it. Now!
As Marianne Williamson so famously wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Embrace your power. Only then will others be able to embrace it too.