Monday, May 4, 2009

Toot of the Horn

Many people I talk to are reluctant to acknowledge their gifts or skills. They believe that if they claim their gifts that it would be like tooting their own horn. I say "Why not?" The toot of the horn is primarily for your benefit. It grabs your attention and says "Wake up", use your gifts and be grateful for them.

Why not toot your horn, if it means you are even more closely knowing the truth about you? I'm not suggesting it's healthy for one to go around telling everyone they see what a great singer, dancer, or athlete they are. That doesn't make sense and would be more about looking for validation from someone else than it would about simply knowing the truth and feeling confident in sharing your gifts.

If we aren't truly knowing and owning our gifts, we can't fully use them. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. Owning means being able to think or even speak the truth about you, without embarrassment or minimizing.

Yesterday I was completing a form for a marketing company I hired, that asked me to list my strengths. As I began the list, I noticed it felt good to type out the words, neatly aligned with bullets preceding them. As my list lengthened, I noticed I felt better and better. When I really gave some focused thought about my strengths, I discovered some things came to mind that I hadn't thought much about before. When I was finished, I thought "the people that hire me are going to really be pleased with what they get".

I laughed when I thought about how silly it would be for me to hesitate in writing the list. What good would it serve? I wasn't comparing myself to any other individual, I was simply describing what a client would receive if they hired me. If I didn't believe it, why should they? If I don't believe it, how can I fully share my gifts with those around me?

So, I say toot your horn! Toot it as much as you'd like. The toot of your horn is not meant to make someone get out of your way, but to let them know you're near by and ready to serve.

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