Tip #4: Don’t Sell Yourself Short
This tip is from my Special Report written for recent high school graduates. It is also relevant to most adults. (Make that all adults.)
It makes little difference to me whether you have elected to study for another four years or you have decided to enter the labor market right out of the gates. What I do care about is that regardless of the path you decide to take, I want you to be damn good at what you are doing. Honest, hard working, and damn good.
As much as you will want to achieve your specific goal or objective, you must know that there will be other “qualified” candidates pursuing the same prize. Your challenge will be to out-work them, out-hustle them, out-smart them, and begin your day before them.
Please hear this. You can get your college degree, or you can get that job promotion. It is entirely up to you depending on how badly you want it. It all boils down to whether you are willing to “pay the price” or not.
From this day forward, as you meet people, you must (spelled M-U- S-T) lead with your best foot forward. You MUST position yourself as “somebody special.” In the blink of an eye, people will size you up and either accept you, question your motives, or reject you.
Failure to look people in the eye when speaking to them is a popular mistake exhibited by most people. This is not just a youth-oriented error. People in general are poor at looking people in the eye. This is to their disadvantage. “Eye-darting” demonstrates a lack of confidence. Even worse, it could be interpreted as insincerity or dishonesty. It can be a clue that the person speaking is unsure of his/her content. Not much good can come from not looking at your audience.
This could possibly be one of my simpler suggestions, but also one of the more difficult strategies to put into practice. Holding eye contact is rarely practiced yet tremendously important. I want you to prove this to yourself by paying attention to your roving eyes the next time you are deep in conversation. You’ll find yourself looking at the ground, staring over people’s shoulders, or even looking away from their body altogether as you continue to speak to them. In mid sentence, check to see what you are looking at. Your eyes will bob-and-weave from left to right to up to down. It is a common phenomenon; one that definitely effects your relationship-building capabilities.
Let me say it again: Failure to hold eye contact can be a sign of a lack of confidence in what you are saying.
Make it a point to watch other people’s eyes drift away from you. Try not to smile as you see how prevalent this is. Then go to work on looking at your target audience. At first, this may be difficult to do. It is worth the effort. You don’t want to stare at them. Allowing your eyes to move away from your target now and then is natural. Just don’t “stay away” for any length of time. First, notice it. Then, work on it.
Most people your age don’t understand this, so if you practice this strategy, you’ll be positioning yourself as “somebody special.” Believe me, it will work in your favor if you can hold eye contact.
Let’s face it, being you is the only thing you can pull off 100% correctly without fear of screwing it up. (This may not be entirely true. A few of you may have the talent to even fool yourselves into thinking that you are better or worse than you actually are.)
I’m not suggesting that you stop learning, growing, and trying to improve yourself in every category that makes sense to you. I am suggesting that you don’t try to become the person that everybody else wants you to become at the expense of you being who you are and who you are meant to be. Chances are you already know what areas need a little work. Chances are you already know what you enjoy doing, and you know what skills and talents come easy for you.
Yes, I want you to keep improving. But I also want you to be comfortable in showcasing yourself to the world. Blemishes and all.
That being said, if being yourself jeopardizes your chances for achieving your key objectives, you might want to think twice about flaunting your true colors. I think you know what I mean. I want you to be comfortable being you, but not to your detriment.
Perhaps Diane Ackerman said it best:
“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”
|This is just one of the tips Mike Marchev offers High School Graduates who are preparing to enter a world that does not care if they succeed or fail. Do your son, daughter, niece, nephew or next-door neighbor a favor by presenting them with their own copy of 21 Life Changing Tips For The College Bound High School Graduate.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
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