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Kaitlin Gee-Akwada: Learning How To Toot Your Own Horn

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Some few days ago, I was drowning in a pool of self-doubt. I could not, for the life of me, come to the recognition of my achievements. In that split second, my mother advised me to dust off my LinkedIn profile. I had set it up about a year ago with so much enthusiasm, but when I saw the enormity of work that came with it, I dropped it like a hot potato. Still, I was unsure of myself. There I was inwardly running myself down whilst trying to present myself in good light on the employment-oriented platform. What a contradiction. My mother, as if reading my mind, gave me a gentle pat on the back and said, “Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.”

I have always been too afraid to toot my horn, for fear of coming across as boastful, but something changed the moment my mother encouraged me to. It is absolutely possible to toot your own horn without being arrogant.  If you have ever felt the need to sell yourself short to avoid coming across as a braggadocious person, you are not alone. Below are seven tips to help you toot your own horn:

Keep track of your completed work

To effectively toot your own horn or talk about your achievements, you need to identify and keep track of your achievements. Whenever you complete a particular project, pen it down and if the need arises, post it on a business-oriented platform to attract more business opportunities.

Put your best foot forward at all times

Become actively involved at work or organisations you are affiliated to. Hop on projects, be a part of work events. This is a very good way of demonstrating your achievements without necessarily having to speak. Another good way of putting your best foot forward is by volunteering your services. At the end, your work begins to speak for itself.

Avoid excessive use of the personal pronoun ‘I’ in conversations

Constant use of ‘I’ in conversations denotes a high level of self-aggrandisement. A conversation is a two-way street – it is important to listen as much as you are open to speak. Make sure to also ask questions about the other person too while telling them what you do and who you are.

Keep it simple

Have at the tip of your tongue your name, title, responsibilities, positive things you have accomplished and are still accomplishing. If you leave things to chance, you will find yourself speaking more than necessary or simply rambling.

Avoid dropping brag bombs

A brag bomb could be dropping facts about yourself that are out of context of the conversation. When you constantly do this during a conversation, you will succeed in boring the person you are speaking to. It also denotes low self esteem – a person who is quick to brag is a person who needs to work on his or her self-esteem.

Tell Stories

Stories have a good way of painting pictures that will remain in the minds of your listeners. Tell a story that portrays how you overcame a particular hurdle. Telling your story will help others learn from your approach, get to know what you do, and also get to know you better.

You can toot your own horn without coming across as arrogant. Acknowledging your achievements is not the problem, but how you do this counts a great deal. It’s important to also remember that no matter how humble you are, some people will still term you arrogant or proud, or doing too much when you begin to highlight your achievements, don’t listen. As long as you are getting a sense of fulfilment and are not hurting anyone, continue to toot your horn.



Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Kaitlin is a writer, public speaker, and humanitarian. She is passionate about gender sensitivity, the awakening of self and positive lifestyle changes. Her writing is geared towards self-awareness and acceptance. You can connect with her on Instagram @kay.akwada.

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