Is there something everyone keeps telling you you're good at and your response has been denial? Well, perhaps you should rethink this.
I just finished reading Laura Berman Fortgang's book Now What? Know Who Your Are and Get What You Want, 90 Days to a New Life Direction yesterday, and she advises using this technique—paying attention to what others attribute to you—as a way to find your purpose. I had read it, but only today while at the gym did the dots connect for me. (So everything they say about exercise getting your brain juices going is true.)
For the last ten plus years, I've been told how great I am at networking and/or what a great network I have. I'd always scoff since I actually hate networking, but I enjoy getting to know people, talking to them, and making connections. This is why I actually enjoyed and succeeded at my first business development job more than I expected.
Despite this, I did not consider myself a salesperson and actually resisted getting another sales job for a long time. I'm an operations person and all about process and people. But the people part means I enjoy interacting and helping others. And if I want to eventually get the C-level opportunity I am working towards, I need to get over my mental hangup and recognize that sales is necessary and not evil. Perhaps I need to reread Daniel Pink's To Sell Is Human.
Ironically, I do have sales experience from my college and post-college days but had forgotten about it until recently. And even more ironically, some of the warmest and most helpful people I know are salespeople. I should not let the ones that give the profession a bad name ruin it for me and the others, nor should I allow my own mental hangup to get in the way of what everyone has recognized comes naturally to me.
Fortunately I got over myself in time for a great new part-time opportunity that will allow me to use all my talents, including the one I didn't admit to until now.
So are you fighting your own mental hangups and yourself? What are you going to do to overcome this?
PS I wrote this blog post last year, and although my situation and focus has changed, the lessons learned at the time I wrote this are still valid (although further evolved) so I have left the post as originally written.