Self-Regard and Business Development

I definitely dove in head first to set up my new venture. When I left my job I didn’t know what I was going to do, let alone how I was going to do it. But it didn’t take long for me to shake off the ick and get clarity about what I liked about my previous positions. I started building on that feeling and made some decisions. Part of my new plan was to go back to school… I enrolled in a coaching program and elected to become certified in EQi 2.0. I have always been interested in the Emotional Quotient, also referred to as Emotional Intelligence, since the first article I read in college over 20 years ago. My admiration of the topic kept my eyes open for learning opportunities. But time and competing priorities didn’t allow me to get too deep. Until now… As part of the certification we completed the EQi 2.0 assessment (obviously). The assessment is super cool and it goes deeper with more facets than I even knew existed within EQ. This isn’t my sales pitch for taking the assessment. This is about me… per usual. I had a massive ‘aha’ in self-regard. I knew I did not consider myself a confident person. I knew my self view isn’t in congruence with how others view me, or what the evidence shows about my competence… remember that time I wrote about the Imposter Syndrome… yup all that showing up here in the EQi 2.0 assessment. Self-Regard is the ability to respect and accept one’s strengths and weaknesses. Thank you EQ Edge. Clearly I accept my weaknesses, but respecting and acknowledging my strengths… uhmm. No big surprise. But oh geez, how am I going to have my own business and “sell myself” if I can’t even articulate to myself how awesome I am. “Houston we have a problem.”

Business Development (fancy word for sales) has never been something I am fond of. I can only think of a handful of people who are. Even with a marketing undergrad degree I knew I wasn’t going to go into sales. My dad who is a stellar entrepreneur and has been in business for 41 years didn’t make the sales aspect of his work very appealing. It was filled with angst. Basically I have a lot baggage there. This is the primary reason I never thought I would be in business for myself. But here I am, super passionate about this line of work, how I can help others, and have the work life balance I want. So back to my problema… I’ve got to sell it. My first “business development” conversations were a total bust! My self-regard, or lack there of, got the better of me. I was clearly overcompensating for my insecurities so I was just blabbering on and on, not being a good listener. I was trying to give my “elevator pitch” and feeling very uncomfortable while doing it. I would get off these calls and think, “well clearly Rachael now isn’t your time, your anxiety, your lack of confidence, your inability to …..” Read: Continuing down the spiral of low self-regard. I hit the chocolate bars hard after those first conversations.

I picked myself up by bootstraps, after applying to a few ‘real jobs”, and decided I would work toward unpacking this. I enlisted the support of a coach. Wise decision Number 1. Not only did they help me identify the different facets of self-regard and see the whole picture, they helped me uncover what I thought about confidence and how it shows up for me. I was seriously confusing confidence with a Machiavellian ego. They also helped me find what part of business development I was comfortable with, what my “why” was and how to share that with those I wanted to help.

I am still figuring the balance, but I am having more compassion to be myself. I am looking at business development differently. But most importantly my self-regard is increasing. I am a confident person. Once I reframed confidence is how I feel internally, that I could do what I was envisioning for myself because of all my gifts, it would in return show up to those around me. I didn’t have to “prove it”.

I am sure the business development will never be my favorite part of the work I am embarking on, but I am grateful for the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and work on something that has quite frankly been my Achilles heel for a long time. I know my self-regard will ebb and flow. Like so much of what we work on never has a finite end, it has given me a greater sense of self.

“Confidence isn’t optimism or pessimism, and it’s not a character attribute. It’s the expectation of a positive outcome.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter

PS. If you are interested in learning about yourself through the EQi 2.0 lens please reach out to me.

Published by rachaelsarahgass

Working mom, wife, friend, sister, organizational psychologist, learner, coach. Kindness Counts. People First. Integrity Always.

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