Have you ever had the radio playing in the background and then you hear something that stops you in your tracks? It hits a spot and you have to stop everything and listen. That happened to me recently.
I was driving along the narrow mountain road that hugs the coast between San Vicente and San Juan in Ibiza, a giant yellow yolk of sun beaming down on the rippling turquoise Mediterranean water. Glancing down at the rocks and the sheer drop I felt I could have been anywhere, the Amalfi coast or the highway between Santa Monica to Malibu.
The CD was on low, but then my ears picked up two words and I gripped the steering wheel as the words hit me. The words were secret superiority. I’d never heard them used before but I instinctively knew exactly what they meant.
It was Dan Kennedy describing how Andrew Carnegie, America’s first billionaire, observed that all of his very successful peers all had something in common. In their secret thoughts, they all believed themselves to be far superior to all those around them.
Now, you may be thinking this sounds like selfish arrogance. And in some cases, that’s probably true. But could it ever be a good thing?
When I was at primary school, between seven and eleven, there was a competition that came around every year. It was a writing competition where we watched a film, The Cadbury Story, showing the women in far off places who picked the cocoa beans, balancing the baskets on their shoulders and how the beans became bars of chocolate in the Bourneville factory in Birmingham, England. The prize for the best story was a huge box of – you guessed it – every type of chocolate bar, biscuit and toffee that was made in the Bourneville factory. And, guess who won the competition, every year?
Here’s the thing. I KNEW I would win. I secretly knew I was the best writer in the class. I knew the teacher knew that too and I did have that feeling of secret superiority. It was a good feeling because my older sister was a beauty queen (Miss Craigavon, Miss Northern Ireland) and I wasn’t. So, I needed to know what I had going for me instead.
Being in touch with what I had going for me meant I didn’t hesitate to say YES when Hodder & Stoughton asked if I could write a book, even though I hadn’t written a book before and those books would go on to impact thousands of people’s lives across the world, and the first one, Be Your Own Life Coach, may be the book that brought you here today.
It’s time to tell the truth. It’s time to know what you’ve got going for you.
It’s time to know what you’re bringing to the party! When you know, you exude a strength that is very attractive to others. It’s inside you and it emanates out of you. It’s Chutzpah. And it gives you Charisma. It draws people to you because you’ve got something they want, even if they can’t name it.
The other advantage of knowing what you’re bringing to the party is that you have a feeling of deservability. You feel deep down that you deserve to put yourself forward, to get the work, the reward, the money. Yes you do.
Ask yourself…what have I always secretly known that I was really good at?
What examples were there, as I was growing up, that I was good at something?
What do I have the most life experience in?
What do people want from me? What do they value that I offer?
Frankly, when all is said and done, what is so damned great about ME?
WOO HOO! GO LARGE ON THE SELF-PRAISE! BIG YOURSELF UP HERE. THAT IS A DIRECT ORDER!!
I am done with playing small and false modesty. The world does not need it. I KNOW what I’m secretly superior at. I am truly grateful and I’m bringing it to the Party, today and every day and in so doing, I liberate others to do the same.