So you’re fired up and ready to launch your media career…and then you see it. The giant mountain of Self-Promotion, looming ominously, standing between you and your goals. It’s ugly, it’s craggy, and it can come with a degree of altitude sickness.

Self-promotion feels icky for most of us.

Fear of self-promotion ranks on our list of worst fears right behind losing all our loved ones, tsunamis, and gas station sushi. These are all rational fears.

But while some fears are helpful (like gas station sushi) because they keep us from making harmful mistakes, other fears don’t actually serve us—instead, they let the possibility of pain eclipse our potential gains.

Take it from us: When it comes to self-promotion, you have nothing to fear but fear itself. (That’s how that quote goes, right?)

So let’s face those fears one at a time:

You’re afraid you’ll come off as selfish or arrogant.

Self-promotion doesn’t require Kanye levels of self-aggrandizement. It doesn’t require you to oversell your abilities or skill set—in fact, exaggerating or lying about yourself is a surefire way to fail at self-promotion.

Self-promotion means owning your hard work, expertise, and authority.

It requires recognition of your goal—to help as many people as possible—and putting yourself out there in order get the word out. If you want to reach and help more people, you can’t wait for them to come to you: You have to step into the spotlight and draw attention to the problems you’re solving—and how you’re solving them.

At the end of the day, self-promotion is hard work. If you stay centered by your why—helping people—it ends up being the very opposite of selfishness. You have something they need and it’s a disservice if you don’t tell them about it!

You don’t feel like an “expert.”

An expert is literally defined as, “A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.” Please note that it does not say, “A person with multiple Phd’s” or “A person who can definitively prove they are the absolute best in the world at this.”

Truth is, you know something that we don’t. You have experience and skills that we lack. You have researched and field tested solutions to my problems—and the world needs your help! Accolades and degrees are nice. But if you keep playing small out of a fear of not being big enough, you’re guaranteed to limit yourself. And you’re denying us—and the world—the help we need.

Will there be people who scoff at you? Undoubtedly. But they’re not your audience. And you do your audience a disservice when you silence yourself out of fear of criticism—or value your opposition more than your followers.

You’re afraid of failure.

Of course! The heartbreak of failure is scary, for sure. But leaving your potential untapped because of fear? That is the literal definition of failure: “A lack of success; the omission of expected or required action.” Yikes.  

Look, failure is a guarantee in media, no matter which way you slice it.

There is a learning curve for crafting a pitch, knowing whom to pitch, killing it on air, and getting booked again and again. (If you’re interested in how to do all this – hop on our waiting list for our premier training course). 

You’re bound to blow some leads, have a few slip ups, and learn a few hard lessons. That’s the price of progress. Teachers pop up everywhere. But, if you’re willing to learn and grow, those failures can become the chisel that refines the potency of your message, the specificity of your brand, and the power of your reach.

Facing your fears is, in many ways, the true marker of success. Or, as Teddy Roosevelt said (and Brene Brown reminded us),

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who… if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Use this moment right now as permission to talk about what you know best.  You could reach people whose lives will change forever all because you were generous enough to share your gift.

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