I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Ben Settle podcast, and he said something that stood out to me, as he often does.
He said, “If you gotta say it, you ain’t it.”
Ben is an interesting guy. His old podcast was called The Antipreneur. I think you can still find archives of the show if you are interested. Anyway, Ben is one of those unapologetic and sometimes obnoxious teachers. But there is a lot of gold in what he says. He is an email marketing specialist who isn’t afraid to be told no. In fact, a good portion of the time he is trying to disqualify himself in order to focus and reach the most suitable people who can use what he teaches.
Anyway, I’d recommend you check out his podcast even if you don’t care about email marketing. It is entertaining at least and you’ll learn some things unrelated to email as well.
Back to the point.
If you gotta say it, you ain’t it.
What does that mean to you?
Here is what it means to me.
Don’t be one of those people who needs to brag and tell everyone about how great they are. First of all, they probably don’t care or don’t believe you. Second, you can look like an arrogant fool who wants attention.
And you might be exactly what you are saying you are. Still, by saying it, at least early on, you lose credibility.
This goes for several things. Saying you are rich, ripped, smart, have a ridiculous car, a ladies’ man… whatever.
Even though you might be those things, saying it won’t help you. It will probably hurt you.
I get it. You want people to know how awesome you are. That’s a normal way to feel. But there is a better way to handle this that will benefit you and the person you want to brag to.
Don’t Say It, Be It
Just be yourself and be present. The truth about you will come out when and if it is needed. There is no rush. It is much more powerful if someone else talks about how successful or smart you are rather than you saying it too often. This carries more weight because someone else feels your trait is important enough to bring up.
It is okay to leave some mystery about yourself. It makes you more interesting to others, especially to women you might be interested in. You will keep the interest of a woman who doesn’t know everything about you right away. Women tend to like mysterious men. She will sense things about you but not knowing will keep her interested and attracted.
Confidence is silent
If you constantly tell your guy friends and colleagues at work about how great you are, and how you know this and that or have done this or that, you might appear obnoxious and look like a joke in their eyes.
Instead, let your talents and strengths shine when they are needed. There is power in silent confidence.
I want you to make this change. Stop telling people about your awesomeness and your talents unless it is directly related to the conversation at hand and it helps the conversation. Err on the conservative side. Meaning that if you are unsure if you should mention something about yourself then don’t.
Try to talk up other people instead wherever you can. This makes you a more likable and humble man. People like it when others talk well about them. Be honest when doing this. You’ll know when this applies to a conversation. It is not something to be forced but it should be obvious if you keep it in mind.
Try this change in life for a while. See how it feels to not have to prove yourself to others. Be a man of quiet confidence and you’ll be seen as you really are instead of as an insecure braggart. Your true self will shine through if you let it.