Have you ever noticed how easy it is to spot "exceptional" in others, but be blind to your own? I'm going to guess many of you have competitors out there who intimidate you because of their knowledge, sales ability, or just the general way they run their business.
As we continued driving, she told me about a deaf camper she befriended who is her age and lives close to our house and who happens to have another deaf friend who went to high school with Emily. He mentioned to her that the two of them regularly get together with two twins, who also went to school with Emily, to play two-on-two basketball. These twins have no disabilities and, in fact, were the stars of the state championship football team this past year.
Rightfully so, Emily was COMPLETELY impressed by this. She said, "Dad, I always liked the twins, but when I heard they regularly get together and play basketball with two deaf boys my respect and admiration for them got so much bigger!"
I smiled and said, "Em, yeah that is very impressive and admirable. However, when you compare that to what you are doing for these campers... Well, maybe it's because I'm your dad, but I think you are at an exponentially higher level of admiration."
It was funny. I genuinely don't think it was until she had a comparison to a situation she admired that she found an appreciation for what she had done herself. She really just took what she was doing for granted and hadn't seen it as anything special.
The other side of the fence
I think most of us are like that when it comes to ourselves. Whatever it is we do, our skills/abilities/knowledge, we tend to see as average. We discount ourselves. However, when we witness the same thing in others, we tend to be more impressed, often times overestimating their abilities. In a competitive business situation with this type of thinking, you are unknowingly putting yourself at a perceived competitive disadvantage. And, if this perceived disadvantage affects your confidence, it becomes a real disadvantage.
I think we should all be humble, and I think we should all admire what we see in others. However, especially when it comes to competing in business, we need to stop once a while and allow ourselves the credit, pride, and confidence that are rightfully due.
A healthy level of well-deserved confidence is never a bad thing.
Photo - Emily and her adorable camper.