I walked nervously to the one-on-one meeting with my manager. It was a meeting to discuss my goals, achievements and feedback. I felt ready for a promotion and was ready to ask for it.
The meeting went on brilliantly, my manger appreciated my efforts, gave me valuable inputs and spoke about upcoming projects. In the end he asked —
Do you have anything more to discuss?
It was the perfect time! The stage was set and the timing was perfect. Every muscle in my body signaled me to bring up the promotion. Low self-esteem, however, got the best of me. I ended up saying nothing.
Have you ever faced a similar scenario?
Have you ever felt that you weren’t good enough, smart enough, ready enough?
This has everything to do with the way we see ourselves. In my eyes, I was a rookie software engineer who was trying his hand at different things. I didn’t feel that I was special.
The funny thing is NO ONE cares about how you view yourself. This thought was reinforced to me, when I watched a video of the hip-hop motivational speaker, Eric Thomas (ET).
In the words of ET —
“What you need to think is not how you see the world, but what you need to see is how the world sees you.”
The PayPal world didn’t view me the way I viewed myself. In the eyes of PayPal, I was an upcoming software engineer who could adapt to numerous kinds of projects. I saw strength in the view PayPal had of me and I decided to play to that strength.
In the next one-on-one meeting with my manager, I asked for a promotion.
As I write this post, 5 months after the meeting in which I asked for the promotion, I am promoted to a new position.
I share this not to gloat, but to reinforce the fact that we may view ourselves as inferior, imperfect and irrelevant. The catch is, it doesn’t matter how we view ourselves! We need to find out how the world views us and then use that as a strength.