– and the beauty of grey mice

Oscar beams with pride and boasts about his latest achievement: career progression and fat salary increase.

How can that be? Not that you are jealous, no, but honestly, Oscar leaves the office always much earlier than you and most of the time, he also arrives later. And when it comes to content, he mainly presents to your boss the findings put together by all others (yourself included). So, how come your boss does not recognise the true achievers??

You probably ask yourself why your responsibility and reward are still in no relation to your effort, commitment, and contribution?

And of course, you start blaming yourself: too shy, afraid to speak in public, nervous and hectic, when you have to present in front of a bigger audience, uneasy when having to deal with your boss and always ready to back off when your ideas are questioned. And how could that be, otherwise, you are after all nothing special, neither super smart nor super sexy – only plain normal – a real grey mouse.

Aha! – you do not value yourself – why should your boss? And if you think you are grey and invisible -you probably are – your perception shapes your reality.

So, what could you, little grey mouse, do?

Step 1:
stop waiting until your boss or anyone recognizes your effort and achievement – start writing down, where and how you contribute to the overall success – and even a small step is an important contribution – and don’t forget: there are 50 shades of grey and nothing boring about it!

Step 2:
Ask your colleagues where you are especially good at

Step 3:
Start talking about your contribution   – not boasting, simply stating facts and asking for feedback such as: “I am happy, you like the new feature I introduced to …/ How do you judge the new performance since I changed the…/ have you already tested the improved process which not only respects your recommendations but also offers an additional …”

Step 4:
Start accepting yourself. You ask yourself how? When you meet a person you do not like or do not consider professional enough to meet your standards you can start to look for the other side of the medal and see what is good in this person – and eventually you learn to also see yourself more objectively and less negative

Step 5:
Practice to talk in public – start with small steps and whenever you feel at ease, push yourself gently to the next level  – and soon you will find out that you are able to speak up for yourself

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