Don’t worry, you’re not an asshole. (Probably.)
You fear self-promotion because you worry you’ll be perceived as selfish, obnoxious, pretentious, or Kanye West.
But that’s not the real reason you avoid it. That’s the story you tell yourself.
The truth is you hate self-promotion because you don’t believe the work you do provides value to people.
Because if you believe your work provides value to others, you will want as many people as possible to experience it and won’t feel bad promoting it.
The promotion of work that provides value is a generous act, not a selfish one.
So why does it feel so selfish?
There are two reasons why self-promotion makes you uncomfortable:
- You’re too insecure about your work to recognize the value you create. That insecurity will impede your success.
- Your work doesn’t provide actual value. Deep down, you know it and so you refuse to promote it.
I don’t know which reason is true in your case, but I know if you hate promoting your work, at least one of them applies.
Here’s what to do about it.
If your work provides genuine value…
Don’t be insecure about it. You owe it to the world to share that value.
Be generous with your expertise, creativity, and creations. People won’t hate you for it — they’ll thank you for it.
If your work doesn’t provide genuine value…
Have the courage to be honest with yourself about it.
Go back to the drawing board and figure out how to adjust or create something that will provide value.
All the self-promotion in the world won’t help a product that doesn’t provide value, so the sooner you recognize your flaws, the better you’ll be for it.
But whatever you do, don’t pretend the reason you avoid self-promotion is because you worry what others will think of you.