fashion-601557_1920Every time I travel, I go through my checklist.

Spare socks? Check.

Toiletry bag? Check.

Extra phone charger? Check.

High heels that look like guns?

Okay, so I don’t own any of those. But if I did, I’d leave them at home. Because apparently the TSA doesn’t like people taking gun-shoes on planes. Who knew?

Even if replica gun shoes aren’t dangerous, heels are. They cause car accidents. They’ve been used as murder weapons. And of course, they don’t do your feet any favors either.

With so many people bashing heels, why do people still wear them? If I were a woman (or a guy who wore women’s shoes, I guess), I am pretty sure I wouldn’t wear heels. The benefits just don’t seem to outweigh the discomfort. But honestly? After spending far too much time thinking about high heels while writing this, I’ve realized there’s a more significant reason I wouldn’t wear them.

And it’s something that’s probably holding me back in business and in life.

The real reason I wouldn’t be comfortable in heels: I’m not comfortable with self-promotion.

That’s what heels are, in a very literal sense. It’s presenting a version of yourself to the world that’s a little bit bigger, a little bit better, than the actual you. It’s the real-life equivalent of the bio you get someone else to write for you when you’re uncomfortable talking about your own accomplishments.

It’s not a lie, but it’s an embellishment.

If you asked me to stand up in front of a group and give a 5-minute speech about what makes me (not my company, not my work, not my family, but ME) special, the results would be spectacularly awkward. Like “baby deer learning to walk” awkward. Like “teenager trying to walk in 5 inch heels for the first time” awkward.

And that’s a problem.

It’s a problem because my company depends on me to promote our services. I’m proud to say that our business has been almost completely referral-based for years, which says a lot about the quality of what we do. But if I’m being honest, I’ve probably left a lot of work on the table by not being comfortable talking about my own strengths.

Of course, no one steps right into a pair of 5 inch stilettos and marches down a catwalk. It takes time, it takes practice. And that’s one of the things I’ve promised myself to work on this year – getting comfortable in heels. Making regular changes to my bio, pursuing more speaking gigs, learning to talk about myself as effectively as I can talk about what my company does.

No more flats.

How about you? Are you comfortable in heels?

About TomLogue (67 Posts)

Tom Logue is Vice President of Message Factors, a Memphis-based marketing research firm. Tom has helped hundreds of companies discover how to improve their relationships with customers, prospects, and employees. In addition, Tom has been a speaker and presenter at numerous conferences on topics ranging from marketing research to general branding and marketing strategies.


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