It might help to change what people think of you

Have you changed in the past year?

Maybe you became a parent. Maybe you started a business. Or maybe you used to be a couch potato, but you are now pretty fit.

A year is enough time to dramatically change your interests, your strengths and weaknesses, and even your values.

Why do I mention this?

People who know you have a mental model of you. In their head, you look like this, you speak like that, you love x and you can’t stand y.

So when these things change and you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while, their mental model of you is outdated.

You will have fully internalized the changes in your life. But these people still think of you as the “old you”. And this can hold you back.

Let’s say you’re a programmer. You’ve always been good at your craft, but you used to be terrible at speaking with clients.

In the past year, though, you’ve taken some communication courses and you’ve practiced a lot. Now you feel confident speaking with clients and you communicate effectively. You’ve gained a valuable skill.

Then, someone in your network considers referring a client to you. But they hesitate because they think you don’t have the required communication skills to manage this particular client.

This person in your network has an outdated mental model of you and in this case you might lose out on a project because of it.

You experience the “new you” every day, but others don’t.

So help them update their mental model of you if necessary.


— Peter

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