The Power of Self Perception

by Jenny Kearney

After years of staying home with my children, I continue to find myself in that not-so-uncommon spot, torn between the desire to work and the need to be available for my kids. As I’ve dipped my toe into the working world, I’ve always cringed when faced with that question - “What do you do for a living?”. Although

I’ve been working from home for over 8 years, I’ve felt like a fraud every time I answer that question and here’s why.

Several years ago I offered to help a friend create a website for her small business. I had never built a website before, but I thought it would be fun to try. I helped this friend, then helped another. That friend told a friend. Eventually, I had helped out quite a few people. However, it was just a hobby because, after all, I was self-taught with no formal training, was helping friends or friends-of-friends, certainly wasn’t doing it full time, and this was something that anyone could do, right?

One day while getting ready to go to a professional networking group I had joined, I was thinking about how much of a fraud I was. However, during that free-thinking time that frequently comes while in the shower, I had an epiphany. In a mere matter of moments, my self-perception completely shifted. I realized that I am not pretending to be something I am not. I am, indeed, an entrepreneur with real clients, fulfilling a need that is out there, as simple as it may be. My clients have expressed satisfaction with my work, paid for it, and some have passed my name along to others with glowing references. (For the record, I don’t advertise and I don’t solicit.) I may not be formally trained in what I do, but I do it. And it is desired. I am providing a real service for people who want a simple on-line presence for their business.

I have stumbled into a way to balance my desire to be available to my kids and to fulfill a personal need to provide (albeit it in a very small way) financially for my family. Nothing physically changed (except I did get a little cleaner). Very little time had even passed. However, I walked out of the house that day a whole new person. I eagerly await the next time someone asks what I do for a living. I’ll enjoy the answer. It’s amazing what a small shift in self-perception can do.

Bottom Line: How you perceive yourself, your self value, has great impact on how you approach the world.

Jenny Kearney maintains the Capability Company website and communications. She also develops clean and simple websites for small business owners. You can see her work at

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