Self Confidence … build it!

Motivating AssociatesLolly Daskal contributed an article to Inc. Magazine entitled, 12 Destructive Habits You Need to Stop Right Now. The points that she makes is that we sometimes unintentionally do things that destroy our own confidence and success. Under the rubric of modesty, we may routinely underestimate our skills and talents. In the worst case scenario, we could become our own worst enemy.

I read through her list of twelve behaviors and applied one of my basic rules, which is, it is difficult to change too many different behaviors at once. Throughout the course of my career, I have suggested that attempting to change more than five behaviors at once may cause a person to become less focused or discouraged. This results in many people abandoning the behavioral changes that they really need to make. So my recommendation is to select three (3) to five (5) behaviors to work on at any one time. As one makes progress or achieves their goal, that is the time to either add another behavior to the list or adjust the priority of the remaining behaviors.

Below, I will summarize five (5) of the twelve behaviors that resonated with me and framed my belief of a satisfactory and achievable starting point for nearly everyone who wishes to make some changes. However, I suggest that you read the original article here.

Here is my list of five (5) behaviors:

  1. Caring what others think – I don’t recommend ignoring what everyone tells you, but not everyone has your best interest in mind, nor are they in a position or qualified to advise you. Everyone wants to liked and respected, but abandon the habit of valuing their thoughts and opinions above your own. In any given area, search for the ideas of other successful people who you respect and see if you can gain confidence in you own views and opinions. NEVER give anyone that much power over you.
  2. Comparison to others – Human behavior is evolutionary. Many of our attitudes and behaviors are based on our own life experiences. To the extent possible, you must compare and evaluate your life experience as related to the person with whom you may be comparing yourself. For example, someone from a wealthy background may tell great stories of the extensive travel experiences that they have had. If your background is more modest, you may not have had the opportunity to gain similar experiences. But, a fun trip that you have taken is more valuable to you than the stories of others. The same analysis can be applied to other factors such as education, location, career situation, or physical attributes. Lolly says, “If you want to compare yourself with someone else, look at those who have less and are struggling — then be grateful for all your advantages and achievements and commit yourself to sharing your blessings.”
  3. Negativity – I think that this analogy that I read on a poster some time ago could have an application in this instance. It was, “You can’t soar with the eagles if you are surrounded by turkeys.” I think that the analogy is applicable because if you surround yourself with negative people or thought, you will become negatively grounded. We should consider that there will always be people who focus on perceived unfairness the workplace, social settings, educational settings and many others. Psychologists say that this is one way that humans rationalize the fear of failure. So, find some people who are positive and uplifting with whom to associate and align.
  4. Self-doubt – Positive or negative self-talk is a powerful force. If you tell yourself, “I can’t do it” or “They won’t hire me” or “I don’t have the patience or personality for that job, “don’t allow anyone, including yourself, to lower your aspirations and potential.
  5. Self-limitations – The previous four (4) behaviors join forces to make you feel unworthy or less-deserving of success or happiness. Don’t allow anyone or anything to limit your dreams or ambitions.

Changing these five behaviors are a good start toward developing positive behaviors to enhance your future.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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