January 21, 2018

Is your self-image pulling you forward or holding you back?

Woman reflectingWe have a choice…

We can ether see ourselves as a little bit less than we really are.

Or we can see ourselves as just a little bit more than we really are.

The first of these is the more usual choice. We probably believe it to be more socially acceptable.

The trouble is…

That way of looking at ourselves holds us back. As we act in accordance with our pessimistic self-image, we underachieve compared with what other people believe us capable of. We play small. And then other people have no reason to revise their opinion, except perhaps downwards.

Alternatively, when we find the courage to take an optimistic view of ourselves (within reason—I don’t mean be ridiculously over-confident or arrogant), we gradually lift other people’s perception of us as we play a better game. We go up in their estimation. And so we can achieve more because we have more influence.

In the second case, our self-image pulls us forward.

The separation between these two paths may not be much at all. One makes us grow, and perhaps quickly; the other not so much.

Which are you choosing?

How others see us, and what to do about it

Two staff members smilingHow others see us is very important in determining our results and what happens in our lives. Many factors affect that, of course: Our track record and so on.

However, a big part of it is how we see ourselves.

Surprisingly perhaps…

The limiting factor in what we achieve can be our own self-image. If we have a pessimistic view of our capabilities then that will be borne out in reality. Our relative denial of our own power will diminish how others see us and that will make whatever we hope to achieve more difficult. Our self-image will be the primary constraint on our success.

We do tend to hold ourselves back by playing small.

So it’s important to step properly into our own power, our own authority.

Of course, over-confidence is a danger too.

Accurate self-perception is the key to the greatest success. That way, other will see us as we really are, and results will flow from that.

The question is…

How well do you understand your own power? And do you live congruently with it?