We 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?