Do you ever feel like an impostor? That if people really knew how little you know, they would be shocked?
Do you ever feel like you need more confidence?
If you’re like most people, you probably answered “yes” to all of those questions. And you’re not alone.
After I delivered the keynote address at a national business convention, an audience member drew me aside. He said he had something to discuss with me.
“I’ve just been promoted to a very high position in my company,” he said. “I’m scared to death. I’ve let them think that I know all about that job, that I’m extremely competent. But I don’t think I can do it. I’ll make a fool of myself!”
The strange thing is most people look confident and composed on the outside — but many of them are insecure on the inside. They’re filled with self-doubt. And that’s serious. Long ago, Dr. Charles Mayo said, “I never knew a person to die of overwork, but I have known people to die of doubt.”
The good news is you can get rid of the doubt. You can be super confident. You can have kick-butt self-esteem. I gave you three ways to do that in last week’s Tuesday Tip. Here are two more strategies I highly recommend.
► 4. DECIDE to like yourself.
Your confidence and self-esteem come from a variety of sources and one of them is the decision you make in your own head. You’re the one who must decide to like yourself or not like yourself.
Of course that’s not easy. Almost every commercial, for example, is intended to hurt your self-esteem. No matter what they’re selling, they all have the same message: that you’re not okay the way you are, that you need their product to have more beauty, wealth, and love in your life … which will in turn give you more confidence.
Forget that. At some point, you’ll have to decide to like yourself. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need some improvements. We all do. It’s simply a decision you make … that you like yourself and you’re worth improving.
As I tell my leadership coaching clients, your leadership effectiveness starts with the courage to be imperfect. Anyone can like themselves if they are perfect. It takes courage to realize you’ve got some warts and challenges — and still decide to like yourself.
As New York Times best-selling author Doris Mortman put it, “Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.”
► 5. Invest in yourself.
People who are smart, confident, and self-esteeming invest in themselves. After all, they know they’re worth it.
And people who want to be smarter, more confident and more self-esteeming invest in themselves as well.
They invest in their own ongoing education. It’s a statement of their value, which they expect to increase over time.
How much do you invest in your own education? It makes a difference.
At an onsite meeting for one of my clients, Sarah came up to me during a break in my seminar on UP Your Attitude: How To Turn Steadfast Confidence Into Goals Accomplished. She said, “Dr. Z, I really WANT to move up in my job, but I just can’t.”
I asked about her personal development plan. She admitted that she avoided the various training programs that her company offered — as much as possible. When she did go, she didn’t listen that carefully to the speaker or follow through on what she learned. And she never invested any of her own money or time into training programs outside the company. So I knew the answer to her question — why she wasn’t moving up in her job.
Sarah went on to say, “I WANT more responsibility … I WANT a bigger paycheck … I WANT my coworkers to respect me.” Her comments were filled with “I WANT… I WANT… I WANT.” But she wasn’t willing to get the education she needed to perform and be paid at a higher level.
By contrast, Tammy Shonrock invested in herself. She wrote to me, saying,
“Dr Zimmerman, you spoke at our conference back before the days of COVID-19, and I took your advice seriously on investing in myself, so I purchased your audio album called Take Charge: 6 Strategies for Achieving More Than Ever Before. I listened and re-listened to your material for about six weeks, especially the audios on Self-Esteem and Goals.
“After listening especially to the Self-Esteem audio, I stopped taking medications for depression and anxiety that I’d been on for years. Within two weeks of stopping the medication, I’d have constant headaches, chest pain, backaches and crippling fatigue. Without the meds I wasn’t able to care for or enjoy my children or function effectively in my job. I’d have all of these struggles … in spite of what I thought was a strong Christian faith and wonderful family and friends. And I am only 34 years old!!”
“Six weeks into this healing process, I am headache-free, full of energy and enthusiasm, and in perfect health. (I did 20 chin-ups the other day!!!!) I have made great strides toward realizing my dreams of singing professionally. In fact, I’ve landed two ‘gigs’ and performed for an audience of several hundred. I have no physical pain. I am sleeping well and am thoroughly enjoying an active summer with my three children.”
“I can tell my enthusiasm and energy is rubbing off on the people around me. (Even the clerks at the bank drive-thru and the grocery store have commented!) The negativity of some of my coworkers is bouncing off of me like rubber balls!”
“I’m always inspired and motivated by the testimonials you include in the ‘Tuesday Tip.’ Please share mine. I know there are lots of people who are convinced that they got dealt lousy cards in life and are stuck with the way things are. I am proof that no one is stuck where they are!”
“Bless you! Thanks for the work you do! Sincerely, Tammy Shonrock.”
You can see the difference, I’m sure, between Sarah and Tammy. One chose not to invest in herself and the other one did. Sarah didn’t learn anything new and didn’t improve her self-esteem and performance. Tammy did.
Again, take a personal inventory. Are you investing in yourself?
If so, I congratulate you. You’re on the proven path to a bigger, better life, career, and relationships.
If you’re not investing in yourself or not investing enough, get a plan. Line up some courses. Do more reading. Tune into more podcasts. Get a coach. Do something. Do it now.