Monday, October 7, 2013

Cultivate a Better Belief in Yourself

I recently read a great article in Career Brazen that had us thinking about how our audience could benefit from this great information. I am constantly amazed at how much people are un-willing to admit that life and leadership does not have a manual that guarantees that if you follow the steps, success is imminent. Life, career, motherhood, friendships, marriage, board service, etc. is filled with seasons of strength, seasons of confusion, constant learning and eye-opening aha moments.

There is no recipe... That's why the Career Brazen article stood out to was an honest write-up with tips on how to empower your journey to cultivate a better belief in yourself!

Ever had an event so big and devastating you felt your dreams and ambitions were shattered in one fell swoop? I have and it has threatened every ounce of esteem and past accomplishments that I could feel good about often replacing them with thoughts that my successes were accidents! Or maybe it’s not one event, but a succession of life circumstances that make you doubt your potential, causing you to question yourself and hesitate.

The article also pointed out another factor:  Too often we’re led to believe the lot we’ve been cast dictates who we become — that we’re a product only of our environments. People put us in boxes and stereotypes, claiming our possibilities are dictated by who our parents were, where we were born, what our skin color is, how pretty we are, how much money we have. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. These sweeping statements create a belief culture where people focus more on who they’re expected to be than who they want to be. And these restrictive beliefs have the tendency to become self-fulfilling prophecies. Other people’s limitations are only prophetic if you give them credence. 

Lastly, the article pointed out: If you let your environment dictate your future, you’re reinforcing your own glass ceiling. You’ll only go so far and so high. But if you foster a healthy belief culture, you’ve already exponentially increased your chances of success. Think about it this way: You have a small garden in your backyard. It’s just a small plot of dirt. In it, you plant flowers — little seedlings with the potential to bloom. But, as with most gardens, weeds creep in. They start to encroach on your flowers’ growing space. You have a couple of options. You can either let the weeds remain, killing off your flowers and littering your garden space, or you can weed them out. You can remove the junk and cultivate a space where your flowers can bloom.

Creating a healthy belief system is like that. While it would be great if we went through life with only positive people and situations around us, that just isn’t possible. Life is real and it can be hard. You’ll come across people who doubt you and want to hold you back. You’ll have discouraging experiences that will make you second-guess yourself and your ambitions. But all of these negative people and events are weeds. Remove them or you’ll never be able to see your dreams bloom. To move forward, you’re going to have to revolutionize your beliefs.

Here’s how to remove your weeds:

1. Take inventory of your self-talk Think about how you internally describe yourself, good or bad, and write it down: I’m not good enough. I’m too fat. That could never be me. Nobody’s better than me. I’m super smart. I’m very shy. I’m not a good test-taker.

2. Identify the self-talk that isn’t serving you Go back to your inventory, and for every statement, ask: Is this going to serve me to meet my goals in the future?

3. Replace negative self-talk Change your thoughts to a new dialogue that will move you forward toward your ultimate goal: I used to be very shy, but I’m more outgoing than I’ve ever been. Will you be your own glass ceiling, or will you accept and fully embrace — no matter what happens — that there’s more out there for you than what you’re settling for?

Que representing the Curva-Lish Team