The Fine Line between Determent and Determination

Tommy Lasorda quote on determination

This post represents the first time I have hit “publish” in nearly three months. It is the longest period of inactivity since I began blogging in 2007. I wish I could say I am returning from a planned hiatus, but that would be fiction. Looking back, I realize that feedback from a person I was talking with for the first time took the wind out of my blogging sails. The feedback itself was relatively minor and to the person’s credit, was spot on. It was not meant to shoot me down. However, it (along with work stress) led me to question for the first time why I bother blogging.

Determent

Merriam-Webster defines deter as “discourage; prevent from acting.” If you think about sources of determent in your life, it is likely that more of it comes from the former than the latter. It is possible someone or something forcibly prevents you from acting, but in more cases a sense of determent is psychological. We feel someone has imposed limitations on what can be done. Write a book? Do you know how hard it is to publish a book? Start your own business? Do you know that more than eighty percent of new businesses fail? I could go on, but you get the picture. The feedback or “advice” we receive from others may be sincere and well-intentioned, but such input can unwittingly discourage us from chasing our dreams and goals (i.e., deter us).

Determination

Determent is a belief that usually comes from within us, as do feelings of determination. As a college professor, a trait that I observe and admire in many students is being free of determent. Students are not bogged down by beliefs about what they cannot do or accomplish. I am not suggesting we live in a fantasy world in which we believe we can do or have anything. But, realistic thinking can become deterring thinking if we blindly accept limitations packaged as conventional wisdom.

Embracing a determination mindset requires being realistic, with that realism being an understanding that bumps in the road are inevitable. Sometimes, the bumps will be huge pot holes that make the ride on our success journey more than a bit uncomfortable. A bumpy ride on the road to personal growth should be accepted; being deterred by limitations others want to attach to you should not be accepted.

On the Possible

To get out of my blogging inactivity funk, I went in search of a quote that gave hope and energy. The quote by Tommy Lasorda on the role of determination grabbed my attention. As I reflected on Lasorda’s statement, it became clear to me I used someone’s candid feedback against my own growth efforts. The result was it stifled my determination and in turn, my potential to achieve what is possible. The unfortunate reality is the person was trying to help me, yet I twisted the feedback to have the effect of harming my personal brand. Moreover, I was too dejected to act on feedback that would undoubtedly benefit my brand.

After two months of brooding and inactivity, I have clarity that I must cultivate determination, not determent. Determination and determent originate from the same source: Me. It’s not the boss, the economy, or the competition that is impeding my progress; it’s the dude in the mirror. He and I are going to work together daily, driven by determination to make the difference between the impossible and possible.

Stand Guard against Sabotaging Your Personal Growth

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 Who or what is in control of your life? Is it the economy? Your boss? Co-workers? Competition? Parents? I’ll stop here because the list could go on, but you get the picture. Many people believe their personal growth is hindered by the world around them. Ironically, our chief nemesis is often none of the above but rather can be found by taking a look in the mirror.  The quote by Napoleon Hill, an author who was a pioneer in personal growth thought leadership, is a call to look inward for obstacles to personal growth.  It may be unsettling to think you would be the cause of your own downfall, but there are three ways that you unwittingly can drag yourself down.

Fear of Success

Sounds strange, but a lack of confidence in how to respond to experiencing growth is one way we conquer ourselves. This self-doubt may not even be verbally expressed, but it can keep us securely placed in a comfort zone. For example, if a salesperson is pursuing a client that would add significantly to his or her job responsibilities, concerns can set in on the ability to juggle the demands and respond to pressure that can arise. The best way to deal with the uncertainty of what success would bring is to, you guessed it, not engage in the activities that will bring success.

Fear of Failure

Taking risks is not a trait that everyone possesses. We play it safe to protect ourselves from danger. In the process, our fears are a double-edged sword that also force us to miss out on the benefits of risk-taking as well as keeping us safe. For example, I have been known to be reluctant to partake of rides at amusement parks. I’ll admit it- the reluctance is rooted in fear (of what exactly I cannot tell you… I don’t know). As a result, I am still alive, but I have missed out over the years in enjoying experiences because of fear.

I recognized a few years ago that fear of failure was conquering me in small ways like not enjoying amusement park rides. This same behavior was conquering me in bigger ways, too. When I stop writing for periods of time it is often because failure-based thoughts like “no one is interested in what I have to say” or “I am wasting my time.” Neither of these thoughts can become reality if I don’t write, at least that is the self-conquering belief that unintentionally harms me instead of protecting me.

Envy

The most dangerous cause of being conquered by self is feelings of envy about what is happening to others in your life. When we resent our neighbor’s promotion, our friend’s new house, or our sibling’s relationships, we are poisoning our own happiness. We choose not to be supportive and encouraging of the people in our lives, compromising the strength of those relationships. Even more damaging is the impact on self; envy harms self-image because we can believe we are not deserving of the very things that we envy others having.

Enough to Go Around

A friend has a favorite saying that “there is enough success to go around.” This statement is so true and when applied can be an effective deterrent to conquering self. Growth and success are not finite resources; there  is enough to go around. So, why do we spend time and energy trying to sabotage success opportunities in our life? Resolve that you will not be conquered by the one person who has the greatest opportunity to so it: The person in the mirror.

Know Thy Strengths

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When management expert Peter Drucker talked, people listened. The Austrian born Drucker continued teaching and writing up until his death in 2005 at age 95. People still listen today as his guidance continues to influence the development of organizations and business professionals. His quote on the role of strengths in one’s personal growth is representative of his work- profound yet straightforward in presentation. This quote is worth reflecting on to consider whether you are making the most of your strengths… or if you even know what they are.

What Are Strengths Anyway?

Identifying a personal strength simply means you have a trait, talent, or skill that you are able to use for good, whether that good benefits you or other people. Some of these strengths may be innate such as personality traits. If you are self-confident or compassionate, these traits can be used to your advantage. Other strengths may be learned through training and education, either formal education or self-directed learning. Some strengths developed this way are considered hard skills. For example, earning the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the culmination of years of training and preparation for a rigorous CPA examination.

Other skills developed are considered soft skills as they are not as tangible or directly observed. Yet, it could be argued that soft skills are as important (if not more important) to personal and professional growth. For example, critical thinking and communication skills are highly valued by employers. While these skills can be sharpened through education and training, there is no test that certifies one as a proficient critical thinker or outstanding communicator. Yet, the addition of these soft skills are indispensable to professional development.

Finding the Answers

It may be easy to convince someone of the need to know their strengths and understand how strengths benefit them. The challenge can be in uncovering  strengths so that you know what they are. Otherwise, we can fall in the trap that Peter Drucker describes of not having a grasp on our strengths. So, where do we find answers to the question “what are my strengths?”

  • Ask others. Start with a source of information based on observation and experience, and that source is people around you with whom you interact. These people could be bosses, teachers, mentors, or close friends. Listening to people close to you to get their candid assessment of strengths could reveal qualities about yourself that you cannot see.

For example, I once was tasked with leading a work group to develop a strategic plan for our unit. Leadership is not skill I would have classified as a personal strength. Being an introvert, I work effectively on my own and enjoy contributing to a group or team. Leading a team would not be a role I would seek out. As the group’s work progressed, other members praised my leadership of the project. My initial reaction was “Who me? You must be mistaken.” I realized their feedback was genuine, that they saw strong leadership skills in me. Their feedback gave me confidence to take on leadership roles. Also, the feedback encouraged me to strengthen leadership skills through self-directed learning .

  • Take a test. Another excellent source of feedback for determining your strengths is to take a validated strengths assessment. Several such assessments exist and although most of them are not free,  paying to take a strengths assessment has the potential for an immeasurable return on investment in your growth and advancement. Among the strengths assessments I recommend you check out are Clifton StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Strong Interest Inventory, Kolbe A Index, and Harrison Career Suitability Assessment. Each one takes a different approach at measuring strengths, but they share the common thread of providing insight into your capabilities.

Don’t Be Wrong

Understanding personal strengths is too important to get wrong. In my observation of students on self-assessment of strengths is that many of them overestimate certain skills and do not realize other skills. One example of overestimating skills that I observe is when I have students rate their ability to engage in networking activity with others on a 1-10 scale. Most students rate themselves at seven or higher, meaning they are confident in their ability to network. However, most of them are not prepared to network effectively. It is no fault of their own; they lack experience and training in networking. Yet, many students believe they are equipped to be effective networkers.

Strengths do not equate with a lot in life you have been cast. You can make use of traits, talents, and abilities to develop strengths. But, if you have a weakness (e.g., oral communication), you are not saddled with a life sentence of ineffectiveness in this area… unless you choose to live out a life sentence. You can address weaknesses so that at the very least they are no longer liabilities. Even better, you can overcome a weakness and transform it into a strength. Leverage strengths and develop new ones by determining your strengths, separating strengths fact from strengths fiction.

The Upside of Rejection

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 We are programmed to avoid rejection. After all, who wants to deal with the feelings and consequences that accompany rejection? For example, if you are unemployed and do not get one call back on the 25 jobs you applied for last week, the impact on your bank account and self-esteem will probably not be good.

Similarly, if you encounter rejection in personal relationships it cannot be dismissed like some business transaction that did not work out. Instead, there can be deep pain and sense of loss. Thus, it is possible that not putting ourselves in a position to be rejected could spare us from outright misery. At the same time, not being rejected could be equated with not trying to stretch growth boundaries. So, maybe we should be open to the prospect of rejection.

How Rejection Helps

The One to Grow On quote this week comes from professional speaker and coach Steve Maraboli (he bills himself as “the most quoted man alive,” so it’s about time one of his quotes is featured here). Maraboli’s thoughts on rejection serve as an important first step in turning rejection from a negative to a positive. His statement encourages us to think about rejection in a different way. If rejection is something (or someone) saying “no” to us now, it keeps the door for something else saying “yes” to us later.

We have heard stories about successful people encountering rejection that would make many people retreat never to try again. Among them:

  • Michael Jordan did not make the varsity basketball team his sophomore year in high school.
  • Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen received more than 100 rejections from publishers before getting a “yes” for their Chicken Soup for the Soul series that has sold more than 125 million books.
  • Andy Warhol could not even give away his paintings at one point in his career. The Museum of Modern Art in New York declined his gift of a drawing he offered in 1956.

The list could go on, but you get the point. Many successful people did not take the express lane to that destination. Instead, their route was unpredictable and sometimes unpleasant along the way.

Use Rejection to Your Advantage

When you face rejection (yes, it is a matter of when, not if), resolve to turn the short-term pain into long-term gain by doing the following:

  • Realize it may not be personal – Many times, rejection occurs through no fault of your own. Substitute just about anyone else for you in the same situation, and rejection would be a likely outcome for them, too.
  • If it is personal, be accountable- In some instances, it is you. Avoid the tendency to affix blame externally (the economy, your in-laws, the boss, your co-worker) and look into the mirror to understand why the rejection occurred. What misstep(s) did you make? What could you have done differently to change the outcome? What will you do the next time you are in a similar situation?
  • Make it part of your story – I would not encourage you to go out of your way to fail, but rejection can become part of your personal brand story. Just like Michael Jordan, Jack Canfield, and Andy Warhol experienced rejection only to rise to great heights, rejection that you experience could be a marker on your success journey. It is inevitable that you will fac adversity; how you respond to it will go a long way toward defining you.

Embrace Redirection

I like Steve Maraboli’s characterization of rejection as a redirection to something better. And, I see it as more than an effort to put on a brave face when adversity strikes. Many years ago, I did not get a job that at the time I thought was my dream job. Less than two years later, I accepted a job at the institution where I still teach today. My career and family life would have been drastically different had I gotten that dream job, and I am afraid it would have been for the worse. Rejection redirected me to another opportunity down the road, one that I cherish each day.

 

Win Today to Achieve Growth This Year

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A new year brings optimism and an opportunity to do and achieve more than experienced before. Turning the calendar to January symbolically gives us a clean slate that we can take advantage of to grow and move forward. And many of us do… for a while. Good intentions, often taking the form of New Year’s resolutions, orient us toward personal growth. Unfortunately, those plans get derailed for a variety of reasons, and we lose sight of the growth milestones we envisioned at the beginning of the year. What will it take to break this pattern?

Pick a Theme

The notion of New Year’s resolutions is increasingly giving way to another approach to pursuing personal growth: Focus on a single word or idea that will guide your thoughts, decisions, and actions. For me, my focus for this year relates to Emerson’s quote about making every day the best day of the year. I resolve to live today and do what I need to do to “win today.” Setting goals or making resolutions is pointless if one does not commit to the daily actions required to get to the destination. One of my weaknesses is follow through on plans. I know what needs to be done but too often fail to make it happen. So, my focus is on doing what I need to do to win today, realizing that a series of daily wins will move me closer to reaching bigger growth goals.

Know What Gets in the Way

A focus word or theme is a great starting point for achieving personal growth, but obstacles will appear that threaten personal growth. Some of these obstacles are external, put in our path by others. Yet other obstacles are internal as we unwittingly sabotage our plans. Recognizing the obstacles can help you deal with them and minimize their threat:

Others’ agendas– An external threat to winning today occurs when others attempt to draw you into their plans as a means to achieving their desired end. You can become conflicted between helping others to add value for them and becoming involved to the point that it takes away from pursuit of your own end. Sometimes, saying no to others is saying yes to our own growth.

Fear of failure- Perhaps the greatest internal obstacle to growth is not following through on daily actions because we are afraid of what the outcome of our efforts will be. If I write the paper I have been working on for two years and submit it to a journal, will it be rejected (odds are yes as the acceptance rate for many journals is relatively low)? So, if I divert my attention and time to other tasks my paper will not be rejected. It will never have a chance to be published, either, but avoidance of rejection can feel better than swinging and missing.

Fear of success- This obstacle may sound crazy because the aim is to succeed, right? But, what if the success desired puts you in a different place whether it is in a job with more responsibility, a new peer group, or higher tax bracket? Those different places may push you out of a comfort zone. Just like fear of failure can keep us “safe” by not trying, fear of success can hinder our growth by choosing to remain status quo.

Every Day is the Best Day

What beautiful words from Emerson, the thought that every day is the best day. We have been given 366 best days in 2016. Although planning ahead is necessary to chart a course for what we want to be, do, or have, do not lose sight of he daily journey taken to get there.

Creating Value = Job Security

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My wife texted me a list of items to buy while I was at the supermarket one evening recently. One item on her list was golden delicious apples, which I managed to overlook. So, I knew there was only one way to correct my oversight: Go to the supermarket first thing the next morning and buy golden delicious apples. As I walked up to make my selection, I noticed the apples were arranged perfectly in rows. A sense of guilt came over me as I was about to undo the splendid appearance of the apples. The employee responsible for this work of art was still in the area, and I jokingly asked his permission to mess up the display. He laughed and said “go ahead, it’s job security.” Yes it was.

A Demand for Value

Why was a task so seemingly routine as arranging fruit a source of value for me? The appearance of the display attracted my attention, recognizing the product I sought immediately. Also, the display conveyed a message of quality and was part of a produce department that had a presentation that was inviting and conducive to a positive customer experience. We are all consumers, so there is no need to persuade you there is a demand for products, services, and experiences that create value for us. People are not interested in buying stuff as much as they are interested in what the stuff does for them (i.e., how it creates value).

Another recent encounter as a consumer reinforced the notion of an ongoing demand for customer value. Our dryer was not performing its primary task: Drying clothes. I had called two different appliance repair services in the past, but another business caught my eye as I searched online for a solution. I read customer reviews on this individual, and common themes were fair pricing and customer concern. After giving this business a call and having the proprietor service my dryer, the reviews were confirmed. This person created value by building trust and competently performing the service he promised. Guess who I will be referring business to anytime a friend is looking for an appliance repair service? Thank you, Mike Jarrett, owner of Mike Way, for the value you offer to your customers daily.

Strive to Add Value

Albert Einstein will forever be remembered as a brilliant man, yet his words of wisdom that are this One to Grow On quote are strikingly simple. Instead of chasing success (whatever form that might take), focus on being a person of value- to your family, friends, co-workers, customers, community, and even strangers- anyone whose path you cross. When you focus on creating value for others, it almost always will be noticed. It may not be today, next month, or next year, but if you commit to be a source of value for others it will likely be recognized and often rewarded. The nature of the rewards can vary from a “thank you” to customer testimonial, award, raise, or promotion, all of which are indicators of success. Thus, if you make being a source of value your focus, the trappings of success often follow.

 

 

Put Your Passion to Work

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You may have heard exhortations to follow your passion to guide decisions about the type of job to pursue and even the organization with which to work. This advice is well-intended but at the same time can be misleading, if not dangerous. Finding a job that relates to your passion sounds like a dream come true. After all, if you do something you love it may not feel like work, right? Oprah Winfrey said “do what you love and the money will follow.” If that is true, scores of people should turn in their resignation today from the job that drains energy and enthusiasm from them and do work aligned with their passion. Yet, we know that is not going to happen. Why?

The Role of Passion

Passion has connotations with eliciting strong emotional responses such as excitement or love. However, the origin of the word passion can be traced to the Latin “pasi” which means “to suffer.” Whoa! Does this mean you should be searching for a job or employer that will make you suffer? Of course not- a deeper interpretation of passion is that it is linked to something for which you are willing to invest heavily- time, effort, and yes, suffer through occasional adversity and disappointment. But, because of the intense emotional connection you have with something for which you are passionate you will go through tough times to enjoy the pleasure and satisfaction derived from the endeavor.

Think of passion as the fuel for your purpose. Your values and motivation are energized when connected with passion. In the context of personal branding, passion can be defined as the sources of happiness that energize the work you do. The impact of passion is not limited to work you do through carrying out job duties- it is evident in the volunteer work you perform, conversation topics in which you engage on social media, and the hobbies or outside interests you enjoy. All of these non-job aspects of your life play a part in defining your personal brand. Thus, recognizing your passion is vital to personal branding success. The challenge is how to channel passion to strengthen your personal brand while enjoying the synergy of a career in which your passion figures prominently in your work.

Passion First

If you subscribe to Seth Godin’s view that passion should guide your work, a great deal of anxiety can be eliminated. Rather than seeking a job that is a match with your passion, look for opportunities to allow your passion to be introduced into your work. For example, if you love writing poetry but come to the conclusion that you cannot earn an income to meet your financial needs as a poet, do not stop writing poetry. Instead, look for ways to inject your gift for creative writing into a job in which that skill is valued. Similarly, if you find fulfillment in crafting objects out of wood, put the ability to make a useful object from raw materials to work in other contexts such as product design.

Take the Easy Route

Perhaps the most compelling reason to follow the advice of transferring your passion to your job is that it is easier than the alternative. It is much easier to energize your work with passion that flows from your purpose rather than shopping around for a job comprised of tasks that are a match with your passion. Put your passion to work… whatever your work might be.

Whose Life Is It Anyway When Serving Others?

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Sign the form. Reply to the email. Approve the request. Take the meeting. Answer a question. Listen to a rant. Deal with a problem. I could go on, but you get the picture. A day in the life of a role in which others count on you requires complete attention to their needs. That focus could require your own needs, goals, and priorities be tabled in order to serve others. A shift in my job responsibilities had led me to reflect on just how I should approach my new leadership role. The above quote from Albert Einstein is an idea upon which I will focus this week to give clarity to what can be a frenzy when serving others.

Shift Value Perceptions

Do we tend to be selfish by nature? As I read over the list of ways others seek my time I cannot help but think about how it takes away from my time- the reading I want to do, social media interaction that has to wait, and writing that becomes less frequent than hoped. I want my life back to do the things want to do!

At the same time, a huge red flag is raised when I encounter complaints that include frequent mentions of “my,” “me,” or “mine.” That skepticism extends to my own language. I realize I need to reframe how I define value. It is not dependent on how much “me” time I get but rather the impact can I have on persons who depend on me- family, coworkers, and students, among others.

Kid’s Play

If you are put in a position of service to others, avoid the temptation to think about how to get out of the situation or what it would be like to not have those obligations. You are there because you are needed. Replace “obligations” with “opportunities” to clarify your purpose.

Einstein’s statement seems strong- is a life lived for others really the only way to attain a worthwhile life? As I reflect on some of the most meaningful experiences in my life, I realize the answer is “yes.” And, I can thank a group of four-year-old kids for one of the most poignant life lessons I had.

When my now 20-year-old son was four years-old, we signed him up for his first soccer team. I was excited when the phone rang and the league president was on the other end of the line, calling to tell me about Sidney’s team. He told me that there was no coach for Sidney’s team, and if a coach could not be found… there would be no team. You can probably guess who became coach. My qualifications were puny. Although I am a lifelong sports fan I never played soccer nor knew nothing about it.

I not only got through the season, the joy those kids experienced playing soccer gave me more joy than they will ever know. It would have been easy to say “I can’t do that,” but it would have denied me the opportunity to stretch my comfort zone and the resulting thrills of coaching a youth soccer team.

Grow Up, not Give Up

This week, embrace the possibilities for growth by looking for ways to live life for others. What you are most likely giving up, your “me time,” is limited in impact compared to the difference you can make in the life of others.

Be Thankful for Your Critics

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Here’s a sobering thought to begin your week: People dislike what you do, how you do it, or why you do it. Your work is not done the way they would do things. Fortunately, not everyone around you falls into this category. The reality is you have detractors. It can be comforting to remember the words of Zig Ziglar who said “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.” However, Ziglar’s statement is not our revenge against critics. In fact, you should embrace criticism and use it as fuel to energize your personal brand.

Why You Have Critics

If facing criticism is a given, then it can be helpful to understand its sources, or why you face criticism of your work. Among the possible reasons are:

  • Different approach- Your way of doing is different- not wrong- just different from how others would perform in a similar situation.
  • Envy- You are doing something others want to do but are unwilling to attempt.
  • Spite- Some of your detractors simply want you to fail; better you than them in their minds.
  • Encouragement- Some criticism is actually constructive; following it will serve you well.

It is tempting to dismiss critics and criticism for the first three reasons cited above. Recognizing when criticism is a form of encouragement to improve makes it worthwhile to process all criticism directed at you.

A Different Take on Criticism

Rather than allowing criticism to deflate you or hurt your feelings, resolve to make criticism work for you. For each of the reasons for criticism identified earlier, translate the criticism into how it can help you grow:

  • Different approach- In many situations, there is more than one right way to do things or reach an end goal. Be receptive to the ideas and experiences of others.
  • Envy- Recognize that criticism driven by envy may be coming from someone who has never been in the situation you face. He or she does not fully understand your situation or the variables that influence your decisions or actions.
  • Spite- Accept that some people may want to see you fail and that their criticism is not input for improvement but piling on any time a perceived misstep or mistake happens.
  • Encouragement- This form of criticism should be welcomed and acknowledged. When someone offers constructive criticism, it is often coming from his or her own experience. The feedback given is an attempt to help you not make similar mistakes made when facing similar circumstances.

No Statues

There are no statues erected to honor a critic, nor are there statues erected to honor someone who puts down a critic. Be open to receiving criticism, process it to separate useful feedback from noise, and be thankful that some people care enough about your development to give input that could positively shape your brand.

Inferiority : A Self-Diagnosed Condition

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Do you struggle to make distinctions between optimism, pessimism, and realism? When it comes to your professional life, you want to subscribe to the “I can do anything” mindset but easily become defeated by setbacks, disappointments, and even failure. Negativity can put a damper on your quest to achieve, and “being real” often means you lower your sights for outcomes that may be attainable but are beneath your capabilities. What is the cause of this act of self-sabotage?

Inferiority Unleashed

This week’s One to Grow On quote is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me I am in control of my thoughts. And, that reminder is needed frequently as we can be led to believe we are unworthy of being, doing, or having what we aspire to achieve. Do the following observations sound familiar?

  • I’m too young (or too old)
  • I don’t have enough money
  • I did not go to a prestigious college
  • I lack experience
  • What do I have to offer
  • Why would people want to connect with me?

 I’ll stop here as I realize the list could become very lengthy! But, you get the point- we can talk ourselves down a few rungs on the ladder, closer to the ground where it is “safer.” If safe is your goal, you are set. If growth and achievement are goals, you realize you are taking steps backward that put you farther away from where you aspire to be.

You Are in Charge

You may be risk averse by nature or concerned with how others perceive you and your capabilities. Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote serves as protection against others asserting themselves as being a cut above you (and thus you being inferior to them). Are there others around you superior in terms of experience, rank, status, or wealth? Absolutely! Does it mean you are inferior to them? Absolutely not! They differ from you because of different life circumstances and journeys. They are not better than you (nor you better than them); you are merely different. You are in charge of discerning between real and perceived gaps between you and others. Recognize that different perspectives or backgrounds is just that- different.

Do not mistake this call for self-assurance with arrogance or creating an inflated ego. Respect must be earned and value must be demonstrated, but the good news is both of those things can happen. Back up self-confidence with performance.

This Week

You will encounter people who appear to be unique, superior, or better than you. In turn, you may feel unworthy of being around them. You may even resent their position and perceived superiority over you. Don’t take it out on them as you are the one allowing yourself to feel inferior to them. Replace feelings of inferiority with recognition of differences, appreciating the opportunity to learn from those different than you (remember they are not superior). Most importantly, remember that no one can make you feel inferior unless you allow it… so don’t allow it.