Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘self worth’

Developing Self Confidence

Is it hard for you to let go and let others figure out a solution to their latest crisis or drama? If you answered YES! to this question you are not alone. For instance, the number of adult children in their 20’s, 30’s even 40’s still living with their parents or being supported by them is both surprising and sad. We can’t simply blame it on the economic times but we can see it for what it is, a feeling of entitlement, low self esteem and the development of a new norm of expectation. Entitlement can run deep in many relationships. I have had the chance to talk with people recently about the entitlement mentality and I thought it important to share their collective thoughts. Although they remain hopeful that ‘tomorrow will be better’ deep down they feel both burdened and resentful that there always seems to be a new crisis that they are called upon to fix. One person offered an analogy that describes it quite well. “At first I saw them limping and offered what I thought was a temporary crutch but now they seem to be permanently on crutches and expecting me to fix their latest issue. They have a permanent limp!”

Look closely at the human dynamics of your situation. If you notice an entitlement behavioral pattern that has developed in someone you have a choice, to feed into it and fix their latest crisis once again or say, ‘I can’t rescue any longer.’ It takes all the courage you have to change your own enabling behavior but my question to you is, ‘Are THEY worth it?’ By continually rescuing others it lowers their own self worth and becomes emotionally crippling to them. They lose confidence over time and begin to slide into the ‘poor me’ mentality. Consequently, they don’t accept responsibility for the result of their own choices but are quick to say someone or something else caused the latest crisis in their lives. The truly sad part is that continuing this mentality causes them to experience even more challenges because they are not learning their own life lessons that are continually being presented to them. We know that at first the Universe whispers, then talks and eventually shouts – repeatedly – to them through ever increasing challenges in their lives until the day they decide, ‘If it’s going to be it’s up to me.’

The good news is that they can and will step up to the plate if and when you remove yourself as the perpetual ‘Rescuer in Charge’ of their latest crisis. Even if there is a generational pattern of dependency, positive change over time can happen for them when they are forced to deal with each challenge that they create. The first step is a big one but over time it gets easier.

The issue is about so much more than money. With the 24/7 news coverage we experience we often see the children and family members of the incredibly rich demonstrate this rescuer/dependency cycle. Just look at the research on the lottery winners. One year after winning large sums they are no happier than before. Why? Because their self confidence and self esteem wasn’t increased – only their bank account. They didn’t put in the effort and self discipline to learn their life lessons and achieve something, they simply won money, not self esteem, and it is an empty win.

Success is experienced when a person faces life head on, accepts responsibility for their latest challenge and figures out a way to handle it ….without you. Is it hard to stand by and watch them struggle – absolutely! Do you have enough faith and love for them to let them figure out their own solutions? Unless you want to see them at 60 years old still struggling to learn independence you must be strong, even fearless when the next crisis happens and allow them the human dignity to figure it out on their own.

In my next blog I will be talking more about this topic. It takes time to internalize our own lessons and change our enabling behavior. Just remember saying ‘No’ doesn’t mean you don’t love them but that you love them too much not to say it.

Have a great few days!

Humility is Strength

Susan Scott said, “While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a business, a career, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation CAN.” Her message is that words and the attitude behind them are powerful things. They can build or destroy by causing us to close ourselves off to others or welcome them in. Words elicit different effects depending on our attitude, self confidence and state of mind. The word humility is one that can conjure up a vision or meekness or one of strength.

Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great’ investigated the most successful companies in terms of profit over a 15 year basis and once identified began to investigate what characteristics were evident in their top level leadership. As stated in his book, “these Level 5 leaders direct their ego away from themselves and to the larger goal of leading their company to greatness…they are a complex, paradoxical mix of intense professional will and personal humility.”

People who practice humility realize it improves both personal and work relationships. It can reduce anxiety by allowing ourselves to be more open to possibilities – to the ideas and suggestions of others. When we are in this type of mindset, paradoxically, it enhances our own self confidence.

Taking the time to care enough to truly listen to others and to step aside and allow the limelight and attention to shine on them, even temporarily, is a valuable and liberating act. We are demonstrating a strength and belief – a confidence – in ourselves that becomes quietly evident to others. There is always enough light to go around- the Universe is a never ending source. When we affirm people’s beliefs and assumptions we are not giving in but are recognizing that ….in their particular situation and view…they are right.

The most valuable way to demonstrate humility is to ask for input from others. The simply question, ‘How am I doing?’ not only speaks but shouts volumes about your own level of self confidence. It lets others know that you are open, interested in learning more, being more valuable to the organization. That one simple question opens doors and hearts. People feel more valued and respected when asked for their opinion and input.

Whether we are thinking of humility in our homes or workplaces the lessons are the same. Humility is strength in operation. It is a lack of arrogance which pushes others away and it allows for forward thinking accomplishments which causes others to want to be a part of our team or at least in our environment. When we become really good at this thing called humility we move from constantly seeking approval and recognition to seeking a better way … a more enlighten, confident view of life and our unique place in this journey. Life itself becomes more of a positive adventure and less of a stressful, harried experience.

It boils down to what characteristics you choose to practice in life. Humility allows us to take pride in ourselves and our accomplishments without that major turn off for others called arrogance. Sort of makes humility really important in the bigger scheme in life doesn’t it?

Have a great few days!