Many people believe that outside perceptions shape their career, and if others had a better view of them, they would be further along in their career.
The truth is that your own opinion of yourself has a bigger impact on your career than the opinions of others. Your inner voice determines how you act, and how you act determines whether you are successful or not. Your view of yourself determines whether you will live into your career potential or you will have life long career difficulties.
Many people I speak with don't like themselves very much. You can't tell from the outside. They are accomplished people. But when you dig a little deeper, you uncover the truth, the scars, the wounds, and the emotional pain. The belief that they are not good enough; that no matter what they do, or what they achieve, it will not be enough. That there is somewhere else to get to, or once they are perfect, everything will fall into place.
Would you like to like yourself more? It would help your career and take you places you've never been. Whether a negative self-view is temporary due to something that happened, or part of a bigger problem of career challenges, you can change it by following these 3 steps below.
1. Recognize the self-inflicted harm of having a negative self view.
The result is you are not going after what you want, you are not happy, and you are unfulfilled in your career. Begin your journey to change by being honest with yourself. Ask why am I so hard on myself? Where did this high standard come from? And, why don't I like myself more? These are hard questions to ask, but your answers will set you free. What you keep inside festers and grows. What you release can't hurt you anymore. Everyone has something they wish they would have done differently in their career, but if your mistakes are overshadowing your accomplishments, then your career will continue to be hard for you.
2. Decide to like yourself.
All change begins with a decision to make that change. No one can make this decision for you. It has to come from you, not because you should, but because you want to. This is important. You may not want to change. Maybe being hard on yourself keeps you safe because you don't have to fail or feel the pain that failure brings. Or, you may want to change, but because someone keeps pushing you, you've decided to stand still. Liking yourself comes from an internal place. We look to the outside to feel better about ourselves, but only you can do that for you. When you tell yourself that you will think better of yourself, you can begin to formulate a career plan that will be backed with a belief that you can do anything with confident and persistent.
3. Move forward.
Because your career spans many years, your goal at certain points is to get back on the horse after you have fallen off. It's about giving it another try because you want to be happy, want to help others, and want to make an impact on the world. You may be afraid to move forward, but aren't you more afraid of staying where you are? Tell yourself that you are good enough, and your accomplishments mean something. Remind yourself of your career wins, and how good they felt when you obtained them. Decide that you will feel that good again. Then, go after what you want step by step until you get there.
So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!
Looking for more self-confidence tips? Check out this classic Brian Tracy video.
Deborah Brown-Volkman is the president of Surpass Your Dreams, a career, life, and mentor coaching company. She is also the author of "Coach Yourself To A New Career", "Don't Blow It! The Right Words For The Right Job" and "How To Feel Great At Work Everyday."