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Leadership Thought #359 – Believe In Yourself

You have to believe in yourself if you want others to follow you.  I don’t mean a hollow, braggadocios type of belief, but something with more substance.  It’s not enough to have strong opinions and a high degree of self-confidence.  This may make you just a blowhard.  Sadly, our society is never short on these types of individuals and they can be dangerous.  Just because you think you are right doesn’t mean you are.  The facts still matter and you must do the hard work required to achieve any level of real excellence.

What’s ultimately required is that your ground yourself in something more important than yourself.  You have to believe in what it is you are doing before you can fully believe in yourself.   Life is a constant search for meaning and understanding.  The tragedy of many people’s lives is that they are unwilling to put themselves out there because they won’t put forth the required effort, are afraid of public scrutiny and lack the courage of their convictions.  Being the hero of your own life isn’t easy.

My experience in working with many people over the years is that self-belief requires the following behaviors:

  • You genuinely care about what it is you are doing – it’s not just work;
  • You feel aligned with your  natural talents and abilities;
  • You keep your ego in check and regularly monitor your personal motivations;
  • You walk the talk when it comes to ethical and moral behavior;
  • You continually work hard at growing your own knowledgebase and take nothing for granted;
  • You don’t mind having your answers questioned – you are open to feedback;
  • When you don’t know all  the answers you ask for help;
  • You surround yourself with good people who boost your confidence and tell you the truth;
  • You care less about who gets the credit and more about achieving the right outcome;
  • You accept the fact that failure is part of life and learn from your mistakes (just don’t repeat them);
  • You don’t give up at the first sign of adversity and actually become more resilient as time goes on;
  • You stand up for what you believe in and are willing to question authority.

Many leaders I deal with have some level of a self-confidence problem.  They often struggle with the “Imposter Syndrome” and wonder when someone will figure out they are undeserving of their role and/or ill equipped to handle the challenges of leadership.  This humility can serve them well but also can be a heavy burden (and crutch) if they are not careful.  At some point, you have to stare reality in the face and move forward anyway even when it is difficult.  There are no guarantees in life.  There are also no perfect leaders.  Leadership is about showing up every day and doing your best regardless of the situation.  Life is about personal growth and continually striving to get better.  If not you, then who will take control of your destiny?  Believe in yourself and good things will happen!


9 Responses

  1. Excellent stuff – I would highlight one of the behaviors you list, but all are so important. Thanks – Michael

  2. Reblogged this on make your mark on life.

  3. I really appreciate this post. I?

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