How to Use Your Insecurities to Fuel Success
In this issue: How to Use Your Insecurities to Fuel Your Success /Six Overrated Human Traits According To Science: / Remedies for the Distracted Mind / “What Companies Want Most in a CEO: A Good Listener / The Lighter Side
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I'm Andrea J. Miller and this is my “The Wellthy Leader” Newsletter. I send this to people in my networks, people I’ve met recently, and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can unsubscribe (SEE THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL) anytime, I won’t be offended
How to Use Your Insecurities to Fuel Your Success
We all have insecurities, lingering moments of self-doubt when we question ourselves and our abilities.
Will I be able to succeed at my new job? Am I smart enough? Can I really live up to expectations?
We worry that others will see these hidden “flaws” that only we know about ... and in the process turn ourselves into double agents in our own lives masking this secret identity.
One small mistake could potentially bring our entire sense of competence and self-worth crashing down.
This feeling of insecurity can feel a bit confusing at times. As we desperately want to ignore the judgment of others and improve and grow, and yet can’t seem to fully move past it.
Often, it’s not really insecurity that’s the problem. Research shows that the real issue lies in our attempt to cover up these perceived deficits rather than face and deal with them effectively.
We can become paralyzed by doubt, beginning a vicious cycle of putting aside more ambitious goals, and only taking on those tasks in which we are sure to succeed…and, in not taking those risks that challenge us to grow, we lose confidence further fueling our insecurity.
In some cases, even when people decide to try, Insecurity can stop them from making their best.
Scientists refer to this as self-handicapping. This is when someone creates or chooses obstacles to behavior or performance in order to protect their self-esteem.
While self-handicapping protects you from potentially learning that you're not any good at something, it can also stop you from finding out how great you can be.
Moving From Insecurities to Possibilities
So how do we push past the insecurity paralysis to greater success?
While we can’t avoid feelings of insecurity once we understand that these are normal feelings, we can use them to propel us forward.
For many, the trouble begins with how we go about trying to improve when our confidence is a bit shaky.
Frequently, we seek external validation from co-workers, family members, and even social media (that’s my subtle way of saying please like my post :), which I’m sure most of you know usually doesn’t always go very well.
The reality is that no matter how good you might be, it’s impossible to please everyone, all the time.
Feeling secure in what you’re doing doesn’t mean your confidence won’t occasionally take a temporary hit. It just means that you can fail without feeling like a complete failure.
When managed correctly our failures, both real and perceived, can help move us down the path to success. It can serve as a driver and source of motivation for moving forward towards our goals.
We’re generally less likely to become upset by obstacles when we change our perspective from the extrinsic, how they look to the intrinsic, how they make us feel.
In other words, we choose to be great at a task because we enjoy it for its own sake, instead of the results or rewards it may bring us.
Most of us live with some level of insecurity. However, we get to choose whether we’ll use t as fuel to achieve our goals or as a deterrent to achieving them.
Below are a few ways to co-exist with those less-than-helpful voices in your head that may try to stop you from being as great as the people who really know believe you can be.
Five Ways to Move from Failure to Success
1. Change your Self Talk
Psychologists have found that how you talk to yourself matters. Aside from the often discussed, be more positive, which frankly can just be annoying when you’re feeling positive why not try shifting who’s doing the talking.
In a series of experiments, researchers found that people gave better speeches, and made better first impressions when they were randomly assigned to talk to themselves in the second person instead of the first person rather than saying, “I got this,” they said, “you got this.”
2. Embrace Your Insecurities
Don’t ignore your insecurities but know yourself and embrace them well in advance. Use your insecurities as a source of motivation and a reason to (over) prepare. Use the fear of being “found out” as an imposter as fuel for continually improving your performance and gradually reducing your insecurity.
3. Own Your Achievements
Take pride in all that you’ve accomplished. Write it down! Insecurities and the dreaded impostor syndrome can often lead us to negate all the great stuff we’ve done, leaving us to focus only on the stuff that’s gone wrong. We often take for granted the things we do well because we do them well, rather than acknowledge that it/you were pretty great.
4. Start a Fan Club (T-shirts are optional)
Find those people in your life who you can go to for a bit of slightly biased feedback. They should be the people whose opinion you value, who recognize your talents, and can also provide constructive feedback in an unthreatening way.
We all want to improve. It’s important to find the means and methods that work for you…which leads me to the final suggestion.
5. Hire a Coach
We all have blind spots, whether it’s our insecurities or something else. Coaching provides unbiased support to examine what might be getting in the way and helps us develop the solutions and action plans to move closer to achieving our goals.
RECOMMENDED LISTENS, READS And other interesting things
Spoiler alert, number one on the list is “Confidence,” so maybe a little insecurity isn’t such a bad thing. Choose competence over confidence…put more bluntly, would you rather work with/hire “people who are good at something and those who simply think they are.”
Remedies for the Distracted Mind This article is part of a special issue “Connected State of Mind,” which explores the impact of tech use on our behavior and relationships. View the complete issue here.
What Companies Want Most in a CEO: A Good Listener – “Financial expertise and operational experience will only take executives so far. More than ever, companies want senior leaders with strong social skills and emotional intelligence…”
Are there any other subjects you want me to cover? Hit “Reply” and tell me!
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Andrea J. Miller
+1 (646) 556-5401 (Whatsapp)