The conversations you have at work include fake smiles and mindless commentary. You never feel safe enough to express your real opinions. And you entertain people, meetings, projects, and events that you could care less about.
When did you make the decision to sell out who you are in exchange for what you could have?
And, worse yet, have you been fake for so long that you no longer remember who the real you is?
Some people fall into this category and are simply annoyed with themselves. Wishing that they had never let things get as far as they have gotten. Others, however, are devastated.
You realize that in exchange for money, a title, an office, or holding down a job, you have completely lost your sense of self.
Who are YOU right now?
If for the sake of work you have gotten too far away from who you know yourself to be, don’t worry. You will never lose your opportunity to choose to be different.
You can choose who you want to be AND have a job that makes you proud of who you are.
You do not have to compromise what you are in order to please anyone.
First, let’s be clear. You may think the goal is finding yourself. But, in fact, you cannot really lose yourself.
You may believe that you are not being the real you, but the real you is exactly who you are right now.
That’s because there is only one you.
You may not like all the parts and pieces of you at the moment. Or you may feel disconnected from the you that you have become. But who you are is defined by how you show up every day.
If you have a negative relationship with the real you, it is because there is a noticeable gap between who you are and who you want to be. This negative space can leave you feeling imbalanced, disingenuous, and just not real. But do not beat up on yourself for getting to this place.
The reasons you got here were at one point likely sound and reasonable but don’t fit you today.
How did you lose yourself?
We all have compromised before in order to create peace. Peace for others and peace for ourselves.
It is important to feel a sense of harmony, acceptance, and security in our environment. Gaining what we need in life can become easier when we are in the good favor of others.
And so we work to create positive experiences with those with whom we share space.
These are all good intentions. But also risky decisions when repeated for too long or too intensely. When you continually morph yourself to be in alignment with outside standards, you may begin to forget the standards that you hold solely for yourself.
It is possible to reclaim this self awareness and to put yourself in alignment with what is important to you.
Make a commitment to yourself today. Who you want to be and who you are will be the same person starting right now.
Finding yourself involves taking steps to rediscover the essence of you. Then to exercise your freedom to move forward as the person that you really want to be.
Finding Yourself Through Self Discovery
Self discovery is the result of examining yourself and, independently, identifying who and what you are.
While you may have been influenced by societal standards, the influence of those in your circle, or your observation of the world, you make the final decision of what definition applies to you. To know who you are at your core and what you stand for requires internal assessment and willingness to be a quiet observer of oneself.
There are innumerable approaches to embark on the journey of self discovery.
If you are a beginner in undergoing this exploratory examination, here are a couple methods that you can try:
Self Discovery Method #1: Personal Value Assessment
A personal value assessment provides a means to examine, interpret, and choose what you consider to be most valuable to you. Your values affect how you interact with the world and also how you react to others’ responses to you.
Many forums, such as the Values Centre, offer assessments of this kind. See their free exampleHERE. It takes minutes to complete and the outcome is a comprehensive report in response to your values selections.
You can learn what your core values say about you and how they impact your connection with others.
Participating in this type of assessment is valuable, but not only for the report that you receive. More importantly, it is the experience that you can gain from the questions that are asked.
In the process of considering one value over another, you can start to reflect on what is truly important to you and why. You may find that when forced to choose and rank importance, your philosophy and practical application of your values are very different.
No matter the outcome of your assessment, determining your true core values will help to bring clarity to your self-discovery and personal identity.
You will discover that your core values shape your behavior and your interpretation of the world around you.
You make decisions on how you live, who you have in your life, and what drives you every day based on the principles that you have.
When you are conscious of your core values, you then can consciously choose how you want to incorporate them into your daily life.
Self Discovery Method #2: Core Values Journaling
Another self discovery method is to independently and thoughtfully consider your core values.
No report or outside opinion, just you thinking about you.
You can do this through self-dialogue, meditative thought, or journaling. You may find this Core Values Journal to be a useful tool to guide your self-exploration process.
This particular journal offers a mixture of questions, self discovery journaling prompts, and open journaling pages to draw out an inner dialogue around your values.
Unlike an outside assessment, you serve as the primary navigator towards learning and interpreting what is most important to you.
Core values journaling is not an all-inclusive means to determine your personal identity and self-definition. However, the journal content can help you to create meaningful internal dialogue and to point your mind in the direction of self-discovery.
The most important takeaway from these exercises is that you start to consider your own opinion.
And once you identify your opinion, you can then examine if ,in your opinion, you live in accordance with your core values.
To reach the outcome of being the true self you seek to be requires a genuine pursuit of your independent self discovery. When you know and can define who and what you are you can more easily create a definition for the authentic life you choose to live.
How Can You Move From Finding Yourself to Being Yourself?
Now that you have identified who and what you believe yourself to be, it is necessary to express yourself authentically. When you present to, communicate with, and engage with others in alignment with your true self you are at the same time honoring your self-expression.
This is being yourself.
To express yourself as the real you is to further clarify to yourself and others how your authentic self lives in everyday life.
It can take bravery, vulnerability, and openness to shift from being overly outward-focused to including your inner self’s thoughts and opinions and sharing them outloud.
This can be particularly difficult at work when you may fear the consequences of what authenticity and self-expression could bring. However, if you continue to hide your authentic self, you may continue to feel a disconnect with or loss of your true self.
Are you restless with your job?
Do you feel disconnected with your work?
Are you unsatisfied with your boss?
Any and all of these scenarios may be the result of your job, work content, or boss being misaligned with your core values. And in response, you align with the job instead of standing up for yourself.
Honoring your authentic self-expression as it pertains to your work is another form of affirmation and acknowledgment of who you really are. To maintain the legacy that is you, you must keep the core of you intact.
Don’t allow yourself to do the heavy lifting of finding yourself, only to abandon who you are for your job or those you work with
5 Ways to Express Yourself Authentically at Work
Here are some ideas on how to live and work in accordance with who you are;
1. Be Honest
Find comfort in speaking your truth versus trying to please the crowd at work.
This not only demonstrates your genuine self but also allows those around you to learn and become acclimated to the real you.
Honesty can be a breath of fresh air when conformity can leave many wondering if real responses are a thing of the past. Feedback given with respect and thoughtfulness is appreciated, versus being considered rude or disharmonious.
Honesty creates the opportunity for engaging dialogue and shows consideration.
2. Speak Up
Be transparent with your thoughts, ideas, or recommendations.
When you are inspired to share, take confidence that your voice matters and your input is important. Rather than an intrusion, consider that you are a valuable asset to others.
When you respect what you have to say often others will as well. Speaking up when you feel called to share trains you to feel safe when letting the real you show.
3. Follow Your Gut
You may not always have the facts and figures to back a decision, but you know your internal gut feeling.
Permit your senses to guide your actions and trust in your ability to rely on your sixth sense. Likely it is derived from past experiences, gauging the current climate, and even an emotionally based inclination that makes sense to you.
All of these queues combined can provide you with your own unique read on a situation. You only sharpen your intuitive skills when you practice using them regularly. And you honor your authenticity when you recognize and respect that your gut instinct exists too.
4. Respect Your Boundaries
You do not have to always be everything to everyone. And you do not have an obligation to share space, time, or resources with others just because.
Respectfully declining work beyond your scope or an after-work event you have no interest in is not a dealbreaker. Instead, setting boundaries is an opportunity for you to honor your priorities and self-care.
Make a practice of saying no so that you can affirm your self-awareness of what is right for you.
5. Expect Respect
Everyone has their stressful days at work.
This does give license for you to be the recipient of another’s stress release. When things go too far, respectfully let the other person know.
You also can take time away from those that seem to be in a toxic rut for days or weeks. Respecting your personal space, your mental space, and your heart space is honoring your authenticity at the same time.
The real you is an authentic you. And the practice of authenticity permits you to stay connected to the full definition of who you are at the heart.
Practice living and interacting authentically to ensure you will not let unintended conformity remove the essence of the real you.
The real you is a part of you no matter where you go, including at your job.
However, in order to maintain a harmonious or successful experience at work, you may have felt that you had to leave the real you behind. When you fake who you are in order to appease others you can feel as if you have lost yourself and suffer the outcome of feeling disconnected or disingenuous.
But don’t worry. You can always choose to let who you are and how you show up be aligned each and every day. You can be 100% yourself without sacrificing your career goals.
Whether you use tools like a personal value assessment, a core values journal, or just quiet discussions with yourself, take time to explore self discovery. Use what you find as your personal priorities and core values as your means to infuse your unique expression into your daily work life.
By finding yourself, developing your self-definition, and showing up fully as you are, you will feel real once again!
Have you struggled with comfortably being yourself for the sake of making other people comfortable? Share your story in the Comments section below.
Whether you are a boss or you report to one, most people have an idea in their mind of what a good boss is.
Better yet, most know exactly what’s what a good boss is not!
When dealing with a bad boss, you can feel the impact. Even if you are just watching someone else going through it. Bad bosses can inspire fear, create tense environments, and overall make work a terrible place to be.
If you carry a title of leadership, it is an excellent opportunity to inspire the best in others. And to create an atmosphere or culture that makes the job a place others want to be.
Let’s examine a few exceptional skills that can make the difference in your being the best boss you can be!
Best Boss Skill#1: Give and Then Give More
As a leader, you may expect to give direction or delegate assignments. But you may not always think specifically to give of yourself.
A boss who is willing to truly be elbow-to-elbow with their team creates an environment of teamwork, loyalty, and approachability well beyond expectation.
People respond better to collaboration than dictatorship. And, if given a choice, would prefer to have access to a supportive personality than an indifferent one.
While every employee may not jump at the chance to spend time with their boss, those that need you most will.
Giving of yourself can show itself by spending extra time to provide training.
Or being open to answering questions, big or small. It can also be key when another set of hands helps to knock out a huge project on time.
Giving more can include support outside of business when life issues arise. An empathic ear one day can make the difference for the entire week.
You can also be a better giver when sharing your expertise. Volunteer to mentor a rising star employee or a new leader in the company. Or schedule time with your own staff who are looking to expand their skills.
Consider giving as a key component of your job and be prepared for the return on investment to become limitless.
Best Boss Skill#2: Listen More Than You Speak
Great bosses are exceptionally good listeners.
While you may be the final say on certain decisions, great bosses know they are not the only voice worth hearing.
Regardless of age or tenure, people respect having their thoughts and opinions included in the process.
Providing opportunities for open forum shared ideas and entertained proposals are crucial to fostering creativity and innovation in any environment.
The more that people are heard, the more they feel included and valued.
Becoming an excellent listener not only gives another speaker the floor. It also signals that you actually want to hear what they have to say.
A good listener demonstrates active listening with engaged eye contact, repeating content for clarity, and affirming with body language.
We all have an interpretation of what looking like you are listening looks like. Great bosses do that!
When you build the habit of listening, you also benefit yourself.
Listening well trains you in the skills of perception, interpretation, and assessment.
As you listen you gain insight into those you speak with.
You learn what motivates others, how they interpret their world, and what causes them to become demotivated or distracted.
Some employees like to talk more than they like to do. Others have great ideas but don’t know how to execute them. Still others are brilliant problem solvers and result achievers.
And all of them can switch places based on the situation or even the day of the week.
Listening well keeps you tapped in to those around you. Now uou can better connect with them personally and gain the most from them professionally.
Learning others better and others sharing openly with you can improve the communication and connectivity with those whom you lead.
Best Boss Skill#3: Show Up As Yourself
Authenticity is the new black.
Everyone is calling for it and, yet, so many still fear owning their true selves for public consumption.
Do you have a work-self and a home-self? Why?
Okay, there are times when you at your most relaxed could most certainly get you fired. Understood.
But there is also such a thing as traveling so far away from your center that you become a completely different person.
Your job should require the share of your skills not the shedding of your soul.
And for those who report to you, it can be hard to fall in sync with someone who becomes a different person every time someone new comes through the door.
When you are consistently your genuine self, those who work for and with you know and learn you better.
Knowing your boss allows you to fall in sync with both their personality and their expectations.
As a boss, it is important to know that you direct people both by your words and your actions. Your facial expressions, tone of voice, and impromptu reactions are all indicators that can be interpreted as how you really feel.
A falsely represented boss will often change these traits due to the work environment, their boss, or their perception of what a boss should be.
The problem, inevitably, is when you are a fake you, the real you shows up too. And that is just too many people for your staff to figure out.
This carousel of characters leads to you being one person one day and someone else the next.
And what does that mean for your employees???
They have no idea what boss they are getting any day of the week.
Your lack of authenticity can lead to employees feeling disconnected, unstable, and unsure in response to you.
But when you are authentic, even on your bad days, you can create the best environment.
Reading Your Boss is a Real Thing
When you are the same person every day and you are genuine in your thoughts and opinions, your people can learn how you tick.
Knowing the real you, they also know what to expect.
And over time, those who are invested in getting their work done well, will know the signals from you of what you like and don’t.
In the world of work, knowing what your boss prefers gives everyone peace.
Your authentic self also has other benefits.
You become more approachable and relatable when you are not wearing a façade.
The benefits of this is not only in how others work for you. It can even impact others to want to be like you.
If you appear as a relatable and real figure others can see themselves as you and feel that what you have achieved may one day be achievable by them.
Be a better boss, mentor, and person by making a practice of being yourself.
Best Boss Skill#4: Be Accountable to People Not Business
While this may be a hard truth to digest, you do not work for your business. You are employed by your business, but, as a leader, you work for your staff.
If you are not sure how this works, let’s look at the facts.
Your employer has provided you with a scope of responsibility and an expectation of output or productivity in your area of command.
You are not meant to produce independently but to properly direct others and yourself to reach the assigned target. Ok. Got it.
Now, in your day-to-day, you have to execute to make it happen.
And you cannot make it happen without your people.
Even with all of these facts, many will still not see where the accountability shifts from the business to the people. But let’s look at why this is also reality.
Your people need you to direct them on what the goals are. They need you to explain tasks that they do not know or objectives they would not otherwise have gotten if not by you.
When they don’t understand, you need to answer their questions. If they make an error, they need to know how to communicate to you so that goals are still met.
Even if you do not directly impact your area’s process flow, your oversight can make the difference in how things are run.
If you are not accountable for being the boss that oversees, leads, directs, and responds to your people, you are not being the best boss you can be.
Further, the closer in touch you are with what your people do, the better you are able to be a resource to them overall.
Knowing their work, their struggles and obstacles, and the subtle nuances to get through each day makes a difference.
This is more than leading, it’s integrating in a meaningful way.
When you display this level of accountability to the team you become a solid resource for them. You are now doing what you are employed to do.
And just like that accountability to your people makes you the boss that wins over and over again.
Best Boss Skill #5: Be a Fearless Failure
Failing is a part of life that no one likes but everyone does.
The best failures are those that prepare you for future success.
As a boss, being brave enough to admit your failures can be crucial to bonding with your team.
Most fail more often on tasks that are new for them in some way. It could be something never done before, a new process, or a higher volume than in the past.
Less often people fail on things that they have done a million times but make a random mistake.
In either scenario, admitting failure provides the opportunity to see what rising from failure looks like. As a boss, it is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate honesty, integrity, and fearlessness in the process.
Doing too much and failing can create a new opportunity of working collaboratively with others in the future.
If you have failed from a lack of knowledge, asking others for input can show how ingenuity and innovation are formed.
When a new process flow breaks down, you can learn better ways to evaluate effectiveness, thoroughly audit, or measure performance.
Failure can be of benefit when you learn from it and become better as an individual or as a team.
A boss who fails fearlessly and recovers gallantly can be a role model to others.
Both relatable and admirable, a boss who falls with grace can inspire others to take on challenges with confidence.
Whether you have recently been promoted or have been leading others for years, there is always an opportunity to be the best boss you can be.
Being boss is more than telling others what to do, but owning all aspects of influence that you have on your team.
Being authentic, accountable to others, and fearless when facing failure are all ways that you can connect with your team and create a culture of openness and comfort.
When team members feel empowered and supported to succeed, they will see you not only as a boss but as a mentor and trusted colleague.
Give the best of yourself to your team and reap the benefits of success that only the best bosses get to achieve.
Are you a boss that gives the most with the best skills? Share your best practices in the Comments below and help someone else become the best at being boss too!
Why is it that we can become the master of complaining about what is and can never seem to master where we would rather be?
The days are too long.
The money is not enough.
The boss is a jerk.
The commute is for-ev-er!
Nothing is right and we just confirm it to ourselves over and over again.
And you can always find a person to listen or to join in on your song because misery loves company. But how do you begin to sing a new tune??
There is a way!
You can wake up and step into the job that you always wanted and sing the praises of how happy you are to do it.
You can have a job that you want to have and love everything about it.
Follow these 3 steps to self mastery and change your work life for the better NOW. It’s time to live your work life differently.
Self Mastery Step #1: Embrace Being the Master of Your Life
Do not be a novice in living your life. Master living how you choose to live.
Far too often we find fault in the lives that we live. And then we take minimal accountability for our life’s outcome. You do what you have to do. Or, you play the hand that life has dealt you. You say that you do the best with what you have.
These statements may be fact. But in stating facts and in acknowledging stark realities, you relinquish your power. To transition from novice to true self mastery of your life’s goals you must feel comfortable taking claim of your ability to command your life.
To affirm is to self-empower.
Instead of stating that you do what you have to do, proclaim that I do what I want to do. You do not play the hand that you are dealt. Instead state, I play to win and I win often.
And when you take on this new frame of mind, you start making subtle changes. Shifting the way you see and live your life is the path to creating powerful change.
How Do You Know When You Have Mastered Self Mastery?
You are the sole decision-maker of what a good life to live is.
As it relates to your work life, you alone decide what is the acceptable standard. Where you work, what you do for work, and how you perform your work is fulfilling based on your opinion.
You may say that others have an influence on your definition of work fulfilled. But others’ influence is only of substance if you permit their opinion to hold importance. Again, you are the master and you are the only one who can be.
Shifting your mindset to one of ultimate accountability, primary responsibility, and singular and final say, is the utmost wielding of personal power. When you accept this, now you are in the position to evaluate and make decisions from a new perspective.
You may not like the job you have today. But you are the person with ultimate accountability, primary responsibility, and singular and final say to change it.
If you do not change it, know that you have chosen to stay where you are. You have no other person to be accountable to in your decision other than yourself.
If you do not know what to do about it, you have ultimate accountability, primary responsibility, and singular and final say to figure out what to do.
And, by the way, you don’t have to leave a job to be empowered.
You can also take accountability, in creating your work environment, work content, and even your commute to be the best that you have ever experienced.
Once you take command of how you want to live, you are in the perfect position to make it happen.
But mastering your life is not the only step in the process. You must also believe…
Self Mastery Step #2: Believe in What You Want to Believe in
Your belief system is the foundation by which you live.
Some beliefs are consciously acknowledged in your mind; others are subconscious and even feel automatically derived.
You may not know what you believe on any given subject until someone asks you for your opinion. But once brought to focus, your beliefs can empower you with passion and conviction. And when you hold a belief with conviction it can dictate the standard by which you live.
Knowing your beliefs is knowing your core values.
If you are looking for ways to know your beliefs and core values in a more meaningful way, take a look at My Core Values Journal. You can work to define your core values, understand their origins, and define your beliefs with clarity.
A strongly held belief can act as a framework for how you conduct yourself, how you interact with others, and the decisions you make on a daily basis. To manage your beliefs is a form of self mastery.
For this reason, beliefs are critically important in propelling forward the actions you take. Beliefs create motivation, focus, passion, and meaning.
How Do Your Beliefs Impact Your Work Life?
Your work is an outcome of your beliefs. You could say that your job is the manifestation of your beliefs around your capabilities, your talents, and your potential for earnings.
When you apply for a job, you believe that you will get hired. You perform your job duties based on beliefs that you can perform them. Or you believe that you have the ability to learn.
You fear losing a job when you no longer believe that you are capable to perform it. Or you may believe that someone else is better. You may even believe that your company is no longer able to secure your employment.
No matter the direction, you are surrounded by your own beliefs as it relates to your work. Therefore, when you want a change in your work, you must first believe that the change is possible.
You may have mastered living your life in accordance with your own definition. But if you do not believe that the future you conceive is possible, you will remain standing still. This is why you must act on what you say you believe in.
If you say you believe you can be in management one day, you must treat this belief as fact. When you claim that you will get promoted in a year, you must take on this belief with conviction.
And if you determine that what you believe as your future is not reality today, you must be comfortable in knowing that reality shifts and so can you.
This is how you create change in your work life. You believe.
Permit yourself to believe without evidence in the current moment and open yourself to opportunities to let a new reality into your life.
Explore different conversations.
Connect with different people.
Expose yourself to new possibilities.
With these steps in place, you will be inspired to new actions.
Belief is how you awaken the power of self mastery and walk an inspired path toward what you want in your life.
Self Mastery Step #3: Be Inspired to Follow Your Inspired Action
Inspired action can appear to come from nowhere. You can be busy in living your daily life and, seemingly from the cosmos, an idea comes into your mind.
But it can also come directly from another source.
In the midst of a conversation, you come up with solutions.
Listening to someone else’s conversation, you gain a spark of influence that simply resonates with you.
Seeing someone else’s accomplishments you see a new way of thinking.
We all have had the experience of an inspired motivation to move in a certain direction or to take a certain action. But all too often we have also had the experience where we received inspiration but rationalized our way from it.
On your quest for change, you can be driven to live a new life of your choosing. And you can believe fervently in your dreams for more.
Big Dreams Can Inspire Big Doubt
Every dream does not come easy.
It is okay and usual to find fault in the path laid out in front of you, particularly if it is brand new. Brand new, different, never-before-experienced dreams can feel foreign and create insecurity and fear. But facing this insecurity and following your inspired thoughts can bring much needed change.
How do you do change from what you do not want to what you want by only permitting yourself to do the same things you have always done?
The comfort of conformity can seem as if it is the same as doing the right thing. Conformity can feel good in its familiarity and security. It can feel as if coming home.
Newness on the other hand can feel challenging, risky, uncomfortable, and utterly terrifying. How can you follow a path of discomfort and know that it is taking you in the right direction?
How Do You Know When Your Inspiration Is Right?
The inspired path can be tough to follow when you are unfamiliar with the road it leads you on.
And beyond this, when you are taking new roads as it relates to your work, it can make you feel very insecure.
Today you have a job, but what if you are inspired to leave?
You have a great relationship with your boss, but what if you are inspired to try for a new role in a different department?
How about the perfect job that pays you half your current salary? Is this inspired action or insanity?
To know your inspiration, you must first know yourself.
Remember, that you have mastered listening to your own voice and understanding your own decisions. You also have created a relationship with what is important to you by way of your beliefs.
When you are given an idea for something new, no matter how strange or uncomfortable, take time to evaluate it. Does this idea feel right to you?
Examine if you find it personally off-putting or if, instead, you are more concerned over another person’s perception.
Do you believe that the idea will benefit you? It is important to stay true to your beliefs and not to take action in conflict with the foundation of who you are.
Is this idea challenging you? It’s okay to be challenged. But beyond the challenge will you be in a better state overall?
Trust in your ability to do what is best for you. And further, trust that should you falter, you have the ability to recover and thrive by learning from your mistakes.
Every action that you take will not be perfect. But it may be the perfect path that leads you to become stronger in yourself, better in living your beliefs, and more skilled in interpreting your inspiration.
You will develop the gift of knowing when your inspiration is right. But you can only become skilled in following your inspiration if you take every opportunity to follow it.
You do not have to stand still in a job you do not want and repetitively live a work life that you cannot stand.
You can have a job that you love and that you are excited to go to every day. To have the work life you desire, you first have to be willing to take command of yourself and master your life.
The power to make the job you desire your reality lies within you and can become yours today.
Embrace being the master of your life. Take ownership of your definition of what you want in life and what satisfies you. Take time to know yourself better. Learn self mastery. Then live in accordance with who you really are every chance that you get.
Believe in what you want to believe in. Commit to your beliefs as the charter of your life’s framework. Take courage to actively practice the way that you want to live and what you want to do in your life’s experience. Let your life and your beliefs stay aligned, regardless of others’ opinion. Your beliefs will always serve as your guiding light on your life’s journey.
Be inspired to follow your inspired action. When you know yourself enough to know what you want and have the foundation of beliefs that guide your decisions, you will be presented again and again with inspiration for the next steps to take. Be ready, be mindful, and be diligent to move. Trust that you can make the right call for the right move that takes you on the right path for your best life.
Your work is a manifestation of the beliefs of your perceived talent and the value exchange received for your talents.
You decide what you earn, how you spend your time, and who you share your assets with. You set the terms of what is acceptable or unacceptable, and most importantly what you truly want. Live as master of your life and permit your work life to be the best it can ever be.
Do you know someone who could use a little motivation to live their work life as they choose? Share this post today!
It is the opposite of displaying self-love or self-esteem in a stressful moment or overall.
When you experience self-doubt, what you are not experiencing is strength, wholeness, or assuredness.
If self-doubt is a chronic condition, you are often on the opposite side of happiness, calm, or personal fulfillment.
With all of this lack, the positive attributes of life can feel far out of reach.
Those who perform the best and enjoy their job the most, feel confident and happy with what they do.
Self-doubt and loving your job just do not compliment each other.
And a common behavior when suffering self-doubt is to be very uncomplimentary to yourself.
Negative self-talk can be a significant contributor to your self-doubt and self-doubt can lead to a pattern of negative self-talk. A truly vicious cycle.
Why Are You Talking Negative About Yourself, Anyway?
Self-doubt through regular negative self-talk can seem to have cropped up from nowhere. You may even say that this is how you have always been.
In reality, we often learn habits like this through our life experiences.
The more that behavior is reinforced by our environment, the more likely for it to become part of our norm.
Do you spend time with other people who complain about themselves openly and frequently?
Are you regularly in the company of others who say negative things about other people?
Have your parents and loved ones made it acceptable to talk negatively about themselves?
Were you taught that complimenting yourself is proud and arrogant? (And somehow interpreted negative self-talk as humble or more realistic?)
Do you feel that constant mistakes and errors deserve criticism? Is it wrong to “get a break” or to have someone “look the other way” when someone fails?
These are just a few examples of how negative self-talk can be introduced or reinforced within you.
Whether negative self-talk, talk of others, or negative perception of others, you can build a pattern of believing negative opinions should exist.
And then, with repeat exposure, it can become your habit of understanding and a major contributor to your self-doubt.
It is important to try looking at your life through a different lens.
Every wrong does not need to be called out. Each failure does not define the entirety of a person. And all mistakes do not require strict accountability. It is okay for anyone to err and then learn.
Accept the inevitability of failure as part of your human condition. Attempt to see the good in flaws for the growth and improvement that comes from the experience.
Looking differently at yourself and others as they move through the trials of life makes a difference.
See that there are other ways to address what goes wrong including speaking better about yourself when it’s you,
Why Is Addressing Self-Doubt and Negative Self-Talk Important?
Self-doubt can keep you standing still when life compels you to move forward.
It can strip the joy from what you do every day and make what could be your dream job feel like a job from hell.
Too often a bad job can be confused with a pattern of internal negativity.
If you do not see any good in what you do then it is likely you will feel that your job is also a contributing factor to your lack of success.
Nothing is right when all you see and talk about is what’s gone wrong.
But if you transition your negative self-talk into positive reinforcement of your strengths and opportunities, you elevate your emotional set point and your sense of self.
Through self-awareness and empowerment, you now can…..
See past mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow,
Interpret missed deadlines as flags for problems to solve, and opportunities for processes to be improved,
Reevaluate embarrassing moments as normal, everyday occurrences that can happen to even the top performers
As human beings, we are all imperfect by nature.
And when you embrace your personal imperfection you can move away from self-criticism. Instead, you place your attention on positive self-awareness and empowerment.
Your imperfections are what make you unique. And your uniqueness is what makes you special.
And why does this matter when it comes to your work?
When you are able to show your strengths well, demonstrate understanding of your weaknesses, and also project confidence, you are truly well-rounded.
You confidently know what jobs to take and feel empowered to pass on the ones that are not a good fit
You understand which work requires more study and learning and what you can take on now because you have confidence in your skills
You can take on challenges with openness and transparency and feel comfortable when you need to ask for support in areas that aren’t your strength
You can connect with others better, build stronger work relationships, and perform at your best when you embrace the totality of what you are.
How Do Positive Affirmations Help Conquer Self-Doubt?
Positive affirmation can help conquer your self-doubt by supporting you to build an alternative to negative self-talk.
When you introduce a regular pattern of words based on encouragement and self-worth, personally-directed negativity no longer has a place in your internal conversation.
You stop normalizing thoughts or words of your failure, lack of ability, or fear of new things.
Instead, you highlight your patterns of success, your ability to move forward even after setbacks, and your capability to survive and thrive through change.
Positive affirmations can be a powerful support in rewriting your pattern of negative self-talk. With them, you can interject confidence and self-worth into your daily communication.
Used regularly, positive affirmations help to change your internal narrative.
They can also provide you with readied alternatives when you are not practiced at saying the best things to yourself.
How to Use Positive Affirmations
You define whether or not using positive affirmations truly works for you.
The means to measure success is your recognition of the shift away from negative self-talk. The goal is to replace this habit with positive affirmations but to do this you must make using positive affirmations your new habit.
To help develop the best practice for you, here are a few commonly used ideas:
Curate Your Perfect Positive Affirmations List
Search for positive affirmations through places like Google or Pinterest or through websites like Curvy Points. Purposely look for subjects that you believe cause you the most concern.
When considering options, think about the attribute that you want to improve. What is the true source of your self-doubt?
Do you want to be more Confident?
Are you hard on yourself in general and need to speak more Self-Love?
Do you obsess unnecessarily and need to release worry and create more Calm in your work day?
There are thousands of affirmations that exist on confidence, self-love, calm and so many more subjects. Choose not only what you want to be but how you want to feel.
As you read them, examine at that moment how you feel.
Sometimes you can be immediately empowered just by reading the affirmation aloud.
Other times you may feel uncomfortable because you do not feel that it represents you.
It is imperative that you feel a connection with the affirmations you select. If it rings false or like a lie, you will focus more on convincing yourself than empowering yourself.
However, consider if a new language is worth challenging yourself and allowing you to become comfortable speaking your truth. The hardest affirmations to say can be difficult simply because you are used to saying its opposite.
Be brave enough to move through discomfort if the affirmation is really what you need to hear.
Examine Your Positive Affirmations List for Best Fit
While affirmations can be of different designs, subjects, and lengths, when new to using affirmations it may be worth considering keeping a common theme and choosing ones of shorter length.
You want to not only find the right words to say but you want to remember to say them.
Shorter phrases on a singular theme can make remembering your positive affirmations that much easier.
Memorize 2 or 3 at first and build your practice of use over time.
You may quickly find that what you thought was a major focus for you really wasn’t that big of a deal after all.
It could also be that one subject of positive affirmation was valid for one week and the next week you need a different focus of attention.
Let the process be fluid but be diligent in attending to your list and use your positive affirmations daily.
It is likely your negative self-talk had your focus alot. It’s time to give your positive affirmations as much or more time in your mind.
Create a Positive Affirmations Morning Ritual
Starting your day in the right mindset can be the perfect way to combat self-doubt before it starts.
And positive affirmations can be instrumental to starting your day well.
Now that you have curated a list of positive affirmations, keep your list handy. Use them as soon as you wake up from your sleep or while you are getting dressed.
While you may have memorized a few favorites, this is the time to review your whole list.
Take time to say each word. Resonate with the meaning of each phrase. And even create a visualization of yourself embodying the words that you have said.
Confidence, self-love, success, and motivation feel different and create different facial expressions, even presentation, and stance in your body.
Take on all the effects of these new positive affirmations on you.
Remember, you are re-writing all the expressions, thoughts, and bodily impact of negative self-talk. So you want to give yourself as many queues as possible of these positive changes.
Use Positive Affirmation Addendums
When first tackling your habits of negative self-talk, it may be hard to remember to say positive statements to yourself instead.
The reality is that you likely have been saying negative things for a long time and to abruptly start a new pattern is not likely.
Recognizing your negative-self talk triggers can help to begin opening awareness to when and how often you present yourself with negative ideas and self-doubt.
In the midst of your negative comments, you can add on a positive affirmation addendum to steer your thoughts in a new direction.
For example, if you would normally say, “I am not good at this!” you may add on, “But I am capable to learn new things”.
Or if you ask yourself, “Why would they give this for Me to do of all people?”, you may follow up by saying, “I always do my absolute best and others see this”.
Instead of leaving yourself defeated, give yourself a breath of fresh air and room to feel better about your capabilities.
Know that change takes time. But inserting positive affirmations into your life is worth the effort for the rewards of positivity, calm, self-worth, and self-confidence that they bring.
Train yourself to conquer self-doubt and become the success you want and know yourself to be.
Self-doubt is difficult to live with and even more difficult to address at work.
Particularly when self-doubt builds in you due to negative self-talk, it can cloud your judgment about yourself and your ability to be successful at work.
Positive affirmations are good tools to re-engineer your thoughts and internal dialogue and create an improved self-image.
They can change not only how you speak to yourself but how you feel about yourself and your overall future.
Choosing the right positive affirmations for you is necessary to not only improve what you say but to feel genuine in the process.
Taking inventory of your emotions and what words resonate with you, can make your positive affirmation practice most meaningful and impactful.
With the right tools in hand, you can build a practice of infusing positive affirmations into your work life and create a more positive and healthy work experience every day.
Create Even More Practices to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home
The decision to change jobs is not always easy. You may be onboard with not wanting the job you have but how do you really know it’s time for a job change?
One of the hardest parts of making a decision is when you have no idea where to start. A job change can feel like one of those hard decisions.
Choice is an endless burden when the information you need to make a decision is not available.
How do you know what job is right for you?
If you change jobs, how do you know if you won’t have the same problems as before?
When selecting a new job, how will you know if you made the right decision?
Reducing the questions and building confidence in your decision through self evaluation can help to ensure you know whether or not it is time to leave your job.
Am I Making the Right Decision to Change Jobs?
When you are making a job change decision or any decision, it is important to feel connected with your thoughts on the subject.
Taking a moment of self evaluation can go a long way to solidify a sense of certainty and trust within yourself and your decision-making.
Before you evaluate the state of your job, it is important to examine your level of trust in your decision.
Do you trust yourself to make sound decisions?
Are you comfortable with living with the consequence of your decisions?
Do you put more faith in outside opinion than your own internal judgment?
Have you developed a habit of questioning decisions once you have made them or staying in indecision?
If you suffer from some or all of these circumstances then it is important to first address your insecurities within yourself. You may not be able to fully transition your state of mind before you are faced with making a job change decision. But minimally you should acknowledge that fear, lack of trust, or indecision may have an impact on your evaluation of your next best steps.
Knowing when to change jobs is a practical and yet emotional decision and for these reasons should be made with great care.
Let’s examine a few scenarios where a job change may be warranted that can help to further solidify your decision to change your job.
Job Change Scenario #1: A Terrible Company Culture
When you don’t feel good about the environment that you work in it may be due to the company’s culture.
Company culture can include what the business stands for, the common values shared by the employees, or how it treats its employees. Examine if your company may be a bad culture fit for you.
For example, if you believe that business practices are not being handled responsibly, professionally, or ethically, you naturally may want to leave.
Your company may not work with ethical partners, may not follow proper safety rules, or may condone employees speaking or acting unprofessionally with each other.
These types of work environments can make you question your own integrity for working for the company, make you question if you are in a safe environment, or may even make you feel as if you are in a toxic environment.
Other evidence of poor company culture is a lack of response by the business when you express problems with the work environment or business practices.
No business can control every action taken by every person within its walls. But a good company will react quickly, professionally, and with proper sensitivity when things go wrong.
Neglect to complaints or serious infractions of the law, company policy, or professional business conduct can be clear reasons to want a job change. Constant exposure to a poor company culture can be a drain on your energy and may render you in conflict with your personal standards and ethics.
Job Change Tips When Company Culture is Important
When transitioning jobs, company culture can be as important or more important than the work itself. The environment that the business promotes can have a direct impact on your productivity, sense of belonging, and connection with the business.
Take confidence in your decision to move on for these reasons and prepare a plan of action so you do not mistakenly experience the same issues at the next job.
When exploring other job opportunities, look to see what type of culture the business promotes:
Review the company website, job posting, or any other published work to see how it describes its culture, mission, vision, or core values. See the intention behind the company culture the business promotes to have.
Research to see if any customers, vendors, staff, or community members have rendered opinions or reviews about the company using apps and websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, or the Better Business Bureau.
Investigate to see the associations the business has with other business entities, professional associations, and community projects. Where a business invests its resources or donates time to charitable causes can reflect on its priorities.
Above all, use your interview as an opportunity to ask direct questions regarding company culture. Don’t hesitate to ask for real examples of how their values show up on a day-to-day basis. Companies that focus on strong ethics and positive engagement share this openly to gain the attention of future employees with similar values.
Finding and evaluating a company to have strong business ethics and conduct can help to build your confidence with making your job change decision.
Job Change Scenario #2: Limited Access to Professional Growth
Another potential poor company fit is when the company or your boss does not focus on professional development.
Professional development neglect can take the form of:
Limited options for position advancement due to the business structure, lack of systems, or lack of leadership support
No means to increase compensation, benefits, or other retention incentives to support independent development investment
Lack of focus or financial support on continued education, training, or other professional development
When broadening your skills or furthering your career is important to you but is not important to your business then it may be time to find a company aligned with your priorities.
While you are always in the position to manifest your own growth opportunities, you cannot live to your fullest potential if you feel hindered from being your best by your current job. Your job change reason may solely be to find a company that aligns with your long-term career goals.
Professional Development Tips
Companies who prioritize investment in their staff are often proud to share it.
Professional development is not a requirement of any business but many offer options to be competitive and as part of their culture. Examples include:
Education sponsorship or course reimbursement
On-the-job training, mentorship, or coaching
Flexible work schedules to accommodate attending in-person classes, exams, or studying needs
Leadership or vocational development programs, including on-and off-site assignments, multi-year programs, and rotation programs
Interviewing with Professional Development in Mind
When professional development is a priority, be sure to examine this closely in your future interview process.
Ask questions not only about what programs exist but eligibility requirements
Share what you intend as the plan for your future and see how a new company is structured to support your plan
Learn the number and types of options, particularly as you continue your career path with the company over time. Some opportunities are only available after you have had some tenure.
Be mindful that professional development opportunities and the long-term vision related to this subject may be different based on the size of the company. Therefore tailor your questions according to what is reasonable to expect for the size and scope of the business and the role to which you are applying.
Discussing professional development during an interview can feel uncomfortable at times. Some business representatives may get nervous that you are more interested in what is ahead versus the job available now. Always balance your discussion with how you will fulfill the immediate needs of the business.
It is important that you project interest in the role available as well as long-term opportunities to invest in your career growth with the company. When you can align on both the current job opportunity and your future ambitions, you and the company can feel more confident in working together.
Job Change Scenario #3: Toxic Work Environment
Another reason for a job change is when your relationship with the company has been tarnished in some way.
Maybe you have had some type of stigma or bias against you. Maybe you feel disconnected or feel wronged by your boss, department, leadership, or company practices.
Poor business relationships can create a toxic work environment filled with targeting, harassment, micro-managing, and gaslighting. None of these behaviors are healthy for work or your mental health and well-being.
When a toxic environment exists and reporting it does not resolve the issue or you feel it would make things worse, it’s time to find a new company and create a clean slate for yourself.
Examine further, however, if you are ready for that move.
Self Evaluating After Exposure to a Toxic Work Environment
Extended time in a toxic work environment can have negative effects on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. And while it is a valid reason to leave a job, the reality is that you may not be in the best condition to search and interview for a new job.
Be mindful that working in a toxic environment for a length of time can create different patterns in your behavior. You may have become overly suspicious, watchful, and sensitive to others’ words or actions.
You may not currently be in your best state of mind and this imbalance can travel with you to a new job. Be aware of how past feelings of distrust may impact your ability to transition to an unfamiliar environment.
Examine through others the level of impact on your person that you may not recognize. Connect with family, friends, and possibly a therapist to work through the emotional scarring that may have occurred.
While working in a stressed environment can be taxing, starting a new job in a new environment carries its own level of stress.
Take time to evaluate whether or not starting a new endeavor helps or hurts your situation at this time.
If you have the financial stability to do so, you may want to take a break between jobs to get yourself emotionally readied for your path ahead.
With timing, self care, and preparedness in mind, when you have experienced a toxic work environment at your current job, it likely imperative to start your plan to make a job change.
Toxic Work Environment Transition Tips
Working in a toxic work environment can bring to the surface many thoughts and emotions that simply are not positive. While valid for your current job, it is important to transition your state of mind to a positive outlook for your future position.
Most employers are searching for a person capable to do the job that they have available AND a person who is happy and excited to take on the new opportunity.
Considering these steps when making your transition:
Set the proper energy and focus for your interview. Place your attention on the positive aspects of the new opportunity and speak neutrally about your old job. Never slander or recount negative experiences but instead focus on any learnings you may have gained from your past experience. Always be professional as your goal is to represent your best self.
Learn about the onboarding process and specifically how new hires are integrated within your department or with others. See if the new business has systems in place to foster positive relationships and an overall collaborative working environment
Talk to your direct manager about their leadership style, expectations they have around performance, and how they define a winning team. Understanding your potential manager’s way of leading can help you determine if you will be compatible in the future.
Ask whether or not a tour of the working environment is possible or if you can speak with an experienced team member. Gaining first-hand knowledge of the business will allow you more direct exposure to the relationships that already exist and the general tone of the environment as a whole.
Take special effort to find a company that represents the way you want to be treated and feel confident that your job change is the right decision.
BonusJob Change Scenario: I Just Don’t Like My Current Job
It may seem like it’s not enough, but it is possible to simply not like your current job. There is no reason to feel that you have to justify your reason any more than confirming confidently to yourself how you feel.
When you feel a disconnect with your current job, it is important to pay attention to the signs. Work is more than where you earn money or get trained for developing your skills. It also is a significant part of your daily life and contributes to your total well-being in life.
Choosing a job that you enjoy in addition to it satisfying your basic needs is possible and can make you more balanced in your life overall.
That said, if you enjoy your work but do not like the specific job then your next steps are to create your exit plan. When developing your plan do your best to identify what you didn’t like in your last experience so you do not recreate it in your future!
And, don’t worry, no matter the reason that you elect to leave your job these tips can still be applied.
Exit Plan Tips
Make a firm decision to move forward with leaving your job. If you need a little encouragement, read my article on The Best Affirmations for Confidence When Quitting Your Job. In addition to providing empowering words, this post reviews the self-affirming steps of validating your decision to yourself.
Develop a job search plan for your new job. This ideally will include the work you prefer to do, the opposite experience of what you have at your current job, and what key elements are part of your ideal or dream job. If looking for more inspiration for your preparation read How to Get the Job You Really Want for more ideas.
Prepare an updated resume. This is a critical step as your resume is many times the first impression your new job will have of you. If you are not familiar with creating a resume, it may be better to get help from family, or friends, or to hire a professional. Even if you prepare one yourself, always have another person proofread your end result. If you need assistance with creating your update, take a look at my Tools for the Best Resume Rebuild Ever.
Get interview ready. In addition to the recommendations outlined within this post, be sure to have any important interview questions prepared and written down. Ensure your clothing, transportation, and state of mind are ready so that you can create the best impression. Most of all, remember that an interview includes you. Always ensure that you are observant of the impression you receive from the business. Because you are evaluating them as much as they are evaluating you.
A job change may be a difficult decision. Learning what has motivated this decision within you can help to define if this change is right for you.
It is important to know what may be wrong with the job you have. But it is more important to know yourself and what you need in your career and job environment to be your best in any business environment.
Take time to consider your options, define your desires, and then prepare your next steps toward the right job change for you.
Looking for more inspiration on navigating Life on the Curve and your work life balance journey? Subscribe today. And if you found this post informative, share it with a friend.