What Are You Saying About Yourself?

How many times per day do we make decisions? Five, ten? Try several thousand. Most we don’t notice because their overall impact is barely discernible. What is embedded in each, though, is a reflection of our confidence in ourselves. In those decisions we barely notice, we are very comfortable; not only in our ability to make them, but in our assessment of the likelihood that the outcome will be positive. What we notice more are those decisions in which we question ourselves and, often, where we have some question as to our ability to make a call that will have a positive result. The positive result is influenced by two main areas: First is the environmental – variables over which we have no control; second, is the cognitive – the perception we bring to the situation of our ability to manage it.

Our perception of our ability is often more influenced by the limits we have accepted about ourselves than our actual limits. We have been told things, experienced missteps, or compared ourselves to others in ways that place us firmly in a stratum of our own making. Our responsibility to ourselves and to all of those on whom we might have a positive impact is to consciously and aggressively dispel any and all destructive baggage.

So how do we jettison destructive baggage? Let’s start with recognizing positive outcomes, however trivial, and remember how they felt and what led to them. Carry those observations to the relevance of the decision we face at the moment. What we will find is that the patterns for success and making good decisions can be applied broadly. They will also point to our aptitudes and natural preferences. Our discoveries will help us decline opportunities that call for skills or interests we lack, and help us confidently engage in those where we find satisfaction and success. The more we experience positive outcomes, the more we will experience the benefits that come with them, further embedding our self-confidence.

Try it and let me know how it goes, won’t you?