The Tall Poppy Syndrome still plays a part in our New Zealand culture and the effects often causes us to be reluctant to self-promote for fear of over promising. What ends up happening is the opposite… we undersell ourselves.
The reality is that if you are in the job market you really need to be confident in presenting what you have to an employer, without seeking external approval to validate your worth.
Of course, there are practical things that can be done to help be better prepared for this including polishing your CV and LinkedIn profiles and practicing your ‘sales’ pitch. The trouble is that due to a lot of factors, often your confidence is not where it needs to be and the reality is that unless you’re an accomplished actor, your self-doubt and anxiety will still show through and can send mixed messages.
It is important to invest time and energy in building back your confidence and this is not something that is commonly addressed. You may have been made redundant, have had health issues or other obstacles that have caused you to question who you are and what benefit you bring to a company.
Negative self-talk is prevalent and can be the thing that actually holds us back. Recognising what we tell ourselves i.e. “I am obviously not as good as I thought I was if they chose me to be made redundant”, “I don’t think I have what it takes to start again” or “What did I do wrong?” allows us to then change how we face these psychological challenges.
Instead of saying “What did I go wrong?” stop yourself, take a breath and tell yourself what you did well. The more we actively change our thought patterns, the more we start to believe this and it impacts our confidence in such a positive way.
I knew somebody who had such a negative self-image and constantly put themselves down, not just in their self-talk, but even in their interactions with others. It had such a negative impact on how others viewed them, drawing attention to what they perceived as their flaws. When challenged over this, they started to change their self-talk from “I am so overweight, no one will see me as successful or professional” to “I have a fantastic figure, more of it than I need but… a fantastic figure”. What happened was life changing. Her posture changed, her perspective on every aspect of her life became so positive and her personality became ‘in-charge’, confident and she exuded a ‘make-it-happen’ vibe which saw her career take off.
Taking control of your thought patterns is so empowering. When things go wrong, which they invariably will at some point… we can simply approach it with a pragmatic attitude. Own your mistakes, identify how you can avoid it happening again and pick yourself up again taking charge of the situation. Your mistakes don’t define who you are…what you do to deal with mistakes, does.
Setting goals for yourself will help you to keep on track, regardless of the hurdles that life presents us with. By taking control of your life in this way, you are less likely to be tossed around by the winds of change, you can simply adapt. Keep an open mind to opportunities… sometimes it is these unexpected opportunities that actually see our goals come to fruition.