Insight Shorts

Leaders lacking self-belief

Jun 29, 2022 | Insights

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Leaders who lack self-belief and see themselves as less than others see them diminish their perception of the meaning of their lives.
Next month we head to France, taking a group of individuals who rely on family, friends and professionals for help in their daily living. Some are so disabled they require assistance with their every need.

In all, there will be around 175 of us. We are divided into groups of about 25 responsible for looking after five or six of our party who need assistance.

Each group has two group leaders. Last week I was talking to Peter. His job is to arrange the groups and nominate group leaders. One young lass, Jenny, had been asked to be a group leader for the fifth time.

The reluctant leader

However, Jenny was reluctant to take on the role this year. Her reasons were unclear but probably related to the challenges she had to deal with last time.

Of course, we pointed out that she had been asked to be a group leader because of her experience and the skills she had demonstrated on previous trips.

Yes, she had made mistakes and some things she could have handled better. So what. That is true of us all, and the experience we gain on those occasions adds to our personal wealth and character.

It was at this point that Peter hit the nail on the head with the words:

“We all think our young leaders are fantastic; the only ones who don’t are themselves.”

How to avoid the poor self-belief snare

Oh, how true! And not just our young group leaders. Most of us who lead and take responsibility perceive ourselves very differently from how others see us. We lack self-belief and have a terrible habit of doing ourselves down.

And here is the good news: you can overcome this feeling. Here are three practices that will help:

  1. Write your story, warts and all, truthfully and without self-protection. Then read the story of your achievements, failures, and lessons learned. Add some adjectives to describe the person you have just written about. Resilience, adaptability and courage are probably words that come to mind, not worthless.
  2. With humility and courage, ask a couple of trusted friends or colleagues how they see you. Listen to what they say about you and your abilities. It may surprise you when they tell you you are good, even very good, at what we do.
  3. Start a gratitude journal and document everything for which you have been grateful during the day or have done to make others thank you. You will soon begin to see that people see you as worthy, not worthless and that you make a difference.

These are classic techniques used by coaches, including us here at Crazy for Change, and they work, so give them a try.

Attributions and references

Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash

(Names changed, obviously!)

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