Protecting Your Self-Esteem

The quality of your self-talk, the little voice inside your head that gives you a running commentary on how you are going, is critical to your ability to implement successfully. I fight to protect and enhance my self-talk (and my self esteem). The more confident I am in my ability, the more likely I am to take on significant projects. So I've stopped asking participants of my workshops to fill out feedback forms. It's not that I don't want feedback, or that I am not trying to improve. It's just that I am very selective about who I will take feedback from. I have mentors and coaches who are experts in the art of presenting who I trust to review me, and tell me what is working well, and where I can improve. But to protect my self-talk, I am very selective about who I allow to give me feedback.

Matt Church wrote a great little piece about this a couple of years ago - don't ask turkeys to judge an eagle!

I also believe that how confident I am about being able to achieve something is not an objectively accurate measure, but is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. When I was 27 I started a business coaching practice. While I had worked for a few years a business consultant with Accenture, I had never run a business, and I'd never been a coach. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have started. But at the time I figured I'd be pretty good at it, and I'd be able to work out what I didn't know.

Objectively my confidence was misplaced. I had no idea how I was going to get clients, how to price my offering, how to structure a coaching program. I also didn't realise the impact that having no experience in business or as a coach would have on my credibility. But in this case, ignorance was bliss. Subjectively my confidence wasn't misplaced. It allowed me to persist long enough to be successful ... and after persevering through a very tough first year, things started to turn around. And from year two on I had a six-figure coaching practice (and eventually a seven-figure thought leaders practice, but that's another story).

Fight to make your self-talk an asset rather than a liability. I believe that you can achieve way more than you think you can. Your potential is almost limitless. Calibrate your self-talk to that. And fight to keep it there, and to protect your self-esteem.

Love to hear your thoughts and experiences - you can leave your comments below.