Lack of self-confidence hampers change: "I can't do it better"


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If you were to stand before a large scale with two weighing panes and asked you to think without a long time in one of your strengths and competences and in the other your all your weaknesses - which side would show more weight? What is your spontaneous response?

Lack of self-confidence hinders change: "I can't do it better"


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Tom Diesbrock 84Tom Diesbrock is a psychologist, consultant, team developer and book author.

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I can not do anything really good!

For many people it looks like this: “Sure, a lot of people manage to find a great new job. If I had it on, I would of course do it the same way. But honestly: I can't do anything that goes beyond my current job profile. I would be laughed at if I wanted something else! ”

If the negative side of you clearly prevails, you are not alone. I guess that the majority of people would have a great deal of effort to get rid of the shell for their weaknesses. For this seems to me to be much easier for most of us.

Many find it difficult and uncomfortable to think about or even talk about our own strengths. I often hear the self-assessment: "I am actually not really good at anything." And many respond so out of deep conviction and not out of modesty!

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The others can do better!

At the same time, they have the abilities of other people, of friends, colleagues and acquaintances, usually a much more positive picture. When it comes to the light and dark sides of others, our judgment is usually quite balanced (unless we are very outrageous characters) - but we prefer to put our own light under the bushel.

If we judge others much more competently than ourselves, our perception must be a little “crazy”. Why is that? As people who are no longer quite young, we generally completed at least vocational training, maybe studied, learned a lot in our jobs, trained ourselves, pursued different interests - and we have certainly gained a lot of life experience.

I can do something!

And yet we should have hardly any competences that could be relevant to our professional reorientation? Can this really be? In coaching, I often find that people with an initially rather negative self-image can actually build a long list of their competences and strengths - if they dare to take a closer look and also to assess the assessment of others.

Finally, many are surprised to find: “I can do a lot more than I thought!” So: Not being able is something completely different than not knowing (what you can)! But it's easy to confuse it. Why are we so little aware of our strengths? A negative self-image can of course have many causes.

All a matter of practice!

People who have been working in a profession for a long time, even though they have climbed a few levels on the career ladder, often think that they only have the skills that they use in their job, true to the motto: “I have been for 20 years Bankers, so I can only do what bankers can do. ” This then shows a very close identity rather than a realistic self-assessment.

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Stupid is only when we mess things up. Many people describe themselves as realists, while they tell me that they can do nothing really good. A negative self-image is above all a matter of the exercise!

I'd rather make myself small before anyone else does

Why do we give ourselves so much trouble to build up a gloomy picture of our abilities and hold on to it? The price we pay for it - often an intimate relationship with a dead horse - is not exactly small.

However, we never develop a behavior or an attitude without promising ourselves an advantage - mostly unconsciously. And that is very often to protect us from attacks by others according to the principle: "I'd rather make myself small before someone else does it."

The unrecognized high stacker?

The idea of ​​trusting myself and believing in my abilities, and then being laughed at by others, is a nightmare for most of us! And that is very human, because we are all very afraid of devaluation and embarrassment. Only: How great is the danger that we will encounter each other as adults?

That we could be exposed as an “impostor” who can do much less than he claims? Isn't this a child's fear and perspective? We'll see later that in fact, when there are fears in the game, we often react inappropriately.

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Professional change needs a good self-assessment

Without a good self-assessment of my competencies, professional changes are difficult to achieve.

In case of doubt, I will always decide against good options because I do not believe enough. And if I have made myself small and small for a long time, my only real choice is my dead horse.

In my work, I have met people who, despite their diploma and doctorate, remained in a job that was far below their potential - because they thought that more was simply not possible.


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