By Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC
I belong to a professional OD organization and am mentoring a member who is trying to plan out her future professional goals. In our initial conversation, we discussed her “style” – her learning and personality style, which she based off of a test she had taken. As we discussed her profile, she felt that it may not have portrayed her accurately so she took it again and found the same results. Not feeling satisfied, she did something that I believe most would not – she sent her profile out to friends of hers to see what they thought, asking how did they see her. My protégé said she was shocked as every one of her friends agreed with the findings, to which she stated, “They know me better than I do!”
This begs the question of how well do you know yourself? Do you see yourself as others do? I think we all have an idea of our good points, our skill-sets, and how we come across to others. Sometimes, the picture is accurate but this occurs mainly when one feels confident in their skills and is continually self-aware; they work on their presence and how they relate to others.
But I would challenge that a good majority of people do not. They go through life as they are but yet wonder why they don’t achieve good relationships, don’t move up in their organization, or don’t achieve their desired success. Living in one’s own mind is not a bad thing but we all have a perceptual frame that we live in; sometimes, these perceptions become skewed and we can become blinded by them. The result can include fear, self-doubt and sadness and can lead to being held back from doing and achieving. Essentially, this creates a life unfulfilled.
An exercise I challenge clients with is simple, scary but very effective in helping them to either reaffirm or to change their personal viewpoint; this increases their self-awareness, allows them the choice to amend their behaviors and enhances their self-esteem and self-confidence. I task my clients to go and ask at least five (5) people they know how they “see” the client. This simple request uncovers a host of (usually) positive affirmations that they may secretly believe about themselves or brings them to light. They now have the choice to believe them, to work off of them, to change them or to reject them. I then ask them to write their positive traits on a post-it note or note card and keep them in a place where they can see them daily to keep reaffirming these attributes and to plant them deep in their mind. This reinforces positive feelings and beliefs which then create positive actions.
Seeing yourself as others do can give your perceptual ‘eyes’ a new view that can lift your awareness and raise your confidence. You can then work off of these uncovered attributes – strengths and skills- and use them to accomplish any and all that you desire!
Dr. Barbara Seifert, LCSW, CPC, NLP is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida. She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified coach and certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. She is a Premier Coach with the American Society of Training & Development. You can learn more by visiting www.cyscoaching.com and Your Career Success Blog at www.allaboutcareerssite.wordpress.com.