It’s February — National Self Esteem Month in the USA. Self esteem goes hand in hand with self confidence – one four keys to life and career success that I discuss in my latest career advice book Success Tweets. Self confidence and self esteem are so important to your life and career success, that I devoted 20 of the 141 tweets in Success Tweets to them.
If you want to become self confident you need to do three things. First, choose optimism. Believe that today will be better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better than today. Second, face your fears and act. Fear is the enemy of self confidence. It often manifests itself as procrastination. Self confident people are not afraid of failing. They act. Third, surround yourself with positive people. Jettison the nay sayers in your life.
Tweet 49 in Success Tweets says, “Surround yourself with positive people. Hold them close. They will give you energy and help you create the career success you deserve.” Tweet 50 says, “Jettison the negative people in your life. They are energy black holes. They will suck you dry; but only if you let them.”
Unlike negative people who will tell you a million reasons why you can’t achieve something, positive people will be excited for you and your career success goals. They will ask what they can do to help. Their enthusiasm will help you when you encounter the occasional rough spot in the road to your career success.
I’m not a big Bible reader, but there is a passage I’ve always enjoyed that goes to the idea of jettisoning the negative people in your life.
“Jesus said give not which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
Your goals are holy to you. They are the pearls that will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve. Don’t let the dogs and swine – negative people – trample them. Keep the negative people in your life at arms length.
As I write this, I’m reminded of a great passage I read in Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. The protagonist is a young Native American boy who leaves the reservation to attend school in an all white school district. He joins the basketball team. Check it out…
“Something magical happened to me when I went to Reardon. Overnight I became a good player. I suppose it had something to do with confidence. In Reardon my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so, I became good.
“I wanted to live up to expectations. I guess that’s what it comes down to. The power of expectations. And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew until I was scoring twelve points a game – as a freshman.
“The coach wanted him to guard the other team’s best player in a very important game. ‘Coach,’ I said, ‘I don’t think I can do it.’ He walked over to me, kneeled, and pushed his forehead against mine. Our eyes were like an inch apart. I could smell cigarettes and chocolate on his breath.
“‘You can do it,’ Coach said. ‘You can do it,’ Coach said again. He didn’t shout it. He whispered it, like a prayer. And he kept whispering again. Until the prayer turned into a song. And then, for some magical reason, I believed him. ‘I can do it,’ I said to Coach, to my teammates, to the world. ‘You can do it,’ Coach said, ‘I can do it.’ ‘You can do it.’ ‘I can do it.’
“Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody? It’s one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they’re the four hugest words in the world when they’re put together. ‘You can do it.’
“’I can do it.’”
As I read those words, I could see that locker room and feel the excitement – not only on Coach’s part, and the part of the young Native American, but the entire team. We all need people like Coach in our lives. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive people who will build, not destroy, your self esteem and self confidence. When you find people who believe in you and tell you “you can do it” you begin to believe in yourself.
As Sherman Alexie says, “I wanted to live up to expectations. I guess that’s what it comes down to. The power of expectations. And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew…”
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are self confident. Self confident people surround themselves with positive people. They hold the negative people in their lives at arm’s length. They don’t give things that are holy – their goals and dreams to the dogs; nor do they cast their pearls before swine. They share what’s holy to them with positive, supportive people. Positive people will expect a lot of you, and from you. These expectations will help you become a more confident person and a life and career success. Take it from a career success coach. Never underestimate the power of positive people. They will help build your self estee and confidence and get you on the path to career success. Befriend all the positive people you can. Hold them close. Treasure them and their friendship. They will help you achieve your career success dreams.
That’s my career advice on the importance of positive people, self confidence, career success and National Self Esteem Month. What’s yours? Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading for this career advice.