Posts Tagged With: confidence

Day 212: Confidence

Yesterday, I had my second annual review at work.

Last year, my first review helped me, big time. My anxiety about being at work went waaaay down. I let go of self-doubt, self-criticism, and all sorts of cognitive distortions, like Comparisons, Mind Reading, and Negative Filter :

Negative filtering (also known as “Disqualifying the positive”).

This is when we focus on the negative, and filter out all positive aspects of a situation. For example, you get a good review at work with one critical comment, and the criticism becomes the focus, with the positive feedback fading or forgotten. You dismiss positives by explaining them away — for example, responding to a compliment with the thought, “They were just being nice.”

It’s interesting that the example of negative filtering, above, is a work review. And here’s the deal: my first review had no negative comments. Not one.

So I really let in all that positive feedback and compliments last year. And it made a huge difference.

Essentially, that first review was a healthy, mega-dose of Reality Testing:

Reality testing. Ask people questions to find out if your thoughts and concerns are realistic or true. This is a particularly effective response to the distortion of mind-reading.

It was an antidote for my negative self-talk, fears, projections, and other unhelpful thoughts I was having about work.

This year’s review focused more on Ways I Could Improve. And there was a thing, or two, about that review which I could — if I chose — use as a negative filter. I could maximize the “negative” and minimize the huge number of positives that were there.

But I’m not. Instead, I am letting in all the amazing, positive comments I got, from people I respect, a lot.

And, again, it’s making a big difference.

I feel more alive, secure, and eager to go into work this morning. I feel confident that — no matter what challenges arise, no matter what mistakes I inevitably make — I will do a good enough job.

My passion and love for my work is unhindered, this morning, by any dread, guilt, or anxiety.

And nothing has changed, people, about my work situation.

The only thing that has changed is this: Today I know some beautiful details about how my work is appreciated.

Before I came to this job, I worked at a place where I also loved what I did. However, I received only a couple of formal reviews during the twelve years I was there. I still got positive feedback and encouragement from wonderful people, but I didn’t get that bracing mega-dose of appreciation…. until I left.

And those Goodbye Appreciations were, again, an incredible remedy for what ailed me.

Here is the point I want to make this morning:

Confidence helps.

While we may have fears of feeling too good (discussed here, here, and here), and while we might love and admire the quality of humility in others and in ourselves …

Confidence helps.

I know it helps me, in so many ways.

It helps me do a better job.

It helps reduce my anxiety.

It helps me express myself, more strongly.

It helps me feel more comfortable, exactly where I am.

And instead of feeling like I have to be a Kingpin to succeed, I feel more connected to my team:

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(Seen yesterday, as I walked away from a Good Day’s Work.)

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Thanks to my teams at work, to people whose work includes dressing up like giant objects like teeth or bowling pins, to yearly reviews, and to you.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 91: The difference between arrogance and confidence

I am writing about this topic  because I dealt with somebody today, in a position of some power,  whom I  experienced as arrogant.  “Arrogant” was the adjective that occurred to me several times during the interactions I had with this person and the interactions I witnessed with other people.

And that had an effect on me, especially because I spent a lot of time in the hospital, as a child, dealing with all sorts of medical people, who were in positions of power.  I found it particularly challenging — and painful, at times — to deal with arrogance in that setting.

I will look up a definition of “arrogance” shortly, but first I want to say that my definition of arrogance definitely includes the following: a disinterest in listening to and learning from others.

I hesitated to write about this topic today, because I am, obviously, being judgmental here. To a certain extent, I am mind reading — assuming I know what is going on in the mind of somebody else.  How do I know whether somebody is disinterested in learning and listening, really?  I’m just guessing.

Here is an on-line definition of arrogance:

n.  offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride; haughtiness.

Looking at that definition brings to mind something else.  I also hesitated to write about this topic today because I see so many people who are afraid of being arrogant — to the extent that they are afraid of being confident in themselves.

That concerns me. I often want to encourage people’s confidence and their belief in themselves. And it’s tricky, because how do we know if our pride and our sense of our own importance is “offensive” or “overbearing”?  Fear of being too confident often results in “playing small,” as described in the Marianne Williamson poem I included in a post, here.
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I don’t know if this will help, but here’s another of my own personal definitions of arrogance:

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If you are afraid of being arrogant, chances are you are not.

That’s a nice simple rule, isn’t it?

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I also wanted to take this space to respond back to another blogger’s kind wish to connect with me and other bloggers by asking a series of questions.  And, as I’ve written before in this blog, I love questions! (See here for more about that, plus a tres cool special about Jackie Chan.)

Caliwow asked me to answer the questions she posed in this blog post.  I will now do my best to answer them authentically (while also sleazing out of answering some of them):

Q.  How old are you? *muwahahaha!*      

A. I  made it to 60!  

Q.  What is your favorite country and why?              

A.   I will pass on that question, because I don’t want to hurt any country’s feelings.

Q. If you could be any other race, which would it be and why?          

A.  See above for not wanting to hurt any feelings.

Q.  How do you make decisions?    

A.  Very reluctantly.  According to my Myers-Briggs test results, I have a high level of Perceiving (vs. Judging), which means I love collecting more and more data before actually making a decision.

Q. Share one moment in your life where you legitimately thought you were going to crash and burn; end up either losing all your friends, becoming homeless, have to move back in with your parents, etc…

A.  I’ve dealt with a couple of severe — although thankfully short-lived —  depressions in my life.  I definitely had some fear of “crashing and burning” during those.

Q. What are some of your top things to blog about?

A.  Questions and answers!!!

Q.  Who you pick from history to sit down and explain McDonald’s to?

A.  I have trouble explaining most things, much less McDonald’s.

Q.  Would you rather wake up naked and sore with no memory of the night before next to the Burger King telling you “you had it your way” or next to Ronald McDonald who told you how much you were “loving it”?

A. See above regarding my difficulty making decisions.

Q. Which TV show would you like to be a guest on?

A.  The Daily Show.

Q.  If you HAD to be a dangerous criminal from history in your next life, whom would you choose?

A.  I’m not coming back, if that’s my only choice.

Q. What type of utensil do you prefer while writing? Pen, pencil, marker, crayon, calligraphy brush, etc…

A.  Oh, man. Those were the good old days.  These days, I’m writing with a keyboard.  When I do use a utensil, it’s a pen.

Thanks, Calliewow, for including me in this question tag,  and for your inquisitive mind.

And thank YOU, for reading.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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