Monday, 23 September 2013

10 Ways to Boost your Self-Confidence

 In my corporate experience I have seen many people with very High IQ not being able to perform and I have also seen several people with mediocre IQ do fantastically well in their lives. 

The biggest determinant for this inconsistency is Self- Confidence.  This is one of the key characteristic of a Leader.  And yes, Self Confidence can be developed. 

The following are 10 ways you can enhance your Self Confidence :  

  1. Recognize your fears and insecurities.Bring to the foreground emotions and thoughts that are always present at the back of your mind.
  2. Never be ashamed of yourself or to ask for help
  3. Talk to your friends and loved ones about your problems. Focus on the things that are creating problems for you and then try to find a way to solve these problems.
  4. Know that  nobody is perfect. Even that famous film star  or supermodel have insecurities.
  5. Enjoy and celebrate your success. 
  6. Discover your talents and then focus on them. We should build on our strengths. 
  7. When you feel low, look around you and at the problems that others are undergoing and thank God that he has blessed you with so much more. Believe me, a visit to the hospital or an orphanage can be therapeutic. 
  8. Never fall victim to self-pity. It can be very damaging to your self esteem and self confidence. Self-pity promotes us to give excuses to ourselves. Also don't let others pity you; this will only lower your self-esteem and self-confidence.
  9. Try to smile as much as possible. A smile will add to your confidence. People are always appreciative of a smile.
  10.  Fake it !  Sometimes just pretending to be confident makes you really confident ! You will never know when you will make a transition from pretension to reality.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Goodbye email of a Leader

Friends ,
 I have been struggling to write this email for the last couple of hours.   I am finding it very difficult   to sum up the experiences of  7 years and 2 months in a couple of lines.  What a tenure it has been …. It seems just the other day that I walked into this office and then everything is history …
 For me , the learning has been immense .  From a purely development background, I delved into quality, process, testing, training – and simultaneously doing delivery and project  and program management, setting up teams – Warranty,  DNS , Alpha and TDCJ . Learning about Test Automation - QTP. Continuous Improvement,   ISO certification , going on stage and taking the prize on behalf of our facility  for the  Best Practice Showcase in Chicago, conducting the training sessions , the list is endless ........
I will never forget the issues of “Quality Times” which I published, the book club,  the parody on the office colleagues in “UTSAV” and our annual days . The  pot-luck lunches and my workplace no. “191” will always remain etched on my mind.
 I have seen ups and downs , I have taken lessons both from the good and the not so good .  I have known whom to emulate and whom I do not want to become.  I have interacted closely with so many different people and everybody has  left a mark on me and made me a better and a more mature professional. I have received lots of accolades and recognition for the work  I have done but there are two things which I have received in abundance here which are priceless. I have received  your love and respect and I am carrying these with me forever.  I am humbled and awestruck by the adoration and adulation that people have bestowed upon me . I consider myself lucky to have gained these from  you.  These priceless gems will be with me throughout my life …
 I am feeling sad to leave … but I have a wide world in front of me now. I am not done yet and I have to reach larger horizons.  I want to taste and try some different flavours and see what greater things life has in store for me.  
As I strive towards the large looming horizon, I want to say a BIG Thank you to all of you . I will be able to reach my goal with your love, trust , belief and good wishes.
 This is a very small world and I am sure that somewhere, someday we will  meet again  ! Till then adieu !
Best wishes to all of you !
What do you notice in the letter ?  What sort of leader do you think this person is ? Do write your comments .

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Why do we Fail ?

Recently I came across a post in a leading internet site. It said : 

Why do I fail at everything I do. I cannot find anything that I am good at?

I'm now in my late forties and have had a number of "careers" which I have failed at. I recently was fired and was told that it was due to continually making the same mistakes. I went back to school at the age of 40 .. After failing at so many things , I now find my confidence has been shot and I feel like a total failure. I'm not sure what to do. If anyone has any suggestions or can even relate please feel free to jump in.

Whether we admit it or not, all of us have failed in our lives sometime or the other. I am not saying that failure is bad.Successful people take failure as a learning step in the right direction  In fact, it is good to fail sometimes and I will expand more on this aspect in another blog post, but why do we fail ? 

  • Quitting too early :  Failing does not mean that we are not good . It does not mean that we will be deemed as "Failures".  Quitting is easy. Persistence and grit are difficult. But if we can persist, we are bound to succeed. As Churchill said "Never, never, never, never, never, give up".  Always remember, that maybe when you gave up, you were just about to succeed !

  • Losing Confidence : Sometimes , when we are failing again and again, we lose confidence in ourselves. We become mentally fatigued and weak. But the people who can keep a brave face are the ones who taste success. It takes a lot of effort , but that is the difference between the traits of an ordinary person and an extraordinary one.  We can be one of them. 

  • Not taking lessons from past mistakes :  Wise people learn from their mistakes.  All of us take the advise of experienced people when we are in a fix because of the simple reason that they have gone through and learnt from situations which we have not yet encountered. The lessons which they have learnt from their failure enrich our journey. Similarly, our past mistakes should guide us towards success. We should harvest our past mistakes.

  • Being afraid of losing our empire : Sometimes when we become too comfortable in our life , specially at work, we fear of losing the empire which we have built so painstakingly. That makes us risk averse and after a certain point, we stop growing and learning.  The current economic situation is making people more and more fearsome and that prevents us from stretching the boundaries .  The more we fear, the worse we will do at our jobs and the more we are destined to fail.  Success means taking risks, learning pushing forward and growing. 

  • Lack of Goals : Sometimes , in our lives and in our career, we feel that we have "hit the ceiling".  We feel that  there is no where to go further. Our lives have reached a full-stop.  Yes. It is true that this does happen. But , to succeed, we have to sense this before we reach the stage when we think that we cannot progress further and take positive steps on the next part of our lives and career.  We should have a clear vision where we want to go.  It is perfectly fine to make changes to your goals when the need arises, to think about altering your course. We can always have a list of excuses, but to succeed , we need clarity of thoughts, self discipline and a sense of self worth.  Remember, everything is in finally in the mind ! 
 (Click and read my blog post link " It is all in the mind .... Stupid")

Whatever problems we might be facing, we have to believe in ourselves and have trust on ourselves. We have to remember that as long as we are alive, we have the ability to try and solve it .  

To overcome failure and succeed, we have to keep on moving. 

We have to make things happen rather than wait for things to happen to us. 

What is your take on reasons for failure ?  Want to add more to the list ?  I will be happy to learn more from you , so please write your thoughts in the comments.