Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

Recently, an attendee approached me after a presentation I gave entitled, Supercharge your Self-Confidence and she was very upset. In tears, she said that she enjoyed my presentation and wished she could speak with confidence and be assertive like me. I was flattered and at the same time concerned that this caused her so much grief.

My response to this young woman was:

“I must admit I was not born with confidence; I had to learn from my mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others. I had to be open and honest with myself and realize that in order to achieve my goals I needed to change.”

Here’s how I implemented change:

Got a mentor. A mentor is someone who will be your co-pilot. Mentors provide advice and feedback along the journey until you reach your destination. They may give you feedback that is not so favorable, but that’s their role; respect the advice as “constructive comments.”

Joined professional development organizations. The best way to grow within yourself is to be around others with the same mindset. Nine years ago, I joined the IAAP, an organization for administrative professionals; this was the best decision I ever made because I learned many new skills, such as leadership and technology and met new acquaintances along the way. There are many other organizations out there, find one that suits you and get involved!

Practiced. Practice does make perfect and it makes you comfortable. Just like when you learn how to cook a new dish, wouldn’t you prepare it a few times after you learn the recipe? Once you learn the ingredients and have cooked the dish, you will add your own spice. Have you ever heard of the “spice of life?” What is your spice?

I asked her, “Are you willing to change?” She smiled, nodded her head slowly, and said, “Yes. I’m tired of feeling like people are walking over me.” Her tears of sadness became tears of joy because she accepted that it was time for a change and change is good when it’s necessary.

The first thing to do is to identify your mission, then you will be able to create goals based on what your life’s purpose. Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “If you don’t set your goals based upon your mission statement, you may be climbing the ladder of success only to realize, when you get to the top, you are standing on the wrong building.” You have to know what you want out of life, in order to get what you want in your life.

She thanked me profusely and said she would call me to setup an appointment to talk about her mission statement.

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