Leaders differ greatly in their personalities and their approaches to management. But all effective leaders share one characteristic. They possess a positive self-image. They see themselves as capable individuals, worthy of self-respect and the respect of others. Inner strength and courage empower these individuals with self-confidence. They know that deep within them lies the potential for success!
Self-image is the mental picture you have of yourself. It determines to a large extent the level of success you achieve as a leader in your organization and as a person. The more positive your self-image, the more freedom you have to pursue success. Your self-image determines the measure of confidence you bring to the challenge of using your potential and working toward the achievement of your goals. Your self-image is the controlling factor of how much of your potential you can – or will – use.
As people reacted to you early in your life, you began to form a mental picture of yourself. If many of the messages implied that you lacked ability, were too little, too inexperienced, or limited in some other way, you may now be restricting your leadership success based on these messages. In contrast, if the people in your life were strongly supportive, expressed belief in your ability to succeed, and praised you for your achievements, you may have become “comfortable” with those deeply embedded affirmations, even to the point where you cease to be motivated to attain more.
Psychologists estimate that on the average people use considerably less than a third of their actual potential. This means that by using more of your potential, you could make a sizable increase in your effectiveness as a leader in your organization.
If you allow attitudes, like those below, to stand between you and more abundant success, you limit your leadership potential.
Overcome these hindering attitudes:
- A desire to stay in the comfort zone by living in your present level of success
- The fear of making a mistake or risking failure
- The desire to avoid disapproval by self or by others
- A false sense of inferiority and a belief that you don’t really deserve the rewards of using your full potential
- An illogical fear that you will not know how to handle more success
Regardless of your background, what you are willing to become is the only reality that counts. And what you are willing to become depends to a great extent upon what you believe and what you are willing to do about your self-image. You can change hindering attitudes and adopt a more positive self-image if you choose to do so.
The more positive your self-image, the more successful you can be in developing effective leadership attitudes and skills.