The man in the mirror
Look in the mirror, what do you see?
French was never a strong subject for me at school, although reading through my school reports I don’t think I tried all that hard either. My first real job, however, was with a French manufacturing company, although one of the main reasons for joining when I left school was that they offered the highest salary and paid all of my University fees too.
As a student apprentice, part of our time was spent in the French Language labs, however, I did little better there. I knew that I wasn’t much good at learning to speak French and my experience in those lessons simply reinforced that knowledge. It came as some surprise, therefore, some years later to have a native Frenchman ask me which part of France I came from!
It’s impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We can do very few things in a positive way when if we feel negative about ourselves.
~ Zig Ziglar
I had another self-belief about what I could and couldn’t do, which was based on a brief conversation I had with Steve, my Sales Manager. I was working in a sales support role and I was told: “You’ll never make a salesman”. Coming from the Sales Manager I took that as a lid on my capacity in that area.
It wasn’t until some years later that another colleague who was also in Sales had quite a different view, and after a lengthy conversation my self-belief was overturned and that lid was removed. That allowed me to reconsider my lid, and subsequently to pursue a sales role. Looking back at that originally limiting statement over 20 years later it is interesting to note that I have been working in a sales capacity for over 10 years for Steve in another company.
No factor is more important in people’s psychological development and motivation than the value judgements they make about themselves.
~ Nathaniel Branden
Having said that, for a short while I agreed to do some sales work for a company that was outside my area of expertise and I managed to spend several years selling absolutely nothing. Just because we have the confidence and self-belief, that is no guarantee of success.
In “The Success Principles” author Jack Canfield suggests that we should:
Identify a limiting belief that you want to change.
Determine how the belief limits you.
Decide how you want to be, act or feel,
Create a turnaround statement that affirms or gives you permission to be, act or feel this new way.
That is good advice to help us change our self-limiting beliefs into self-empowering beliefs. What we “Say” about ourselves, we tend to believe. What we believe, we tend to act. What we act, we tend to become.
The first step on the journey is to really understand yourself. And, it turns out, the most important person to convince is also yourself. Check out “The Man In The Glass”, by Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.
The Man In The Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
~ Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.