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Leadership Thought #359 – Believe in Yourself

May 23, 2012

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You must believe in yourself if you want others to follow you.  I don’t mean a hollow, braggadocious type of belief, but something with more substance.  It’s not enough to have strong opinions and a high degree of self-confidence.  This may make you just a blowhard.  Sadly, our society is never short of these types of individuals, and they can be dangerous.  Just because you think you are right doesn’t mean you are.  The facts still matter, and you must do the demanding work required to achieve any level of real excellence.

What’s required is that you ground yourself in something more important than yourself.  You must believe in what it is you are doing before you can fully believe in yourself.   Life is a constant search for meaning and understanding.  The tragedy of many people’s lives is that they are unwilling to put themselves out there because they won’t put forth the required effort, are afraid of public scrutiny and lack the courage of their convictions.  Being the hero of your own life isn’t easy.

My experience in working with many people over the years is that self-belief requires the following behaviors:

Many leaders have some level of self-confidence issues.  They often struggle with the “Imposter Syndrome” and wonder when someone will figure out, they are undeserving of their role and/or ill equipped to handle the challenges of leadership.  This humility can serve them well but also can be a heavy burden (and crutch) if they are not careful.  At some point, you must confront reality and move forward anyway even when it is difficult.  There are no guarantees in life.  There are also no perfect leaders.  Leadership is about showing up every day and doing your best regardless of the situation.  Life is about personal growth and continually striving to get better.  If not you, then who will take control of your destiny?  Believe in yourself and good things will happen!