How often do you find yourself putting up a defensive wall to others? Truly think about this and be honest with yourself. It isn’t easy, but letting go of the pride that keeps those defensive walls up is what will release the energy for you to grow and build in more confidence.
Constantly defending ourselves becomes limiting and debilitating. It leads us into traps of losing site of our own ambitions, goals, and direction. When we are defending ourselves over and over, we are letting other people’s opinions of us, our thought processes, and ideas, win.
I want you to think about the feeling you have when you defend yourself. Is it out of embarrassment? Insecurity? How about fear? Usually a defensive response comes with a pretty icky feeling of knowing you aren’t quite being your genuine self.
When we defend our words and our actions, our opinions, we are letting our fear of failure grow. Keep in mind, having a fear of failing is natural, it is a human instinct to be “afraid” of not succeeding. But it is when we let that fear take over and prevent us from moving forward that we get in trouble. It is healthy for us to create growth, satisfaction, healthy pride, and confidence when we abolish the fear and stand by our actions and words with belief in ourselves.
I want to touch further on this fear.
Let’s say you believe in a goal that you have for yourself for 2017. You have a fire deep in your gut that ignites and grows every time you think about succeeding in accomplishing this goal and the outcomes of said success but someone tells you it is a useless goal and that you will never accomplish it. Your response, “Yea, you’re probably right. I was just being pretty lofty so at least if I didn’t hit that goal, I maybe will hit another lesser one…”
Sound familiar to anyone? That response screams doubt and fear of failure.
And I like to call these doubts and feelings of fear “cracks.” We all have them. They are the parts of our mindset and our outlook that we are striving to strengthen and fill everyday. Filling these cracks with a confidence in ourselves and our actions leads us to grow into higher performing professionals.
And they also help us become stronger leaders to help others notice them in themselves as well. Remember, being a high performing professional means we are not just striving to improve ourselves but also the confidence and performance of others.
Wherever these cracks may come from, you have the capability and the opportunity to correct the course and to fill the cracks with positive personal development--such as reading, journaling, or listening to mentors’ podcasts.
I touched upon this topic of “cracks” a few times on my LIVE Facebook video streams this week and received a lot of positive feedback. If you want to connect more and want to catch the live streams, click here.
A defensive attitude and the repetitive habits of leading with fear and doubt rather than confidence and belief keep us from growing to be the best that we can be. They leave us living within the strains of mediocrity--the mediocrity created by our own mindsets.
When you learn to stand up for your opinions and to trust in your gut decisions, the cracks will begin to fill with a solid foundation. But they don’t fill on their own--they take constant self-work and improvement (learn how to work with me here).
In my most recent podcast, I discuss more about the problem with defending ourselves and how it hinders our success and growth process.
To listen to this newest episode of my podcast, Change by Choice, click here. The podcast is on both iTunes and Podcast Addict.
And remember to trust yourself and to trust your gut, your foundation is stronger than you may give yourself credit for.