Stop being defined by circumstances
Accept the whole picture rather than being defined by circumstances
Our confidence levels need to be determined by who we are, and the decisions we make rather than allowing ourselves to be defined by circumstances and events that we have little control over.
Frequently we all allow ourselves to be defined by circumstances and what has happened to us. We incorporate that into our being and persona, rather than view it as an event or experience which is now over. If it’s positive we tend to gloss over it. We have an MBA – we don’t go around telling people how smart we are. We win our club tennis tournament - we don’t claim instant super star success. The reason for this is that we frame our own situation in a more general context. We accept that there are a million holders of an MBA in the world and thousands of tennis players who are better than we are. We recognize it for what it is; a personal achievement and success. We celebrate it, but we are not defined by it.
However, on the negative side it is a completely different story. When we struggle to find a job – we are pathetic and unemployable. If we gain a few pounds - we are weak-willed and fat. Should we receive poor feedback from a boss - we become corporate losers.
We are not defined by circumstances
Behavior or circumstances should not define who we are. That person inside us does. Circumstances are random and controlling them is difficult. It is being able to cope with uncertainty and navigate ambiguity that is challenging. If we are defined by circumstances then that leaves us trapped by a specific thought pattern and limits our options.
Confidence is an essential part of achieving success, and it is something you can improve. 3Plus can help you with our Returner Roll-Up Sessions on Building your Confidence.
In order to build confidence we have to separate who we are and how we see ourselves from what happens. Talented, competent people get fired. Good tennis players lose competitions. It happens. Josie was a fitness instructor, who took excellent care of herself her whole life. She contracted lung cancer. She had never smoked one cigarette in her life, not even as a teenager to experiment. People have handicaps or other difficulties but they don't let themselves be classified by them. This is what happens to successful women who become defined by their gender. They are female CEOs not CEOs.
To stay objective we have to take a step backwards and look on the situation as if we were a friend. How would an outsider see your position?
If a friend lost her job you wouldn’t say “you’re pathetic and unemployable” would you? A good friend would sympathize, commiserate and come up with “I'm really sorry. That's a bummer. You have many special skills so you will easily find a job. I will ask in my network.”
When you go up a dress size your BFF won’t way “Wow thunder thighs, we will need to grease your hips to get you through the door if you carry on as you are.” She would offer to share a salad or walk to work.
How to stop being defined by circumstances
1. Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend
You are unlikely to bitch at a friend in the same way you do yourself. Getting rid of these phrases would be a good starting point:
- You should/could have
- Why didn’t you … enough/more
- You always/never
Watch your language. I don’t mean don’t swear – that can be situation appropriate. I suggest you pay attention to the negative tape and internal name calling: loser/jerk/fatty/etc.
2. Focus on the positives
Looking at your life through one lens is never a good idea. Even Shakespeare said "we are the sum of many parts." If you have an ongoing career strategy, you will have a thorough understanding of your strengths and ongoing development needs. You will have mapped out your options and created a plan. If you struggle with this hire a coach.
3. Get feedback
Re-framing situations and putting them into context is important. Understanding how to accept feedback and how to view situations in the way others see them, and your role in them, can be invaluable. We are less likely to be broad sided by the unexpected when we know the perceptions of friends or colleagues. This doesn't mean that we are defined by those views - just that they are part of a picture that makes up who were are.
We shouldn't be defined by circumstances but by our decisions and actions.
It can be difficult to stay focused, be confident and achieve your goals, but a coach can help you. Find out about 3Plus' Coaching Services HERE.
Contact us to arrange a 30 minute complimentary Skype call to assess your needs.
Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services
Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.
The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)
Dates for the Diary
September 17th Latham Watkins Brussels 1200
In-house corporate event
Inclusive Leadership Workshop
September 20th EIGE Vilnius 0900
How to combat sexism in the workplace
Peer review of EU booklet authored by Dorothy Dalton
September 30th BD Foundation Webinar with Dorothy Dalton (online)
Topic: Leading with Emotional Intelligence
October 3rd JUMP Hub Brussels
Gender equality: how to build an attractive employer brand without falling into the trap of “gender washing”
Infrabel, rue de France, 9, 1070 Brusells
Open registration : http://jump.eu.com/hub-sessions/gender-equality-build-attractive-employer-brand-without-falling-trap-gender-washing/
October 15th NEHRA Event at AXA Brussels
Best Diversity and Inclusion Practices
October 22nd and 23rd Unleash Conference Paris
Open registration: https://unleashgroup.io
Download and listen free podcasts
How to Create an Effective USP What is a USP? Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why...read more
Menopause in the workplace In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life,...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital...read more
Taking Care of your COW Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is...read more
The importance of Hard Talk Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and...read more
Sexism: How to stage a Bystander Intervention in the Workplace In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple...read more
Men opting out of mentoring women suggests that it is women who are at fault, rather than mens behaviours. This is a leadership failure that needs to be addressed.read more
The age-old debate around gender quotas still prickles feathers today, but have they gone too far? Or should we be stricter in implementing them?read more
Conscious inclusion means not just creating initiatives, but creating a culture where people can speak out and raise awareness of unacceptable behaviour.read more