Do you ever feel that you suck!?
Okay, so feeling like you suck is something you’re not supposed to talk about, right?
You’re supposed to stay positive. You’re supposed to be confident. You’re supposed to sweep your insecurities under the rug, and forget they’re there.
But it’s hard.
You’re working twice as hard as everyone else, and yet it seems like you get half as much done.You’re twice as smart, and yet it seems like your ideas get half the attention.
You’re twice as loyal to your company, and yet it seems like your boss doesn’t even know you exist half the time.
No one ever says you suck, no, but you’re starting to wonder if that’s what everyone thinks. And it really, really bothers you.
So what do you do?
I felt like this a few years ago and it wasn’t a great place to be.
There I was, a cocky young man with the world seemingly at my feet and an exciting career ahead of me. And when I was passed over for promotion and a pay rise yet again, it really upset me. To put it mildly.
Luckily, around this time I had a chance meeting with an Irish entrepreneur in a bar that changed my outlook.
It turned out that he was a property tycoon visiting from Dublin. And for two hours, he shared some enthralling tales about his business life.
Indeed, he was my first ever “coach,” well before I knew of such a profession.
I told him how I felt undervalued and unappreciated at my workplace.
He looked me in the eye and said that he was going to share his story of how he started off in his business career. And if I chose to learn the lesson from his story, it could change my life. And it did.
He told me his story about how when he was starting off, he had to present his case to three senior bank managers for further funding for his property investment business.
He had been full of trepidation as his future business and indeed his livelihood depended on getting favourable funding. His credit scoring wasn’t that great at the time.
As he sat in front of the three bank managers, he had a sudden realisation – THEY needed him and his business even more than he needed them!
This was a time of economic boom and banks were beginning to open up their coffers and willing to take more chances on up and coming businesses. After all, the bankers were greedy opportunists and they had clearly sensed an opportunity of a sound investment.
Immediately, in the Irishman’s mind, his whole game plan changed and he presented his business case with a lot of panache and confidence. In the end, he walked away with more funding and at better rates than he had hoped for.
The rest was history and on the back of the money he received after that meeting, he had gone on to create a very successful, multimillion pound business.
So my very first ever “coach” and mentor shared this life-changing lesson with me.
Never ever underestimate yourself and your ability
That evening, I walked home with an extra zip in my step and a new fire burning in me. That fire of self-belief has been there ever since.
Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. When I believe I can, I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.’ ~Mahatma Gandhi.
I believe in myself – and I truly also believe in you and your ability to do anything you want, if you want it badly enough.
No one has the right to tell you that you suck and you are not good enough.
It’s time to forgive those who you think have hurt you – and really focus on YOU.
The Irishman’s advice isn’t just applicable to entrepreneurs and business transactions, but your own life as well. Here’s how to make everyone (including yourself) see and appreciate your true value:
1. YOU are Unique
You are unique and you have many wonderful qualities.
Now you may be thinking – who? Me?
Look back at your life, your heritage and your family background. Think about your education and all your special life experiences that have brought you to where you are today and made you the person you are.
To illustrate my point, look at where I have come from. Born in Kenya to Indian parents, I have lived in the UK most of my life.
My values and life philosophy have evolved from many different cultures, whilst my work life has taken me to an oil company, a bank and a Chinese food multinational. And oh, there was a stint of being a dot com paper millionaire.
I am truly unique – and so are you.
And that uniqueness gives you a perspective that just can’t be found anywhere else. It’s why most of the hardest problems are solved by people outside the group originally struggling with them. It’s why diversity isn’t just a buzzword, but a key element in creativity and problem-solving.
Embrace your unique perspective and watch the admiration grow around you.
2. YOU are Smart
Sadly, most people rely on meaningless values like test scores and school grades to determine their own intelligence.
But those tests and courses only measure a very tiny fraction of the knowledge of the world.
Look at your hobbies and interests outside of your work – and you will see just how competent and capable you are already.
Can you blow a didgeridoo? Do you dance salsa or tango? Speak three languages fluently? Maybe you run marathons on the weekend? Can you walk into a room full of strangers and be the life and soul of the party?
Well, there you are!
There are umpteen things you can do in your social and work life that no one else can–and those skills are no more or less valuable than the ability to do complex maths.
Worried you’ll be the only one with that perspective?
Try out a broader definition of intelligence by complimenting others on their demonstrations of “unusual” intelligence. Eventually those around you will do the same.
Live your life today – get excited about your life!
3. YOU Already Add Value to Everyone Around You
Just by being you, you are adding something to the world.
Some people are very helpful and always kind. Others make you laugh and make your day lighter. And there’s the person, like yours truly, who is always taking charge and making things happen.
Each person in your life adds something to those around them, whether it through their creativity, compassion or cheerfulness. It is in their nature to be like this.
In the same way, you too are bringing that little extra specialness in the world.
Just continue to accentuate the positive value you add to everyone around you.
4. YOU Are Only Just Getting Started
Can you see how you too can now set the world alight?
You may ask – where do I start?
Well, the place to start is from exactly where you are at now!
Before you contemplate handing in your resignation, begin to look for ways and means of adding even more value to all those around you–inside and outside of work.
Leadership is an attitude and not tied to your corporate level. Or even your social status.
But one also doesn’t become a leader in a day. Remember that the people you look up to were once where you are now.
What often distinguishes the leaders is a willingness to keep learning and growing, without devaluing who they are today.
So go ahead, breathe your fire and find your swagger.
Shout from the gallows about how good you are and how good you are going to become.
More importantly, believe it.Image courtesy of hang_in_there Editorial note:- I first published this post on EveryDay Bright
Your post is inspiring and reminds us to look at ourselves with strength and confidence rather than doubt. You make a great point about how we all have unique qualities and we should remember that, especially when we are faced with a challenge in our life. We all have something to offer. Thank you.
Cathy, exactly. We ALL have so MUCH to offer – and yet in the course of our life and thanks to the “stuff” we go through, we forget our own greatness.
Just remember what you have to offer – and soon you’ll be shining again:-)
I love number 4! It’s what inspires me to keep going! Seeing other successful people around me can be a little depressing and inspiring. I have to remind myself that I’m just getting started.
Glori, welcome to my blog!
No matter where you are now in your life and in your career, always remember that you have lots more to offer and you are indeed just starting off.
I love your name – all glory to you, now and in the future:-)
My friend is actually thinking he sucks and has no purpose in this world.. I am sure he needs this post to lighten up his day..
Kathryn, please do share this post with your friend – and reassure him that he doesn’t suck!
Here’s another article about finding your purpose that he will find useful:-
Hi Arvind, this post is a great boost of motivation! Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of self doubt and self pity when things don’t turn out as expected even we’ve worked so hard. And you gave a nice reminder here: “to keep on learning and growing just like what the leaders did before they succeed” Thanks so much, Arvind.
Inspiring post! 🙂 Loved the points in it. It is true we must never underestimate the power of our minds to shape our destinies.
Vidya, indeed. We must never ever underestimate our own power to shape our destiny.
The story of that Irishman was really an eye opener to me. It clearly shows that we only have to change our perspective in order to see an opportunity for us.
“There I was, a cocky young man with the world seemingly at my feet and an exciting career ahead of me. And when I was passed over for promotion and a pay rise yet again, it really upset me. To put it mildly.”
I can relate to this experience, although mine seems a bit more tougher. Thanks to this post, I can start looking at myself differently.
Graham, welcome to my blog!
Yes, time to start looking at yourself and your life differently:-)
“Leadership is an attitude and not tied to your corporate level. Or even your social status.”
I love this point. A leader is a leader from within and he will be a leader in anything he does.
Emily, welcome to my blog!
Yes, a leader is a leader from within and no matter what field he or she is in.
I wish you well on your journey of leadership – the world needs more leaders like you:-)
Hi.. I just hope you can post more of this topic so that people would be aware that life is beautiful and don’t need to waste it..
Dhyan, welcome to my bog.
Please also check out this blog post which is one of my most popular articles about how beautiful life is:-
Very good. It’s sometimes hard not to compare ourselves with those around us, who appear to be doing better than us. These people usually seem to have something that, often irrationally, we think we should have. A more senior job within our organisation, more money, a bigger house, a fancier car. We don’t take enough time to value ourselves and see the value in what we are.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but often if we can get someone we trust to outline our strengths (rather than the weaknesses that come so easily to our own inner self-critics) we could start to see ourselves as others see us, which is almost invariably in a more favourable light than we see ourselves.
Keiran, that’s it – we don#t take enough time to value ourselves and see the value in who we are and what we do.
Great idea – we should all ask someone we trust and respect to give us feedback about just how great we are:-)
This is one enlightening and uplifting post.
For a person who experienced some setbacks in life, it is hard to myself that I am a great person with a lot of untapped potential.
Such a great provoking article. I learn so much from your blog and I agree with you about being unique. Being a human is unique, unique in personalities, talents, attitudes and whatsoever. When there are times I feel sucked, I just ignore it and be with myself always.
really some time i fall in this position….But no that’s not life.Life is to move on 😀
I always remember it.I love the number 3,really a nice article.Thanx for posting it looking forward for more.
Tanvir, welcome to my blog:-)
It’s always best to move on, once you have learnt the lesson that you were supposed to learn…
Really passing a great time in this blog.Learn some lesson from here.Hope It’ll help me in future.Thanks for creating such a nice blog.