Truth or lies?

5 questions to help you discover your secret sauce

“OMG! I can’t believe I did that. I’m such a screw-up!”

Ever made a mistake and said something like that to yourself? I have. And then I went on to beat myself up for not doing better. Talked to myself in a way that I’d never speak to a friend. And used this as evidence that I’d probably never achieve my goals.

I felt discouraged, demoralized and ready to retreat back to the security of my comfort zone (and never leave again).

Does this strike a chord? It’s easy to get caught up focusing on what went wrong and where we fell short, instead of viewing a setback from a kinder – and more honest – perspective.

The fact is, all that harsh self-criticism you’re heaping on yourself is a lie! It’s not the truth of who you are and what you’re capable of achieving. And it undermines your trust in yourself and keeps you playing safe and small.

But you can change this inner dialogue. And it begins with owning who you are and the value you bring. Here are five questions to help you define your secret sauce.

  1. What are your best personal traits?
  2. What are your top skills?
  3. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  4. Where and how has your work made a difference?
  5. What do you see as the potential impact you can make in the future?

Pro tip: This is not the time for false modesty! We sometimes minimize our key talents and traits because they come naturally to us. In what situations do people immediately think of you as the best person for the job? If you want more input, ask a few trusted friends or colleagues what they see as your greatest strengths and add these to your list.

Now, the next time something goes wrong and those gremlins start messing with your mind (and they will!), call them on their lies. Replay your highlight reel of those moments when you solved a tough problem, came up with a brilliant idea or handled a difficult conversation with grace. Yeah, that was you. And you truly are a rock star!

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