Shocking Truth About Self-Esteem Revealed!

March 25th, 2015

career, nance rosen, successFor the last 30 years US parents, schools and youth athletic teams were all fed a singular, central message about how to rear successful children and guess what? They were wrong. All the developmental literature and experts have been pumping out the message: self-esteem is the #1 ticket to success.

That’s why all the kids playing T-ball got a trophy, whether they won or not. Some leagues didn’t even keep score. After all, athletic contests weren’t about athletic ability, training, or practicing. And, they certainly weren’t about real winning. They were engineered to be all about building up your self-esteem. Hence, the endless ribbons, trophies and even grade inflation that were meant to fill up the well of self-esteem that would somehow flow over into a river of success.

Schools and parents were fed, and then recycled a stream of “build them up” rhetoric, because children were supposed to be protected from feeling the pain of poor performance and criticism. Competition and comparison were evil doers. Self-esteem was to be preserved at all times.

No one was better, we were all just different.

At least that’s the way it has been in the US. Of course, from other cultures we heard about draconian measures taken by so-called “tiger parents,” who pressured, demanded, and withheld any fun that could possibly get in the way of perseverance.

In the US, parents were supposed to be helicoptering around their kids, so that all possible praise and good fortune wouldn’t dim the bulb of self-esteem.

Turns out all that is hogwash. Self-esteem, earned or not, isn’t a causal factor of success. Self-esteem is a by-product of success. If not, you simply have a person with a bloated ego, poor self-management and a complete misunderstanding of what work is.

This is why so many managers are completely perplexed about their entry level employees. Many of these new workers seem to think that simply showing up is the job – and by the way, when is the next raise and promotion??? I hear an endless litany of complaints from their managers. These folks don’t spell check their work , they don’t finish their work, and they have only a very casual relationship with deadlines. Plus, they don’t get along with other people at work, clients included.

Someone owes us all an apology.

It’s not self-esteem that leads to success.

Self-control leads to success.

In the famous, “can-you-wait-for-two-marshmallows” test with young children who were sat in front of one marshmallow they could eat on-the-spot … you guessed it. What happened to the children who waited; that fraction of the group who exhibited self-control? Decades later, they were successful adults! The one-marshmallow eaters were far behind in wages, job titles and life in general.

Self-control – the ability to patiently wait, to think about future reward while working hard in the present – that is all you need to succeed.

So if you feel unjustifiably proud of yourself for having all those little trophies? Don’t worry. There’s a new chance, every time the sun comes up. Today, you can practice being polite, waiting your turn, or get working on something that is really difficult – and won’t pay off for years to come.

It turns out self-control builds character. And, that’s what it takes to pursue a vision for your own business or build a career in a company or industry. Now get to work!

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Are You Talking Stupid?

March 18th, 2015

authenticity, nance rosen, Personal Branding, soft skillsTurns out you are what you talk about.

If you fat shame yourself, then your brain lays down a new set of neural pathways to ensure you feel fat – even if you aren’t. Then, as you repeat your so-called problem to your friends or yourself, you develop even greater dissatisfaction with your body. The final gift from your lips? An increased potential for an eating disorder. That’s why you can no longer “feel fat” on Facebook. At least officially. Because it causes you to harm yourself.

So, let’s say your okay with your fat situation. Your body is okay. And you just said,

“Wow, I’m such an idiot in math. I am dumbfounded by Excel. I never really understood it, and the latest update is beyond me. ”

“Geez, I cannot write this report on time. I am awful at reports. I don’t even know where to start on these things.”

“Gosh, I am such a procrastinator. I keep putting things off. Then, I get so nervous I just rush to get them done. It’s never right, but I settle for done.”

“Man, I am always lost. I could have a GPS, a satellite helmet and a self-driving car. I would still get lost.”

“ Argh, I will never date again. I will never find one decent human being on this planet who loves me. I hate this whole relationship-thing.”

Ta da! You have just created your own life. These negative meditations are laying tracks in your brain, and your train of thoughts know exactly where to go: again and again. You trash talk yourself silently. Your trash talk yourself with friends.

In just a sentence or two each day, you trash your possibilities, your confidence and your happiness.

Next time you call yourself stupid? Stop. Then tell yourself why you are not stupid. Give yourself evidence when you have been just fine, maybe brilliant.

Whatever mantra you’ve been using to cause a lifelong problem, be it about fat, math, software, writing, procrastination, navigation, relationships or more? It is literally all in your head, because it’s been on your lips.

Coach yourself to success!

  1. Identify the personal traits you want to keep building into your personal brand and your personal intelligence.
  2. Find an affirming sentence.
  3. Set your brain to work finding the evidence of how great you are.
  4. Then lather, rinse and repeat.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Not Blessed With the Bliss Gene?

March 12th, 2015

Brand Attributes, nance rosen, successYou either have it or you don’t. New neuroscience reveals that 20% of the population has what is best described as a innate marijuana-making machine in their brains, resulting in – among other things – a low probability of becoming addicted to opiates and the like. It’s a gene mutation, the good kind.

Beyond the ability to “just say no,” to substances, what does this so-called bliss gene really deliver?

  • Relaxation under pressure
  • Calm, steady judgment
  • Perspective when things goes awry
  • Immense self-control and patience
  • A cheery, congenial, and agreeable dispositions

So, if you’ve been aggravated about the literature on why tall men earn more than 10X their average heighted peeps, and why naturally thin people are viewed as superior in their ability to get work done on time and on budget?

You now have another fact of biology to disdain. Unless of course, you have that gene mutation. In which case, celebrate for: #whatyourmamagaveyou.

This mutant gene gives you a leg up on the ability to self-regulate, potentially the greatest skill you can have now in business. Yes, it is a skill; although, it’s clear today that’s it’s also a natural inclination for some of us.

Self-regulation is the ability to act gracefully or elegantly in even truly awful circumstances. No matter what’s off, you cause the least friction. Your interactions are streamlined. You use what you take and you take what you need, not a whit more and with no waste of time, talent or other people’s patience.

You can see why bliss gene blessed people are among the most likely to succeed.

What about the rest of us? What about the bipolar, ADD, hysterical, narcissistic, and dependent personalities among us? Are we DOOMED?

No. We are just special.

You may recall a time when parents were advised that not every child was going to be great at everything. No matter how much helicoptering Mum or Dad would do: there really would be failure. And that failure really would direct us to success.

Why is failure good for success? For the same reason that a “no” is as good as a “yes” in selling. A “no” allows you to move on.

What if you are easily irritated, fractious, with little patience for anyone other than your cat? You can move on to something much more self-centered than a large company or a one room office with everybody from the start-up eating onion sandwiches and playing basketball in the hoop over your desk.

Strengthfinders was supposed to give you a path to your bliss, by identifying your innate traits that would be fulfilled by the type of work you do. It was supposed to lead you to the right seat on the right bus. There’s been dozens of books and theories and self-assessments like this. And, there’s been books by folks like Daniel Pink that companies adopt in hopes that a set of core values, vetted by an expert, and written on a wall would be an organization’s salvation from bad bossing, sexism, racism, tribalism, or any other mentally challenged acts or beliefs of the people in the organization.

The problem? Just us. We oftentimes don’t believe what is plainly true. Not everyone is a company man (or woman). Not everyone can put up with everything that goes on in the mayhem of organizational life.

Yet you do belong among the working and likely wealthy, when the corporate gig repels you or expels you. You just belong to the gaggle of amazing superheroes who make it on their own. That includes the genius inventor, the insightful consultant, the there-when-you’re-needed-most freelancer, the call-me-and-I’ll-come-in contract worker, imaginative artisan, or even the tyrant of your own domain (AKA your own blog address).

Bliss gene or not: you belong. It’s just a matter of finding where your real bliss is. It just might be all about finding you.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Can You Tell These 10 Stories?

March 4th, 2015

Getting Ahead, interviewing, nance rosen, Personal BrandingOften times in a meeting with a prospective client or employer, you want to tell a success story. You want to speak about something that you have accomplished. You want to have it directly connect to their issues, products, services, or something they can relate to.

What if you don’t have anything?

What if you are talking to someone in an industry where you have no experience?

What if you have never done anything great – or anything at all – that communicates how they could anticipate you would perform for them on their specific issues?

When you freeze up and you’ve “got nothing,” what do you say?

You tell the truth. You tell the truth about who you are and what you have done. No, you don’t say, “I got nothing.” You don’t have “nothing.” You have a lifetime of everything you have done.

When I ask candidates a question about their experience, sometimes I see this wild, fearful look in their eyes. In that moment, I know they have forgotten the most important thing about everyone in the room (or on skype or by phone).

They forget we are all just people. Real people, speaking to real people.

Here’s the ideal thing to say.

“I am concerned that I don’t have a direct example to give you. Would it be all right if I shared an experience that I think is relevant, and would you tell me if I am making a connection that makes sense, given this position (or project)?”

You are going to get encouragement to share your experience. It’s up to you to have stories in mind, prepared in advance, that get to some core issues that are almost unavoidably involved in any type of work. This would be where your personal intelligence and personal brand development work will win the day (or the project or the position).

What could be relevant? Your ability to

  • Identify the root cause of a problem
  • Sift through resources to find relevant data and findings
  • Use information to develop different solutions
  • Model implications or consequences, positive and negative
  • Set up decision-making rules and use them
  • Present choices to decision-makers
  • Cooperate with others to implement a decision
  • Test and measure results
  • Capitalize on positive results and re-purpose successful programs
  • Bounce back from failure and persevere by revisiting your initial work

That’s ten stories you’ve got to have “on trigger,” ready to articulate with details that make your experience come alive, especially when you have no direct connection. Worst case, you might not be the fit they are looking for this time. However, you will have made an indelible impression, and be top of mind when you do fit.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

7 Ways to Innovate and Prove You’re Worthy

February 25th, 2015

job search, nance rosen, soft skillsThe terrible truth of work is that almost anyone can do anything. I don’t want to make you paranoid, but open up the UCLA Extension course catalog, a MOOC or watch a few “how-to” YouTube videos, and you get my drift. Education and skills are the easiest things to acquire.

Leaving out advanced neurosurgery, the super-tasking executive producer of major live sports events on television, and maybe engineering stem cell regeneration of body parts: it doesn’t take long to come up to speed on most job requirements. That’s why this quote from Carnegie Institute of Technology rings so true:

85% of your financial success is due to your personal traits and ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical ability.

When you consider how you are spending your time in preparation for a career or the advancement of your career, do your priorities make sense?

It may occur to you that you know less about your excellent personal traits than you know how to use Excel. You probably have spent more time setting margins of documents and unjamming your printer than you have working on the type of traits that actually matter to success.

You never regret a day of education; it’s simply the type of education that I am cautioning you about. Communication, negotiation and leadership flow from personal intelligence, which is the ability to self-regulate. That is, manage yourself and manage your interactions with others.

Part of self-management is gaining or polishing the one-of-a-kind traits you possess, so you can express them to the people around you. Of course, that is largely what personal branding is, although there’s a bit more to it.

Visibility and promotions largely come from being more of yourself, or as I said to Claire my teaching assistant: get bigger. You be you, just be more of the best of yourself. Become formidable, a force, and a monument to what your most valuable traits are. She is an elegant and intelligent person with a sharp wit, on her way to becoming a commander-in-charge.

That is the extraordinary magnitude of expression that you must exert for us to see you and respect you; then feel compelled to ask you to ascend over others in an area of your expertise, function, or team. That outsized version of yourself is what puts our trust into you. That’s how you create a positive reputation, really an uproar about how valuable you are to our organization.

If you know nothing else about yourself, consider that anyone can be a force of innovative ideas. Innovation is a process, more than it is an ability or knack. It takes external stimuli, which isn’t hard to get given the world at your fingertips via the web. Harvard Business Review recently added its seven ways to innovate, and any one of them will set you apart from your co-workers or other job candidates.

  1. Look for differences. Before you interview or attend a meeting, contrast what a competitor’s product does that is remarkably different from the company’s offering.
  2. Trend spot. Look at Instagram or Pinterest and see what colors, images, words, attitudes and photos are beginning to dominate the consciousness of the people who matter.
  3. Assess angry words. Read the hashtags, comments, and blogs for what is going wrong. In every problem of reasonable size, there are great opportunities.
  4. Question everything. Most businesses are way past the NIH (not-invented-here) mentality, and are actively seeking ways to modify the way people work, the way products are developed or distributed and the way messages are crafted.
  5. Look at the deviants. There are always “outliers,” as Malcolm Gladwell calls the fringe elements. What workarounds, avoidance behavior or personalized adjustments are people making?
  6. Go away. Take a field trip or informational interview to a place that does nothing like anything you are familiar with. The natural history museum, planetarium, or Bloomingdales can refresh your brain and ignite your creativity.
  7. See what’s working in other industries. Are hardware companies selling spare parts with new machines, so there can be on-the-spot repairs? Is deflating a football by the weight of a paperclip the key to winning the big game? How can you apply that in your field?

If you have not a thing to offer that is so much more magnificent than other candidates or competitors: these are seven ways to use your brain in a novel way. Think new. Think innovation. Think for yourself.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

24 Life Questions To Answer Before It’s Too Late

February 18th, 2015

 job search, nance rosen, successAs a career coach and business communications expert, I often surprise people by knowing something about them that they have never told me – and maybe never told anyone else. I am not psychic. I am empathetic.

When I ask you a question, and your brain re-routes it to give me an unrelated answer: I know you’ve got a lot on your mind, and lots of it is sad, frustrated and filled with regrets. Sometimes your answers – and even your questions – are touched by bitterness, jealousy and fear.

I know this, and so do most people around you. The difference between them and me is simple. My job is to help you find your authentic self, and then help you represent yourself. By that I mean, structuring a way for you to show us the real you, the person we want to hire, fund or choose as our business consultant or favorite company to patronize.

I help you find your inner wisdom, self-acceptance, and clear-eyed optimism.

My job is to tell you how you are coming across. Then, help you make the genuine transition to the person who stops losing, who stops failing, and who is never again less than your potential or desire. In other words, I help you get what you want, what you really, really want.

Nothing I do is magic. I don’t do hypnosis. I have a process that helps you unsheathe your truth, your power and your future. That means, I have to listen for the pain, and sometimes the confusion that has created a fractured self-image, rotting career, failing business or stunted ambition.

What’s going wrong today for you at work or even in your life, flows from what I call your “ocean of negativity.” That’s the toxic soup of criticism, lack of validation and neglect that’s been brewing since childhood.

My work is showing you how to be what I call “self-positive.” How to find your valuable, shiny self that’s been tarnished, simply by being overlooked. And match your really wonderful qualities with authentic opportunities for your business or career.

I’m putting together a distance-learning course, so you’ll have more access to this process as soon as I can get it completed. If you want to know when the course is ready, just email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Authentic.

In the meantime, here are some questions to get you started cleaning up that ocean of negativity. If you send me your answers to a few questions – the ones that mean the most to you: I’ll be sure to keep them in confidence, and get back to you with a personal message.

  1. Your most fearful moment?
  2. What people first meet you, what are you afraid they will think?
  3. A period of time in your life when you felt unprotected?
  4. A person who made you miserable for a long time?
  5. Something on your mind you are afraid to share?
  6. A plan or projects you worry may fail?
  7. The greatest amount of emotional pain you have ever endured?
  8. Your greatest fear?
  9. The most important thing in life?
  10. A piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
  11. Three words that describe how others view you?
  12. If you could change anything about the world?
  13. A smell that makes you pause?
  14. List of professions you’d like to try?
  15. How you plan to spend the last years of your life?
  16. Your current philosophy is?
  17. You would shout with joy right now if someone told you this?
  18. A list of your proudest accomplishments?
  19. A newspaper headline you would like to read about yourself?
  20. Your biggest acts of kindness?
  21. The best piece of advice a friend gave you?
  22. Your proudest moment? Someone who shared this moment with you?
  23. You are far better than most people you know at doing what?
  24. Three things for which you are often complimented?

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Did You Win a Grammy? Why Not?

February 13th, 2015

success, career, nance rosenCongratulations to everyone who won. And, congratulations to Kanye West who, persists in believing he is: “The One Who Decides What Is Sufficiently Creative to Win for Album of the Year.”

Per the Huffington Post: “Kanye West nearly interrupted Beck after the rock star won Album of the Year over Beyonce. Many outlets including HuffPost Entertainment, assumed West’s improve was a joking reference to when he cut off Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs.”

It wasn’t an act of mirth. Kanye ranted on in all seriousness about his decision-making powers being superior to the voters (who are the majority of all the recording artists in the academy). If you didn’t know, “The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position,” per the Grammy.org.

All Kanye hijinks aside, why didn’t YOU win?

Well, it could be many things.

  1. Maybe you didn’t record anything this year.
  2. Maybe you did, but you didn’t promote it.
  3. Maybe you did, but it was not your best effort.
  4. Maybe you did, but no one else thought it was good.

I’m not talking to just you musicians.

Joan Rivers, God rest her soul, won. She earned her Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album (includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling.)”

So why didn’t you win? Undoubtedly you did some speaking this year. You told some stories. Maybe you wrote a line or two of prose. Technology couldn’t make it any easier to record and upload to everywhere music or any other sound is heard.

So you didn’t win because you didn’t do the work, and you didn’t enter.

What is a Grammy anyway?

It’s just recognition. So, I’m talking to you about a Grammy as a metaphor for what you should be going for, at this point in your career or business. Recognition for you might be a promotion, a salary increase, an investment in your venture, or a new position at a new company. It might be a comment on your blog or post. It might be more followers, friends or fans.

However you measure your “Grammy,” you’ve got to be in it, to win it.

You probably don’t have an official awards night or two or ten each year, in your company, industry, sport, family or any other sector of your life.

But, you’re missing out if you don’t have an awards ceremony every day, for you, by you and with you. Every day, you’ve got to set aside some time, when you are the focus of your consciousness and congratulation. Put a time on your daily calendar, when you review your accomplishments, your progress, your earnest hard work, or stretch toward a goal.

So get yourself a little Kanye going, and be “The One Who Decides You Are The Best Decision-Maker of What is Great. Do it everyday. And let winning becoming a habit.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

What Would Tom Brady Say About You?

February 4th, 2015

Brand Attributes, nance rosen, successLast Sunday, my favorite comment by any of the many sportscasters was this: “Brady was unstoppable when the pressure was strongest.”

What if we said that about you?

Are you unstoppable when the pressure is the strongest?

The strongest stress is when it all comes down to one action you must take in one moment, under whatever conditions are present, in front of whatever crowd has gathered (or not). Brady threw the touchdowns. Butler made the game-stopping interception, with 20 seconds to go. The players on both sides played against the odds, because they were all great players.

Sometimes the battle is just you and a deadline. Sometimes it’s you and a blank piece of paper. Sometimes it’s you and people waiting for you to say something profound that will advance their business or solve their problem. Sometimes it’s having the presence of mind to do the deal that can be done, rather than the deal you imagined you would have.

Sometimes you are out of money, out of time and out of patience. Your adversary or obstacle appears strong and unmovable. Sometimes the only options you have are the ones you can conjure up on your own. Sometimes the only option is to simply bear the anxiety, and trust your teammates.

Any of those moments could be the moment when the pressure is the strongest.

I like that kind of stress. Tom Brady does, too. Do you?

I call that good stress, versus bad stress.

The only difference between good and bad stress is what the stress means for you. Or perhaps better said, what does the stress do FOR you, rather than TO you?

“Every team has a journey and a lot of people lost faith in us … but we held strong, we held together, and it’s a great feeling.” Tom Brady said.

“I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true,” Malcolm Butler said of his goal-line interception that gave the Patriots its Super Bowl XLIX title. “Butler was kicked out of school early in his freshman season. He spent 2010 out of football, working at a Popeye’s and taking classes at Alcorn State,” per AL.com.

If your life has been more like Butler’s than MVP Brady – you have Brady’s respect and gratitude. What you may not know is pretty much all of us are rooting for you, to do what you do best under the stress you find yourself in.

Do what you do, the way you do, under whatever conditions you’re in. Save the day. Win the game. Get that report in on time. Sign the deal. And when you do, imagine the crowd roars for you!

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter