Sunday, June 10, 2012

Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy II

In January of this year, I posted a piece called Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemyl.  I am revisiting the topic because I just read an article in Forbes Magazine How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy .  The article was written by Erika Andersen and was posted on the Forbes website on June 7th.  It caught my attention because the title was quite close to the title of my posting.
Ms. Anderson's website,, says that she is a business thinker and author.  She seems to done just that in her consulting business and the two books she has written:  Being Strategic and Growing Great Employees.  The Forbes article is based on her forthcoming book Leading so People will Follow.  
If you want to lead so that people will follow, self-confidence and self-assurance are a must.  If you do not have that peple will be hesitant to follow you.  Can you (or me) be self-confident and self-assure if we are consistently our own worst enemy?  Consistently being our own worst enemy leads to consistently not living up to our potential.  Consistently not living up to our own potential and goals trains to say "can't" more than "can."  
Ms.  Andersen talks about our inner dialogue being trained to keep telling us Impossible and Unable.  This really is the cornerstone of being our own worst enemy.  All the rest stems from this negative inner dialogue.  She believes we can train ourselves to say and thus believe Possible and Able instead.  This will lead to more self-assurance and self-confidence.  She presents a four point method to makes our inner voices more supportive and encouraging.  

  • Recognize:  Recognize when you are doing it.  We all use the same inner dialogue catch-phrases that essentially mean "ugh, I can't do that." 
  • Record:  Record these instances you utter these negative catch-phrases.  Ms.  Andersen claims that writing down these instances "creates a useful separation; when you see it written down, it feels like a less intrinsic part of you."  When I read this point in her article, I actually inner dialogued "like there is any chance I will ever do that."  It just popped like an automatic response.
  • Revise:  After recoding the above, do some analysis and develop ways to phrase these snap responses in a more positive way.  Consider my reaction to the her suggestion that I write down the instances of negative inner dialogue.  A better inner dialogue might be to consider another strategy to create that seperation that does not involve walking around with a notebook or an open iPad equivalent.  Simply be dedicating my daily writing to this topic has created that seperation.
  • Repeat:  Make a dedicated effort to catch and stop the negativity.  A bad habit has to be unlearned and supplanted with a better one.

Ms.  Andersen is not the first to articulate the above strategy.  There are many equivalent or near equivalent presentations.  But, it is always good to be reminded.  Lastly, the following quote applies to this very issue:

"If you can dream it, you can do it." ~ Walt Disney


  1. I like the subject matter. It was well written.
    Did you know Steve Jobs! I read his Biography.

  2. optimism= "half full"

    pessimism= "half empty"

    any engineer= "wrong size glass"

    (ps- Walt Disney is one of my heroes....BUT, he needed his brothers money, doncha know)

    Ms Anderson is a smart chick.

  3. If you can dream it, you can do it and you can lead the way. It is a good reminder to never doubt yourself, but reexamine, reengage, rejuvenate, recreate... And BELIEVE.