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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Is a False Perception Holding You Back as a Successful Executive? Looking Glass Self Theory

One of the biggest obstacles that hold executives back from success is themselves! You would think all executives are confident but that isn't necessarily true; they are human like the rest of us. When executives lack confidence they may have a difficult time pulling ahead and could even be inadvertently self-sabotaging their own successes. To truly unlock your potential you will want to review your true and false self through the Looking Glass Self Theory.

Executives often hold themselves back!

Started in 1902 by Charles Horton Cooley the theory states that how our identities are formed are through the eyes of other people (Lumen).  This means that we only understand ourselves when we interact with other people. It is this interaction that helps us form our first identities.

The very beginning of our lives is formed through our first contacts which include sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers and close relatives. If you have a positive first experience you will be healthier than if you were traumatized. Likewise, if your family worked in skilled labor much of your identity might be tied to this.

How we are viewed impacts how people interact with us and the feedback they give us. While many times this is accurate it is also possible that the information is not accurate or you have the wrong impression of yourself.

Lets look at an example. Tom is a creative and intelligence executive but views himself as not worthy of his successes. He may end up self-sabotaging by missing deadlines, making dumb mistakes, and cutting corners. As an executive he is slowly putting nails in his coffin.

The problem is that Tom has the skills but doesn't believe he has the skills. To free himself he must evaluate his beginnings and understand how he formed his primary identity. That identity was carried forward throughout his life and impacted almost everything else. The information presented to Tom may have been inaccurate and if he comes to understand that Tom could be very successful.

How to Look Through Your Own Glass?

1.) Understand that your early experiences often formulate your identity.

2.) Understand that certain life events impact how you view yourself.

3.) If you begin to take a more objective view of yourself you may have a different impression.

4.) The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is confidence.

5.) Find your core identity and skills. Relate to people on that level.

6.) Never let anyone tell you who you are without evaluating whether they are accurate or have certain motivations they are struggling with.


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