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Career Success and Self Image

Loving yourself is selfish! Lucy was always told… “Don’t get too big a head”, her parents warned. “Don’t be a big deal.” Judi Wolder at Cedar Light Life Coaching says, there is a difference between narcissism and loving yourself. ‘Self-love’ is a popular phrase used by personal developmental coaches and psychologists today. It means appreciating the  knowledge and talents you have. Conversely, narcissism is thinking you are great in all dimensions even if you are lacking in the knowledge or talent.

Lucy was brought up with good family values. She was always told to work hard, help others, be charitable, be respectful and be polite. Only problem was, Lucy was not taught by example. All the giving was focused outside of the family and Lucy was invisible. Her voice did not matter. In fact, as long as she was quiet, and ‘good’, she would get positive attention. Lucy learned from a young age that nobody wanted to hear what she had to say and nobody valued her ideas. What’s more, she never did seem to get anything right! “Do it like this, not like that…. Lucy, what are you doing?!!! You’re making a mess! Oh… just let me do it!”. The message was loud and clear – Lucy did not matter.

While Lucy’s parents had the best of intentions, they were focused on image and what others thought about them. While some of the values Lucy grew up with were laudable, many unintentional messages made their way into Lucy’s brain. Lucy became too scared to be herself; afraid that her ideas would be laughed at. Her only way of survival in her family was to hide her true self, and her true feelings.

As time wore on, Lucy developed anxiety: Especially in social settings. In her thirties, she decided to start her own business as a sales agent for a wonderful innovative company. She was so excited about her new venture. But every time she opened her mouth to introduce her products to potential customers, she would freeze in mid sentence, at a total loss for words. When this happened, she would usually mumble that she needed the rest room, and escape as soon as she could. Over and over again, Lucy would get stuck during her sales pitches. Finally, she admitted the truth to her best friend, “You know, I don’t think I really like myself very much.”

What happened to Lucy is described aptly by parenting expert Sidonie Gruenberg who stated, “To value his own good opinion, a child has to feel that he is a worthwhile person. He has to have confidence in himself as an individual. This confidence is hard for children to develop and there are many experiences that may shake it”. Like Lucy, many people have had experiences that shook their self-confidence. This can become problematic later on, as in Lucy’s case. They often become highly anxious, obsess about what others think and find it has a negative affect on their success.

A positive self image is what breeds success in life. It is what gives people the ability to get up time and time again. It is what makes winners. Judi Wolder, Life Coach in Orange County says. When you give children positive messages, and allow them to express their ideas – even if they ‘mess up’, it builds a strong self image so that they can follow their path with immense fulfillment and satisfaction. Self-love develops emotional intelligence (EQ), which is imperative for success in life. Every individual deserves to shine. Self love is not selfish! It creates ego strength and frees the true self from self-made boundaries.

To all the Lucy’s out there, realize that nourishing yourself enables you to nourish others. Judi Wolder, Life Coach in Orange County, can help you express your hidden talents so that others can gain from knowing the true you


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