Adonis Diaries

Not good enough repeating the mantra: “I think that I can do this…”. Better self-questioning

Posted on: July 25, 2018

Not good enough claiming: “I think that I can do this…”

By Dan Rockwell?

Traditional wisdom says self-affirmation builds optimism and confidence.

Dispel doubt, discouragement, and fear by repeating things like: “I’m awesome.” “I can do this.”

What if the Little Engine that Could – “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” – was wrong?

Self-question rather than self-affirm:

Best selling author, Daniel Pink undermines traditional, “I think I can,” philosophy in his new book, “To Sell is Human.”

Traditional wisdom suggests, “Declaring an unshakable belief in your inherent awesomeness inflates a sturdy raft that can keep you bobbing in an ocean of rejection.

Alas, the social science shows something different…” Daniel Pink.

Children’s author, Shel Silverstein agrees when he says, “thinking you can just ain’t enough.”

Can I?

Pink explains that asking, “Can I do this?” is more powerful than repeating, “I can do this.” (Apologies to positive self-talkers –supportive research)

“Declarative self-talk risks bypassing one’s motivations. Questioning self-talk elicits the reasons for doing something and reminds people that many of those reasons come from within.” Daniel Pink.

Ask, “Can I do this?” before facing your next challenge and jot down the reasons you can.

Stop repeating, “I’m confident,” when you’re not. There’s something better than, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” Pink says Bob the Builder nails it when he asks, “Can we fix this?

One more step – Developing others:

Spend more time asking, “How can you do this?” and less on, “I believe in you.”

It’s true that believing in others enhances their confidence.

Believing in others (asking questions) more than they believe in themselves is part of leadership. Pink suggests that asking rather than telling enhances confidence.

Buy: “To Sell is Human.”

How might self-questioning result in confidence?

How might asking, “How can you do this?” apply to parenting, dealing with colleagues, young leaders, or employees?

to try; afraid to try guarantees failure.

The fear of failure prevents success.

Stunning success stands atop many stunning failures. Edison said, “I’ve failed my way to success.” (And ignoring the achievement of others employees and collaborators in Not giving them their due contributions?)

10 Ways to Fail Well:

  1. Pursue next time more than last time.
  2. Reject finger pointing. Blame gets you off the hook but never produces success.
  3. Respond with optimism, not anger. Confidence answers anger; inadequacy fuels it.
  4. “Forgive and remember,” Bob Sutton in, Good Boss Bad Boss.
  5. Share lessons learned from failure. Leadership’s greatest influence occurs through failures. Frailty enhances your influence as long as it’s not an excuse.

. Leadership’s greatest influence occurs through failures. Frailty enhances your influence as long as it’s not an excuse.

  • Seek clarity. Resist urges to close your eyes. Open them instead.
  • Call “failure meetings” and ask, “What isn’t working?” Make talking about failure normal not taboo.
  • Celebrate adaption, if you can’t celebrate failure directly. “We changed.”
  • Fail small in order to succeed large. Try, test, improve, (redesign) and move forward. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Dig into ways that failure makes you better. “Failure changes for the better, success for the worse.” Seneca

One cause:

Often I fail because I don’t listen. I know too much. I’ve learned confidence becomes over-confidence when it closes my ears. True confidence listens.

What’s at the root of many of your failures?

How can you or organizations fail well?

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July 2018

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