What it takes to be great

June 23, 2018 Categorized in: Admin to AdminFeatured ArticlePersonal Development

by Lisa Olsen

One of my favorite topics to discuss with assistants is the art and science of personal mastery. At the core of personal mastery is self-awareness. Often we hear that it’s not always a good idea to focus on “self,” but when it comes to personal mastery, understanding self is essential to developing personal greatness. For a few minutes, it’s all about you … and that’s OK!

In a recent article in a leadership magazine I subscribe to, Mick Ukleja made these interesting assessments about what is at the core of personal mastery:

  • Be self-aware instead of self-conscious
  • Be self-affirming instead of self-degrading
  • Be self-motivated instead of self-absorbed
  • Practice self-differentiation instead of self-pity.

Self-awareness: Have you ever been in an interview and been asked that ridiculous question, “What are your strengths and biggest weakness?” Knowing our strengths and weaknesses isn’t as easy as it sounds. Research shows that IQ accounts for only about 20% of a person’s success. Moods and how we handle them account for much more. High-level assistants must be able to manage their emotions in ways that are energizing and productive.

Self-affirmation: When we use negative words against ourselves it is unhealthy and destructive. Self-affirmation is a matter of choosing what we focus on. If others talked to us the way we sometimes talk to ourselves, we would avoid them. Be careful of asphyxiating words such as: I’m no good… incompetent, ordinary, unable, weak. Instead, focus on attitudes that affirm such as: I am lovable, capable, multi-talented, approachable.

Self-motivation: Don’t wait for someone else to motivate you, or personal mastery will elude you. Always giving your best is an inside job. Some days are going to be better than others, but give your best every day. Let your innate interests and your natural sense of intrigue be your motivation for bringing out your best self. Be self-motivated instead of self-absorbed.

Self-differentiation: When we self-differentiate, we take responsibility for who and where we are. Responsibility means we have the ability to respond. This powerful skill gives us the opportunity for more choices and freedoms. Practice self-differentiation instead of self-pity.

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