#4: Faith in yourself

Develop extreme self confidence and a healthy ego. Right from an early age, people and circumstances will try to test you and cause you to doubt yourself. Our marketing driven society runs on making people feel inadequate and turn suggesting they spend in order to fill that void. This impulse is so strong that it takes almost superhuman effort to resist.In toxic work environments, breaking people down is an art form.

If you feel pressured to conform or do something because ‘everyone does it’ … learn to resist and question it. Especially in the USA, anything that is strongly hyped or marketed needs to be objectively evaluated. Kids may not realize what is fact and what is marketing.

In the workplace, a common ruse is the use of fancy titles. Being a ‘XYZ Leader’ or ‘Vice President’ of something seems magnetic until you realize you are signing away your time, health and sanity for a few words that nobody cares about. I have seen so may cases of people miserable and slowly dying inside a bad job choice due to title. If it does not make sense for you, no matter the attraction, don’t do it. Learn to make your own, good choices.

Finally, and most importantly, find a place of peace and trust .. whether family, faith or friends where you can retreat, recharge and come out full of confidence. Make sure you love yourself, have faith in yourself, protect your mental equilibrium and feel good about life. If any circumstance is interfering with that, think about a strategy to deal with it.

You cannot eliminate feelings of insecurity, inferiority or other negativity … but you can minimize their access through your fortress of self confidence.

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