Career Advice: It's OK to be full of yourself

One of the running jokes in my house revolves around my self-belief. Some of my housemates go as far as calling me an "egomaniac." Often I can be found responding in jest, "Well, I've never had a problem with confidence." The constant and hilarious berating by my peers has me thinking at length about the concept of self-belief. Is how we feel about ourselves that important to our success and fulfillment?


The truth is I haven't always carried myself well. We all have our own core values that we develop over time. What's unique about this value system is that it is created by the simple disciplines we carry out every day. What you're doing right now directly affects your success and fulfillment.

Key question: How are you investing your time?

My confidence has developed through exposing myself to great thoughts about attitude, leadership and personal development. This has been the most fulfilling, "best practice" I have consistently applied to date.

Key fact: Exposing yourself to great literature and speakers is one thing, doing what they suggest is another. It only works if you do them both frequently.

What can you do to develop your positive self-image?

Read. Put the words of thoughtful leaders of personal development in front of you. Some great thinkers that have been influential to me include Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill, Jeffrey Gitomer, John C. Maxwell and Hal Urban.

Attend conferences. Find two conferences. One that applies directly to your current career pursuits and another that is about you; how you can achieve more, how you can be happy with what you have and how you can get what you want.

Reflect. Take time to think about yourself and your core values every day. It can be as little as 15 minutes, but think about why you do what you do.

Write. It forces you to process your thoughts by putting them into words. Our words affect our minds and our minds project our reality onto the world.

Make it happen for yourself. Just do it! Take some "you" time every day. Don't think about anybody else, just yourself and your beliefs. It's not selfish, it's healthy.

One of the most debilitating things we can do is get comfortable in a routine and stop questioning our actions. I have developed a positive self-image by getting in the habit of throwing myself out of my comfort zone. I am comfortable with who I am because I take an active approach in developing who I am.

"People buy into what they help create," is a leadership mantra I use in the organizations I lead. You will believe in yourself if you take steps to create a better self. That belief is the foundation for finding fulfillment in all of your life's pursuits.

How did you better yourself today?

Joseph Norman is cofounder and editor-in-chief of a weekly e-newsletter, The VIP Profiles. For more information, check out