Super quiet. Shy. Invisible. That was me in high school. I think my peers saw me as relatively smart, but being introverted and rather shy, they saw me (or, didn’t see me), as simply that – the quiet girl. And in turn, that’s how I saw myself for a long time, even after I had outgrown the “box.” This internal struggle of how I defined myself often affected my behavior, in both positive and negative ways.
Although we are certainly different individuals in our 20′s, 30′s and 40′s compared to how we were in high school, the labels, definitions and reputation others give us more often than not have some effect. They can force us to make a choice, either disagreeing with their words, or are pleased with what we hear and their comment may reinforce a certain behavior all the more.
Working in a team setting, it’s vital individuals have a positive self-image and are surrounded by others who empower them to be their best selves. Leadership guru Dale Carnegie advocates this principle of giving individuals a fine reputation to live up to, not only reinforcing their good qualities, but also motivating them to be successful.