Posted in Managing yourself, Personal Journal

Make Habits that will Fail

There are two extremely common obstacles that get in the way of people succeeding at habit change:

  • Messing up on the habit and then quitting.
  • Not starting because the habit change seems to hard.

Have you faced these problems? The answer is almost certainly yes because pretty much all of us have.

The answer to both of these problems is really the same:

The problem is that people feel discouraged by failure, or feel overwhelmed or intimidated.

The solution is to embrace the “Fail Faster” and iterate philosophy that’s all the rage in software.

Ship the habit

The Model T was created after Henry Ford and his partner shipped a very imperfect Model An automobile and had their mechanics gather real-world information about problems with the car. And then they made it better, one problem at a time.

They only gathered this information by shipping the car.

You’ll only gather the real-world information you need to make the habit stick (exercise, diet, meditation, reading, creating, non-procrastinating, yoga, etc.) by actually doing the habit.

So the most important thing you can do is do the habit every day. If you make mistakes, that’s great, because it’ll help you improve your habit method.

Embrace Failure as Lessons

Missing a day of your meditation habit isn’t absolute failure. Neither is messing up on your diet when you go to a party. Neither is failing to exercise when you’re on a trip.

It’s not a complete failure to mess up. The only true failure is when you don’t learn from the mess-up, and get better at the method.

So embrace each little problem as a way to get better. It’s a part of the process.

Give yourself credit for trying and failing. You don’t get credit for quitting or not trying.

Fail Faster

OK, that’s all great … but how do we incorporate failure and learning and shipping into a method for changing habits?

Here it is — the Fail Faster Method:

  • Write out a brief habit method — for example, “Walk every day for 20 minutes after work.”
  • Ship. That means start the habit. Get it going as easily as possible, so you can gain real-world info. Do the habit for just 3 days — this is an iteration of your habit method. Don’t aim for 30 days, just 3.
  • Fail faster. After doing the habit for 3 days, do a 2-minute review: how did the plan go? Did you do the habit every day? What worked? What got in the way?
  • Adjust. Learn from your last iteration by improving the method. If you didn’t go because you felt tired, can you try exercise at a different time? Can you do it for a shorter time (just 10 minutes)? Can you do it with a friend? Try googling your habit obstacle if you can’t think of a solution — lots of people have had the same obstacle and figured out a solution.
  • Ship again. After a 3-day ship, review, and adjust cycle, repeat the cycle. Every 3 days. Do the habit, do a 2-minute review, and adjust.

If you follow this plan, it’s guaranteed to work. Give yourself brownie points for shipping, for reviewing, for continuing the cycle. Treat each cycle as an experiment, with a hypothesis and a test and an analysis of the data. Experiment again.

Three-day cycles are amazing because you’re iterating faster than pretty much any other method out there. You could iterate daily, actually, but you’re likely to have better data after three days instead of just one.

Embrace experiments, ship, learn from failure and fail faster.

Posted in Managing yourself, Personal Journal

Today isn’t a great day for me.

Today isn’t a great day for me.

I woke up early after too little sleep. Someone I love is mad at me and doesn’t seem to want to talk to me, which put me in a down mood. I couldn’t get focused to do any writing, so I answered emails, read stuff online, took a nap.

I did a workout, but couldn’t finish it because my wrist hurt.

It wasn’t a great day, and my mood descended as I thought about how badly so many people thought of me …

On a day like this, I sat still. It was all I could do.

I looked inward and faced the hurt.

I stayed with it, just giving it my attention.

I noticed the story I was telling myself, that was causing the pain. It wasn’t a good story. The more I got stuck telling myself this story, the more I was stuck in the pain.

So I turned to the present moment and allowed myself to feel the pain, instead of running from it, pushing it away, or trying to do something to end it.

It wasn’t so bad. And it didn’t stay around much longer, now that I allowed myself to sit with the hurt.

After turning and facing my feelings, staying with them, and seeing the nothingness in the middle of it all … everything was OK. Not brilliant, but not so bad.

Some days, you have nothing, but that’s OK.

Posted in Managing yourself, Personal Journal


I am sharing you my favorite quotes I collected in 2016

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.” 
― Marshall Mcluhan

“There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.” 
― Douglas Coupland

“I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 A.M. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.”
― Joan Didion

“We’re all just walking each other home.”
― Ram Dass

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K. Rowling

“Everything that I’ve ever done I can still relate to, and feel connected to it in a way. There’s no part of my life that I look at and go, ‘I don’t recognize that person at all.’”
― Ian Mckaye

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
― Isaac Asimov

In Mid 20’s this is the question of most individuals and they strive to find the answer by doing end number of things just to understand the answer of WHO AM I? I am not going to claim that I found the answer who am I but I am just going to show some points which I did to find who am I and still I find on the same pitch, same area, with same people just to understand who am I.

Doing a startup is not the only goal you should have. Make goals which make you happy and not the goals which are common to everyone or something which will make other happy.

No matter what in life your work should your priority and don’t let anyone else let that place to be occupied. Make your brain surrounded by positive minded people and with positive energy. Leave your brain empty so that new things can be filled in don’t clutter your brain with useless topics as surrounded by WhatsApp or facebook. Identify things that are important to you and things are not relevant and remove unwanted scrap from the brain. Avoid falling into the trap of social networking, talking to friends on whatapp. Just avoid it

Make your life a goal and never play with your time. Consider time as most important assets in your lifetime, once gone that will never going to comeback. Make sure you better utilize the time in the manner you want to shape your life. Don’t let time shape your life, shape your life according to your needs and according to your goals. Make your time as the most important priority list in your books and journal no matter what I am going to spend my time wisely.

Make sure you have one goal at once. Because you will never feel satisfied in your life so it’s advisable to make one goal in a and stick to that goal and make sure you excel in that goal you become the pro in that goal.

Make mistakes in life, never try to avoid things that make you feel uncomfortable do things which make you feel awkward in life

Meet new people daily and share the experience and share your observation about life.

Laugh often, cry often, make someone happy, donate something which is important to you.

Love yourself, Be crazy and make this world happy.




Posted in Managing yourself, Uncategorized

Art of learning

3 months at ICICI bank as a notice period to be served is the thing which I used to like when I was an employee at the bank but right now even spending a day at the bank and after coming to home it is really frustrate me when I am having nothing to do. It really makes me sick that how to spend the evening 5 hours productively when you are having nothing to do. I guess i need to learn this coding and instead of thinking too much about the startups I need to learn and just acquire new skills rather than sitting and thinking way.

Let us begin the art of learning rather than art of always thinking about money.

Posted in Managing yourself, Uncategorized

3 Task Which Every Entrepreneur Should Outsource

Outsourcing. It is not an unfamiliar word in the entrepreneurial sphere. More and more entrepreneurs are trying to infuse this tactic in their business to be more productive.


With books like “The 4 Hour Work Week,” the benefits of outsourcing have been overstated. Many entrepreneurs want to start outsourcing. However, many of them do not know where to start.


First, it is important for the entrepreneur to know and plan which areas of their business are better suited to be outsourced to an agency or group of freelancers.

There is no doubt that there are parts of your business that you would prefer not to do, whether it is due a lack of competency or interest. Why spend days or weeks working on tasks that are simply frustrating for you? Would it not be better to outsource those things to someone who has a track record of delivering superb results?


If you are facing difficulty in choosing what to outsource, consider delegating these three tasks to increase productivity and free up your time for other activities.


Social Media

To many entrepreneurs, it appears that social media is overrated. It is partially true. However, it would be foolish to run a business without having a social media presence.

Social media can easily become time consuming. Every entrepreneur has their own social media addiction, whether that is Facebook or YouTube. There is no doubt that those social media feeds are distracting, but you do not have to overwhelm yourself with it. It is better to outsource it.


Depending on your preference, you may find one of the following approaches suitable for your business.


1. Hands-off approach — Assign your assistant to create and schedule your social media posts. They can create a HootSuite account and start syncing your social media accounts. Then, they can start creating and scheduling your social media posts via the dashboard.

With the hands-off approach, your assistant will focus on creating and scheduling lots of content while adjusting posts to match themes and trends, when necessary.


2. Hands-on approach — Assign your assistant to dedicate a set amount of hours to social media. This approach is similar to the hands-off approach, with the addition of having your assistant to interact with the audience in either real-time or on a frequent basis.


3. Hybrid approach — Assign your assistant to create and schedule your social media posts as well as infrequently interacting with the commenters. This approach is similar to the hands-on approach with the difference being the interaction is not as frequent. So, for example, your assistant may check social media for comments and questions twice a day rather than every two hours during their work shift.

I have always advised entrepreneurs to stick to the maximum of two social media channels. However, when you have an assistant, you may find it worth adding another social media channel to your marketing arsenal.

Although, please keep in mind that it is better to put out a consistent feed of content on a few social media channels than to put out an inconsistent feed of content on many social media channels. Make sure that you have a clear social media strategy before delegating it to your assistant.


Public Relations

Almost every entrepreneur wants their brand to be on television and in popular publications. It is getting featured that is the difficult part for the entrepreneur. Unless public relations are one of your strengths, it is in your best interest to outsource it to someone who has PR experience (preferably someone who has significantly more experience than you).

There are several free PR services, but the most popular one is HARO (Help A Reporter Out). I would recommend starting there first. I have used HARO to get featured in Fast Company and Inc. Magazine.


Website Support

As your brand becomes more popular, this area will become more important.

Your website is your home. There is an adage that says, “Your first impression may be your last.” Wouldn’t you want to assure that website visitors are getting the best impression of your brand?

While website providers like WordPress and Squarespace have made it easier to administer your site, it is probably not a good idea to invest much time in it, especially if your intention is to grow your brand as quickly as possible.

Instead, outsource this area of your business to someone else. Whoever you choose can not only keep your website current with content but can interact with the audience by replying to blog post comments and answering emails.

In an era where competition is at an all-time high, it is pertinent to maximize productivity by leveraging other people’s time. Outsourcing is your most important form of leverage. If you want to grow your business fast or even put your business on auto-pilot, nothing will be more important than outsourcing.

This article originally appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Posted in Managing yourself, Uncategorized

Being ‘focused’ leads to bonafide ‘leadership’

The art of being focused leads to leadership. Study reveals that leadership skills can be nurtured by means of focusing on ‘oneself’, focusing on ‘others’ and focusing on the ‘greater globe’. Striking a proper balance between self-introspection as well as constructive focus on others enables a true leader gaining emotional intelligence (self-awareness and getting in touch with inner voice), acumen to innovate and above all devise strategies to manage his or her respective organizations.

Our beloved and amiable Father of Nation (Bapu) Mahatma Gandhi is an
instance par excellence. Besides, most of our great men have already
carved a niche in this regard.

Swami Vivekananda’s clarion call for character-building and nation-building was ‘first be, then make’.

It has been experimented and concluded that failure to focus inward
leaves one rudderless while failure to focus on others renders one
clueless. Needless to mention that failure to focus outward can render
one blindfolded.

Leaders heeding inner voices can get armed with resources to make
better decisions.

Paying attention is a mental muscle that can be geared up practising
right kind of exercise. The time-tested and okayed essential exercise
is meditation as it builds up concentration and calmness, and heals
stress and strain.

It has been discovered that players, attuned to the rhythm of their
breathing, experience the strengthening of selective attention as a
feeling of calm focus as inculcated in meditation.

Great leaders possess three vital skills. First is the ability to
engage others in shared meaning like diving into a chaotic work
environment to mobilise employees around an entirely new approach to
management. Second is a distinctive and compelling voice. Third is a
sense of integrity that means including a strong set of values.

Zeroing in on sensory impressions of ourselves at the need of hour is
one major element of self-awareness while combining our experiences
across time into a coherent view of our authentic selves is another
crucible experience of leadership.

Just as a camera lens can be set narrowly on a single point or more
widely to take in a panoramic view, one can focus tightly or

Strengthening the ability to maintain open awareness requires leaders
to do something that verges on the unnatural: cultivate at least
sometimes a willingness to not be in control, not offer up their own
views and not judge others. That is less a matter of deliberate action
than of attitude adjustment.

One path to making that adjustment is through the classic power of
positive thinking, because pessimism narrows our focus, whereas
positive emotions widen our attention and our receptiveness to the new
and unexpected.

Cognitive control enables executives to pursue a goal despite
distractions and setbacks. The same neural circuitry that allows such
a single-minded pursuit of goals also manages unruly emotions. Good
cognitive control can be seen in people who stay calm in a crisis,
tame their own agitation, and recover from a debacle or defeat.

Executives who can effectively focus on others emerge as natural
leaders regardless of organisational or social rank.

How we focus holds the key to exercising willpower.

The stronger the cognitive control, the less susceptible we are to distraction.

When confronted by an upsetting problem, let us think of a traffic
signal. The red light means stop, calm down, and think before you act.
The yellow light means slow down and think of several possible
solutions. The green light means try out a plan and see how it works.

Whenever one notices that the mind has wandered, one can simply return
to breathing.

The word “attention” comes from the Latin attendere, meaning “to reach
toward.” This is a perfect definition of focus on others, which is the
foundation of empathy and of an ability to build social
relationships-the second and third pillars of emotional intelligence.

Executives who can effectively focus on others are easy to recognise.
They are the ones who find common ground, whose opinions carry the
most weight, and with whom other people want to work. They emerge as
natural leaders regardless of organisational or social rank.

We talk about empathy most commonly as a single attribute. But a close
look at where leaders are focusing when they exhibit it reveals three
distinct kinds (cognitive empathy, emotional empathy and emphatic
concern), each important for leadership effectiveness.

While cognitive empathy is the ability to understand another person’s
perspective, emotional empathy is the ability to feel what someone
else feels and emphatic concern is the ability to sense what another
person needs from you.

Cognitive empathy enables leaders to explain themselves in meaningful
ways, a skill essential to think about feelings rather than to feel
them directly. It is also an outgrowth of self-awareness.

Emotional empathy is important for effective mentoring, managing
clients and reading group dynamics.

Empathic concern, closely related to emotional empathy, enables us to
sense not just how people feel but what they need from you. It is what
one wants in one’s doctor, spouse and   boss.

Research suggests that as people rise through the ranks, their ability
to maintain personal connections suffers.

Getting a grip on our impulse to empathise with other people’s
feelings can help us make better decisions when someone’s emotional
flood threatens to overwhelm us.

Hence, let’s place attention centre stage so that we can direct it
wherever and whenever needed.

And thus, let’s learn to master our attention, and, Presto! we’ll be
in command of where our and our organisation focus. After all, the
time-tested and okayed mantra goes: Being focused paves path for a
bona fide leadership.

Posted in Managing yourself, Uncategorized

Five Things To Know About Brain.

Every animal you can think of – mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians has a brain. But the human brain is unique. Although it’s not the largest, it gives us the power to speak, imagine and problem solve. It is truly an amazing organ.

The brain performs an incredible number of tasks including the following:

  • It controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
  • It accepts a flood of information about the world around you from your various senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching).
  • It handles your physical movement when walking, talking, standing or sitting.
  • It lets you think, dream, reason and experience emotions.
  • All of these tasks are coordinated, controlled and regulated by an organ that is about the size of a small head of cauliflower.

These are 5 things you must know about the brain.

  1. Avoid multitasking

A study showed that people distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQs. What’s the impact of a 10-point drop? The same as losing a night of sleep. More than twice the effect of smoking marijuana.

Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we’re getting more done. In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. We don’t actually multitask. We switch-task, rapidly shifting from one thing to another, interrupting ourselves unproductively, and losing time in the process.

Multitasking effects

Effects of Multitasking

a. Multitasking is a source of stress

Humans are inherently bad at multitasking and it’s a poor strategy for productivity. What you might not realize is that multitasking and frequent interruptions are sources of stress that can have a notable impact on your health and sense of well-being.

b. The vicious circle of multitasking

Habitual multitasking will keep you very busy, but your ability to complete even short-term goals will likely be compromised. Like a vicious circle, lack of accomplishment leads to frustration, stress, and a return to multitasking in order to make up for lost time.

How to overcome multitasking effect

a. Prioritize. Each morning, prepare a task list for the day and prioritize the tasks by importance in relation to your most important goals.

b. Start early. Get to work on your most important tasks early in the day so that you don’t run out of time.

c. Limit distractions. If you’re working on a computer, close down all windows that aren’t necessary for the task at hand, especially things like email, Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.

d. Silence your phone. If possible, shut off your cell phone for a while to avoid unnecessary interruption.

e. Control your workplace. Work in an environment that is conducive to focus. If necessary, isolate yourself from people who might unnecessarily interrupt or distract you.

  1. Brain is more creative when you are tired

As per the article published in Thinking and Reasoning a slightly groggy and tired brain may produce some of your best creative insights. According to Mareike Wieth, a professor at Albion College who led a 2011 study show that people perform better on creative, insight-based challenges when they are less awake. The reason may be that finding solutions to creative obstacles require seeing a problem from a new angle or point of view.

During the most productive hours of your day, your ability to focus is at its peak, and you can skillfully block out distractions. On the other hand, when you’re tired, your thoughts flit about more freely.

Clutter, whether it’s physical or mental, happens to be very stimulating for the mind; and it just so happens that our brains are the most cluttered when we’re tired. And there’s research to prove it.

This Scientific American article explains how distractions can actually be a good thing for creative thinking:

Insight problems involve thinking outside the box. This is where susceptibility to “distraction” can be of benefit. At off-peak times, we are less focused, and may consider a broader range of information. This wider scope gives us access to more alternatives and diverse interpretations, thus fostering innovation and insight. 

  1. How meditation helps brain

Sara Lazar, Ph.D., the study’s senior author, said,

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day”

Last week, a study from UCLA found that long-term mediators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Participants who’d been meditating for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain

Meditation benifits


Meditation Reduces Activity in the Brain’s “Me Center”

One of the most interesting studies in the last few years carried out at Yale University, found that mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind.”

Just a Few Days of Training Improves Concentration and Attention

Meditation Can Help with Addiction – One study, for example, pitted mindfulness training against the American Lung Association’s freedom from smoking (FFS) program and found that people who learned mindfulness were many times more likely to have quit smoking by the end of the training

Benefits of meditation to human mind

  • Meditation can help you deal with stress and negative emotions
  • At the same time, meditation could boost positive skills like memory and awareness.
  • There are also signs that meditation can help boost your immune system – or at least help ward off the flu.
  • Meditation may help prevent genetic damage.
  1. Brain and Exercise

In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.

Exercise helps memory and thinking through both direct and indirect means. The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.

Indirectly, exercise improves mood, sleep, reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.

Exercise Shields You from Stress and Depression – Exercise is one of the “secret weapons” to overcoming depression, and studies have shown its efficiency typically surpasses that of antidepressant drugs.

To Boost Creativity, Get Moving! – “Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real-time and shortly after… Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

  • Benefits of exercise to brain
  • Exercise prevents both brain and muscle decay
  • Exercise can help you sharp well into old age
  • Exercise shields you from stress and depression
  • Exercise boosts brain growth and regeneration

While it’s never too late to start exercising, the earlier you begin and the more consistent you are, the greater your long-term rewards. Having an active lifestyle is really an investment in your future well-being, both physically and mentally.

Brain exercise
Exercise benifits on brain


  1. Power Nap and Mind

Power naps can boost your energy, mood, productivity and creativity significantly better than the typical pick-me-up, caffeine.

A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance 34% and alertness 100%.

How long to Nap


Some companies like Apple or Prentice Hall Publishing have quiet rooms or meditation rooms where employees can meditate, pray, or nap

Here are some of the many proven benefits of regular power naps:

  • Power Naps increased energy and stamina
  • Power Naps reduced stress due to decreased cortisol levels
  • Power Naps improved mood due to an increase in serotonin levels
  • Power Naps reduced risk of depression
  • Power Naps improved memory and learning
  • Power Naps increased alertness and productivity
  • Power Naps improved accuracy, creativity, patience, decision-making skills

Continue reading “Five Things To Know About Brain.”

Posted in Managing yourself, Uncategorized

How to Fake, Till you Make It

Sometimes you feel like you’re in over your head. Perhaps you got a big promotion or are leading a new, high-profile initiative but you worry that you don’t have the right skills or experience to succeed. Are there strategies you can use to jolt your confidence? How do you “fake it ‘til you make it”? And are there risks to that approach? 

What the Experts Say
Feeling anxious about a new professional challenge is natural. In fact, imposter syndrome — the creeping fear that others will discover you aren’t as smart, capable, or creative as they think you are — is a lot more common than you might guess. Most people feel like a fraud from time to time, and “many of us never completely shed those fears — we work them out as they come,” says Amy J.C. Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School and the author of Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. The key to doing that, she says, is “to trick yourself out of the state of self-doubt.” Faking it ‘til you make it is not about pretending to have skills you don’t, she adds. It’s “about pretending to yourself that you’re confident” so you can work hard and get the job done. So, for starters, “let up [on] the self-flagellation.” Often, the root of the insecurity involves your personal leadership style, says Herminia Ibarra, a professor at INSEAD and the author of Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader. Your task is to figure out “how you come across as credible, how you convey your competency to others, and how you communicate your ideas in an authentic way.” Here are some ways to go about it.

Frame it as an opportunity
The more you focus on what’s scary about the new team you’re leading or the project you’re steering, the more intimidated you’ll feel. Instead, “frame the challenge not as a threat but as an opportunity to do something new and different,” says Cuddy. “Don’t think, ‘Oh no, I feel anxious.’ Think, ‘This is exciting.’ That makes it easier to get in there and engage.” Remind yourself that the professional challenge you’ve been asked to take on is probably “not categorically different” from what you’ve done before. “It’s just alittle different. [So] you need to scale up.”

Think incrementally
If you approach a new position or responsibility with the goal of “killing it right off the bat, you’re setting yourself up for failure,” says Cuddy. Rather than setting a grandiose objective, she suggests making “small, incremental improvements” in your performance. Think of these steps as “the opposite of a New Year’s resolution,” she says. For instance, you might say to yourself, “In today’s meeting, I’m going to make sure everyone on the team feels heard.” Or, “At this networking session, I am going to make two new connections.” A growing body of research supports this approach, notes Ibarra. “Goals are a moving target,” she says, requiring constant setting and resetting.

Watch and learn
When you’re developing your personal management style, you should observe how others lead, according to Ibarra. One role model will not suffice; “you need a panoply of them,” she says. “It’s helpful to be exposed to many different styles.” Watch how these people influence others, use humor, and come across as charismatic and self-assured. Also take note of their verbal tactics — when they use silence, how they pose questions, and how they intervene. “Pay attention and then try to emulate [what they’re doing],” she says. “You can borrow bits and pieces and tailor them to you.”

Be bold in your body language
One surefire way to come across as self-confident when you’re feeling insecure is to use “body language that makes you feel bold and victorious,” says Cuddy. Your aim is to make “yourself feel more powerful psychologically.” Take long strides. Sit up straight. Walk with your chest held high. And don’t slouch. When you “carry yourself in a way that conveys power, poise, and healthy pride,” you feel more self-assured and others perceive you that way. “You feel less guarded, more optimistic, more focused on goals, and more likely to take a stand,” she says.

Heed red flags
If you’re so overwhelmed that every day nearly brings on a panic attack, faking it may be inadvisable. The goal is to “step outside of your comfort zone,” Ibarra says, not to set yourself up for failure or a breakdown. Cuddy agrees: “When you are in serious fight-or-flight mode, it’s very hard to get yourself out of it; it’s like a death spiral.” So if you have deep-seated concerns that the challenge you’re being presented with is too much too soon, or is unrealistic given the time frame and resources at your disposal, it’s important to speak up.

Principles to Remember


  • Create goals based on making small, incremental improvements in your performance.
  • Jolt your confidence with bold and expansive body language.
  • Observe how your role models comport themselves in various professional situations. Seek ways to incorporate their strategies and tactics into your leadership repertoire.


  • Beat yourself up for feeling like an imposter — feeling nervous about a professional challenge is natural.
  • Be overly daunted or scared by the challenge at hand. Consider it an opportunity to do something new and different.
  • Fake confidence if you have legitimate concerns that the challenge you’re being asked to take on is not feasible. If it’s too much, say so.

Case Study #1: Focus on the opportunity and set small, achievable goals
Alex Mohler admits that when he first started as director of client services at Crubiq, a B2B sales company based in Raleigh, North Carolina, he felt like a fish out of water. Most of his prior experience was in the frozen dessert industry. “Crubiq sells to tech and analytics platforms,” he says. “Coming from the ice cream world, I didn’t know a lot about this.”

But he didn’t let his nerves get to him. “I had to be willing to go into the unknown and embrace it,” he says. “I looked at my new job as an opportunity to learn about an exciting, cutting-edge technology, and that was very motivating for me.”

He reminded himself that Crubiq represented a new business for him, and he had a proven track record in sales. He needed to have faith in his abilities. “I was still selling a product and selling a concept to people,” he says.

Alex says he’s learned the importance of sometimes thinking small. At Crubiq he and his team members each make a daily list of three things they want to accomplish. For example, Alex recently took on a new client in an unfamiliar industry, so one of his goals was to spend two hours doing research on the sector. Another of his goals to improve his Excel skills. To accomplish it, he set a goal of completing three sections of Excel Everest, a training program, each week.

“When you’re working on something as daunting and overwhelming as creating a brand and starting a company, it helps to be able to look back at those lists, check off boxes, and have a sense of accomplishment,” Alex says.

Case Study #2: Emulate successful role models and exhibit strong body language
When Radhika Duggal took over as a director in the marketing division at CommonBond, the student lending service based in New York, she “panicked a little.”

Although she had experience leading a team, this felt different. “I was inheriting a team of four people — all of whom had been at CommonBond for some time,” she explains. “They knew the business, whereas I had to learn it.”

To rev her confidence, she reminded herself that she had applicable skills and expertise. Before CommonBond, she had worked at Pfizer and Deloitte. “Because of my time as a consultant, I understood processes and I knew how to get work done,” she says. She also had directly relevant experience from doing social media and email marketing in previous jobs.

She reflected on past bosses and role models who struck her as particularly confident, and then created a working list of the leadership skills she wanted to emulate. “I once worked with a creative, talented manager who knew how to work a room,” she recalls. “But he told me he was not very well organized, he was not a detail person, and that’s where he needed my help.” His candor and willingness to admit his faults were eye-opening to Radhika. She now tries to be as open and honest with her direct reports.

Radhika also understands that her body language has a direct effect on her job performance. She works hard at coming across as authoritative. “I want my presence to be bigger than it is,” she says. “I pay attention to standing up straight, using hand gestures, and using intonation in my voice to engage people. I notice that it has a big impact on the dynamic and energy in the room.”

This article was taken from
Article written by Rebecca Knight is a freelance journalist in Boston and a lecturer at Wesleyan University.  Her work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Financial Times.