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We promote networking among alumni to strengthen business connections, promote new ideas and advance your career.
Thursday 7 April. Full house at ESADE’s lecture hall No. 29 when the ESADE Alumni Career Services invited consultant and coach Catherine Paredes to give a flash session: a chance for delegates to think about their own weaknesses and improve their self-confidence.
Self-confidence and self-esteem
Paredes explained how important self-confidence and self-esteem are for both personal and professional success. She encouraged the audience to think about their own self-confidence and suggested several practical exercises to improve it. According to the founder of Human Software, a sense of self-worth and self-appreciation are crucial for achieving objectives and yet there is always an internal dialogue that tends to undermine self-esteem and create attitudes that distract from goals. The main symptoms of low self-esteem pointed out by Paredes were: a constant need for the approval of others, difficulty in making decisions, not being flexible enough to learn from mistakes, a defensive attitude and difficulties in establishing well-rounded relationships. When this happens, it is useful to analyse where the lack of self-esteem springs from and to work on transforming any negative labels a person may have, or be given, into positive labels.
The power of labels
The audience did a practical exercise which demonstrated that a person’s behaviour often depends more on what others expect of them than on what they actually want. The labels a person is given from childhood onwards (smart, creative, aggressive, shy, etc) are constraints that prevent them from giving free rein to their true self. As a result, being hypercritical of yourself or others can stigmatize you: ''False beliefs end up creating true realities.''
Paredes drew a parallel with the computer world. She compared labelling with software that people can and must reset in order to build a new structure based on new, more positive beliefs about themselves. Working in small groups, the audience managed to transform their own negative self-beliefs into more positive self-concepts that were repeated out loud like a mantra.
In this way, Catherine Paredes helped the audience define themselves from the viewpoint of what she calls ''brightness'' – i.e. do not deny your shortcomings but focus on your strengths and weaknesses – until a more well-rounded self-concept emerges that enables you to visualise and work on your blind spots or areas with room for improvement.
Secrets of increasing your self-esteem
This expert in ''human'' software detailed the secrets for improving self-esteem and self-confidence, with particular emphasis on the following: appreciating one’s own personality traits and those of others, accepting the ways in which one can improve, always keeping in mind one’s achievements and strengths, fostering relationships that make one stronger and ignoring those that are a burden, taking controlled risks and accepting oneself and others unconditionally, disregarding merciless criticism.
In short, always having reasonable expectations of oneself and others, and loving each other unconditionally.
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