Another way to enhance your ability to motivate yourself and others is to make sure all things are balanced in your life. Great persuaders lead a balanced life and keep everything in perspective. I call this delicate balance “life alignment.” Make sure there is balance in every aspect of your life. Imbalance can undermine motivation and cause inaction and unhappiness. Many times, we quit early because of imbalance, even when we don’t realize an imbalance exists. It may be only one area of our life that is out of whack, but it can still have a direct effect on other areas of our life. Just as in a mutual fund, where one bad stock can pull down the fund’s overall value, one bad area in your life can also have a disproportionate negative effect.
Ask yourself these questions: Would I invest in my own mutual fund of myself? Would I suggest that my family or friends invest in me? These are hard questions to ask, but the answers to them are necessary as you get your life on track. Take a look at the stocks in which you have invested in your own life. What stock is pulling the rest of your portfolio down? Are you a growing mutual fund or is your mutual fund losing money? Is your fund stagnant? If you won’t invest in your personal mutual fund (yourself), who will?
When we look at life, we have to realize that it is not lived in segments, but rather, it is part of a greater whole. Every aspect of your life will either help or hurt the rest of your life. Our aim is to get all aspects working together to create a high-performing fund. Realize, however, that you can invest too much in one aspect of your life. When you do, you can get unbalanced just like a tire on a car. Even too much of a good thing can lead to disaster.
As you invest in yourself, you must make sure you are diversifying in the following six areas: We often spend too much of our time spinning our wheels and investing in stock that has no value or that is diminishing the value of our mutual fund. We get so busy buying the stock society recommends that we forget to examine whether this stock is helping or hurting us. There may also be times when you need to sell a stock (change a habit or belief) because it is not performing. We always need to make sure that we are a growth fund and that we are continually investing the right things in ourselves. If we neglect any one of the life-alignment areas, our overall happiness and success will diminish.
We tend to rate our skills that we want, that we need or that we require higher than they actually are. To improve, grow and become more successful we have to know our weaknesses and be able to identify our blind spots. If we don’t know what they are than we can never truly improve.
The reason self-perception bias has such a negative impact in our lives is because we are lying to ourselves. That’s the bottom line. We are blind from the truth. We are deceiving ourselves. Denial is our happy place where we can cover up our weaknesses to protect our self-esteem. We set our expectations that are not based on reality or honest evaluation. It might seem nice to view the world through rose-colored glasses for a while, but in the end, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Self-perception bias manifests itself when we are evaluating a skill or talent that we expect ourselves to have or when others expect us to have that particular skill. When social pressure or social validation is involved, we make higher-than-expected evaluations of ourselves. Self-perception bias ultimately gives us an unrealistic view of reality and a false sense of security. We become numb to reality and fail to see exactly where we stand and what we need to improve.
We are good at judging others and finding out what is wrong with them, but that analysis does not seem to work on ourselves. The same is true for our skills. We have to have the ability to honestly access ourselves – both our strengths and weaknesses. Then find the skills and the discipline to improve our faults. We always will feel we must gloss over our weaknesses to make things seem better than they actually are. We also lie to ourselves about our incomes, our debt, and our true weight. When you ask husbands and wives individually about what percent of the housework they each do – the numbers never add up. Most people will rate their people skills as above average. We all know that is not true. If you want to see human blindness and bias in action, all you have to do is go to a sporting event as a neutral party and listen to the bias and comments of each opposing side.