When considering your skill level and business abilities, do you lie to yourself? The answer is most likely ‘yes.’ There are several ways that most people lie to themselves. If you see yourself in the following descriptions, what can you do to change that action?
- Self-Impeding: This occurs when we intentionally take action to possibly damage our performance opportunity in order to build our own self ego. One of the ways that this occurs with DJs is to book multiple events in a week that you have a large wedding. That way, if everything goes smoothly, you can say to yourself “I am so good that I don’t need to devote extra attention to the wedding.” Or if goes poorly, you can justify by saying “I had all those events that week, it’s not MY fault.” It is easy to validate a lack of professionalism when we undermine our own efforts.
- Basking in Reflected Glory: We like to brag about our association with winners. When involved in a project that has several key people, many like to use the “We did this, or we accomplished that” kind of talk. The parent who puts the “My Child is an Honor Student” bumper sticker on their car is basking in reflected glory. There is nothing wrong with pointing out accomplishments, but make sure that YOU were at least partly responsible for that accomplishment.
- The Better than Average Response: If asked, a large group of DJs would overwhelmingly rate themselves as “better than average”. I have asked this question at conventions. Virtually no one rates themselves as poor or less than average. But the reality is that on a scale of 1 to 10 only 5% would actually rate in the 9 or 10 level of competence, and likely more than half would be a 5 or below. When it comes to your overall skill level, of performance and business, are you really as good as you think you are? I think not!
- The Fantasy of Control: This occurs when we believe, despite the odds, that we can control the outcome of an event. Despite our experience and training, the simple fact is that at any event where we are the DJ/Entertainer/MC, there are many, if not hundreds of people that we have never met, don’t know their personal situation, and don’t know how they will act in public. We hope that we can steer the event to a successful conclusion, but to believe that we are “actually” in control is pure fantasy. Remember this one fact, there is no such thing as a controllable gathering of humans.
- Rationalization: This is when we let our mouths overload our abilities and we lie or mislead prospects to gain them as customers. This also occurs when we take shortcuts, avoid extra work and exploit resources to get a job done. We think to ourselves “everybody does this” and justify our actions to ourselves. How many times have you done something, deep down, that you know was questionable?
Now that you see some of the ways we use self-deception, what should you do about it? The actual answer may surprise you! To be a successful person you need not cut out self-deception completely, but to use it to your advantage and make it work for you. Sometimes we need to use these to bounce back from a failure, or to rationalize a little to grow. Should we always consider ourselves better than those that have fewer skills than we do? No, we should not for if we do, we will develop an elevated sense of competency and grow complacent.
So, which of these five do you use? Which do you see in people around you?