A few years ago, a psychology professor from Florida State University did a study on self-esteem -- and the results were not what you'd expect. We hear all the time that we need high self-esteem to be successful - but the study found that the segment of society with the very highest self esteem -- were criminals.
I guess that means that people in jail for burglary felt with certainty that they deserved your flat screen television. (And they succeeded in getting it -- at least temporarily.) Oddly enough, the people who scored lowest on the self-esteem scale were psychologists -- including the ones who designed the self-esteem study.
Maybe their lack of self-esteem is what causes them to be so curious about the topic ... and to take the time to really study and learn more about it.
Are we experts because of our defects? I'm starting to think so.
From teaching the speaker's class, I'm finding that my students speak about what they need to learn. One of my students sent me an email to say she was quitting the class just a week and a half before the showcase. It's ironic that her speech is to high school students about "Don't Give Up! Getting Past Obstacles."
Another student is a nurse working at a VA spinal cord injury unit who's so burnt out that it's affecting her health. She's speaking to nurses on "How to Deal with Stress."
I understand. I speak on using humor to lighten up the workplace and I spend 90% of my time fretting, worrying, and combating depression. But it seems that that's a perfect recipe for a hilarious motivational speaker.
Low self esteem, weight problems, stress problems, and difficulty handling change can be looked at as negative qualities -- but I'm beginning to see them as great motivators to improve, learn, and become an expert on your weakness.
I'm sure growing up, Mother Theresa was probably told she was extremely selfish. I could hear her mother saying "You, you, you, Theresa, that's all you're ever thinking about!"
Perhaps that was her motivation for becoming a saint.
What are your weaknesses? Take time to study them, and develop a passion to overcome them. And then - turn that passion into a paying career.
Author of The Comedy Bible, Motivational-Humorist, and Comedy Coach. Coming in 2013 "Make a Career Out of The Message of You."
How Low Self-Esteem Can Be Your Ticket to Fame & Fortune
Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.