How HR can walk the walk, and talk the talk

Some advice from a Chief Operating Officer, and seasoned leader, for HR practitioners who want to become the best versions of themselves.
By: | October 26, 2018


From our early days at school we learn that self-worth is only equal to how we measure up to other people. Without being aware of it, this mentality follows us throughout our entire life: we get graded and grade ourselves as if we were still sitting in that old classroom.

About the Author
Ani Filipova is the Chief Operating Officer at Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions, Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, Ani is a twenty-year veteran of the industry.

We persist in comparing our careers, material possessions and personal relations with those of our friends and family. Work doesn’t give us a break either: the office is often the first place where our ego is directly tied to how we perceive our co-workers’ performances.

In fact, we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others and it does, to some extent, allow us to grow. But is that really the optimum way to become the best person we can be?


Have faith in yourself

Do you sometimes doubt your accomplishments? Is there a voice telling you that you are not good enough or don’t deserve praise for your efforts? Then you are probably experiencing the impostor phenomenon – rest assured that you are not alone.

It has been estimated that almost 70% of people experience similar symptoms during the course of their life. While it is normal and inevitable to doubt yourself every now and then, it is often counterproductive and makes things much harder than they need to be.

My solution is: forget about others and focus on yourself. Find your talent, whether it is public speaking, math, drawing or leadership – it doesn’t matter.

The truth is, there will always be someone who does some things better than you. But once you bring your finest skills to light and cultivate them to the best of your ability, you won’t care so much about what other people think anymore.

By tending to your greatest qualities, you are on your way to becoming the best version of yourself.


Grow an optimistic mind-set

While some people might try to undermine your idea of self, it is up to you not to let them get into your head. In the end, it all comes down to following one rule: do not waste your time on those who bring negative energy to your life.

In fact, getting hurt is all a matter of consent. As real as emotions can get, they come from your inner self; external factors will only affect you as much as you allow them to.

What others do or think does not have anything to do with your relationship with yourself. As soon as you embrace this, you will find inner peace and manage to build a positive mindset.


Embrace lifelong learning

Keeping your eyes and ears open to learning new things is always a good way to achieve both personal and social development. Accumulating knowledge, thoughts, perceptions and even feelings will teach you about yourself and the world around you. It will help you expand your mind and understand your own strengths and weaknesses to move forward.

The pursuit of knowledge is also easier than it has ever been before. With technological advances, almost everything you could want to learn about is at the tip of your finger.

If you have a smartphone you don’t even need to get out of bed to learn something new and exciting: erudition is only a Google-search away. Having your own special skills will not only make you more self-confident; you will be a happier, and consequently, a better person.


Don’t rush

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – live in the moment. Give yourself breaks in order to breathe, take some time to reflect before taking action, and you will see things in ways that you never knew you would before. In fact, precipitation will only add stress to your mind and body and prevent you from recognising the important things in your life. So do hit pause – it’s good for you and for those around you.

Finally, don’t be afraid to fail. The road to success is paved with mistakes that we all grow from. The most intriguing perhaps is that we can never know for sure where these mistakes will lead us. So why hurry when we don’t know where we are heading?

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. In fact, accomplishment is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

When we give ourselves the time to feel, to learn and to experiment with things – that is when we are living our lives to the fullest and allowing ourselves to succeed.