By Sunny Simon

Last week we attended Open Call at the McCallum Theater, an event we look forward to every year. This valley is loaded will an abundance of local talent. In addition to the incredible entertainment, I love watching the interview clips shown before each act. One segment revealed a young man in his early 30’s who announced he finally started believing in himself enough to audition. I heartily applauded that positive statement. Putting yourself out there takes a major dose of self-confidence.

A large sign in my office simply states: Believe. I’ve hung it on the wall as a reminder for both me and my clients to stop doubting ourselves. Too often we give in to self sabotage. Our 30 something entertainer used a simple technique that is very powerful in developing and maintaining self esteem. He stopped listening to his nagging inner critic. We all have one. I’ve given mine a name: Stormy. From time to time my gremlin swoops in over-stocked with gloom and doom, always predicting failure. I’ve learned to recognize the negative voice in my head and send that bully packing. Like Stormy, all inner gremlins are fear based. They thrive on status quo wanting nothing to do with progress and change.

Successful people possess a commonality regarding belief. They have learned to ignore the critics in their head and staunchly refuse to let an ounce of doubt enter the picture. My six year old niece, Alina, is the poster child for believing she is capable of anything. The giant-sized moxie in her pint-sized package is most impressive. I’m certain when Alina’s gremlin comes calling she just bursts out in fits of giggles thinking, don’t be silly, of course I can do that.

Whether you’re six or seventy-six, if you are auditioning for a Broadway musical or interviewing for a job as design engineer, the key to accomplishing your dreams is confidence. Internal and external critics cannot drag you down without your consent. You are in control. When your gremlin tries to dissuade you from accomplishing your dreams, remember the sage advice from one of the masters, Vincent Van Gogh, “If you hear a voice within you say you can’t paint then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

Getting ready to put yourself out there and strut your stuff? I applaud you. Begin by flexing your self esteem muscle. Then wear your confidence like armor and rock it!

Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at