Are you planning to have a big career? A successful career? Balanced with a great life? If so, then the key to your success will be to build your inner confidence, your inner core, your “personal foundation.”

Think of your life as if it were a large 50-floor building. In order for a building that large to be stable and strong, what is the most important floor? The foundation. The same is true of people.

The beauty of having a strong personal foundation is that it helps you to immediately solve problems like: how to reduce stress, how to have more time, how to manage conflict, how to strengthen relationships, and most importantly how to enhance personal confidence.

There’s an interesting thing about success; particularly when climbing the corporate ladder. You do have to have great performance. However, there are lots of people who do the job well. What really separates those who make it into the higher executive levels (and are balanced and functional human beings at those levels) is “personal power.”

You need strong leadership skills to rise to the top and you need a strong inner core to successfully survive at the top.

Personal foundation has many parts. Here are a few key aspects of how to build your personal foundation:


Integrity means being a “whole” person. Do your words match your actions? Are you able to tell the truth about people and situations even when it’s difficult? Most importantly, do you keep promises, especially to yourself? Do you exercise, eat well, and take time to relax as you promised yourself you would?


Boundaries are the lines we draw around ourselves to keep ourselves safe and secure. How well do you assert yourself? What is it that is “not OK” for people to do? Can you “say no” when you need to, even to bosses and family? If you feel under stress, chances are you are not living your boundaries.


Most of us don’t even take the time to know what our needs are. We also put our own needs last. If you plan on being a successful executive without having an ulcer or heart attack, you’ll want to get your needs met now! We have a whole conversation in our heads about how this is selfish. The best counter argument is one we see on an airplane. The flight attendant instructs us: “Put your own oxygen mask on first, even before helping a small child.” So what are your top four needs and how do you meet them? At home? At work?


A reserve is having “more than you need.” We all know how important it is to have a financial reserve, but how about other areas? Do you have more time than you need? More space than you need? More friends than you need? More opportunities than you need? Having a reserve in all areas is part of building your inner core.

Think of how you behave when you are “full and satisfied” vs. “needy and dissatisfied.” Start taking action to build reserves in several areas of your life.

This is just an introduction to a few of the many ways to strengthen your personal foundation. The real key is to take action. It is not enough to read about career development. It’s not enough to get great ideas about your career goals. It’s not even enough that you’ve planned a good career strategy. What will truly create success is action. Build your personal foundation today!

To hear Val’s talk about these ideas, get the audio CD Building Your Personal Foundation.