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From Significance of Skilled Labor to Knowing Your Value

By: Jaime Neely - May 17, 2014
Every person has their own stereotype of success that is constantly undergoing transformations influenced by society, the media, their friends, their peers, their family and their competitors. This collection of speeches examines some of these stereotypes and offers new perspectives that enable people to measure success on their own terms.

A common concept that comes up when addressing one's stereotype of success is status anxiety. Status anxiety occurs when someone compares themselves to their peers and measures their success on how well or how poorly they stack up to others. Author Francesca Gino warns that status anxiety can lead to poor decision-making. People often decide to do something based on how it will make them look instead of how it will help them develop as a person and a professional.

Sheryl Sandberg's speech shows how the stereotype of success is different for a man than it is for a woman. Touching on "the impostor syndrome," Sandberg discusses how women are questioned when they succeed in comparison to male counterparts because they are expected to constantly perform at a lower level. As a result, women hold themselves to a lower standard and will attribute success to external factors.

In the speech by Mike Rowe, the television personality spotlights what are typically considered "dirty jobs" like a plumber or an electrician. He reminds his viewers that without these people, society would be in a disastrous state and that people need to change their opinions and stereotypes on these roles.