Turn Up The Volume On Your Self-Confidence
Arthur Ashe once said, “One important key to success is self-confidence.”
I believe that without self-confidence, failure becomes a negative label that is internalized rather than an opportunity to learn. A mistake becomes stupidity rather than an opportunity to figure out a misstep. Not knowing becomes incapable rather than the chance to gain new knowledge.
So many things affect self-confidence, but I would like you to consider a few questions that could help you strengthen yours.
Are you taking care of yourself? The better you feel, the greater your energy, and the sharper your mental clarity. The sharper you are mentally, the more engaged and engaging you become. This not only makes you feel more confident, it also increases the perception of your confidence.
When Susan, one of my clients, began her coaching engagement, she was experiencing a lack of confidence and believed that her value had dropped because of recent changes in her organization. Susan’s energy was low, her speech was slow, and her executive presence was waning. After getting her family involved in meal preparation, and committing to weekly yoga classes, Susan lost ten pounds, regained her energy, and enhanced her visual image. Consequently, her confidence increased, her professional relationships improved, and she received additional responsibilities at work.
Susan’s changes did not occur over night. Rather than taking quantum leaps, she took baby steps over a six-month period. She was patient with herself and achieved the results that put her back on top of her game.
Preparation is the key. The quote above from Arthur Ashe concludes with this, “A key to self-confidence is preparation.”
Do you believe that you work best under pressure? Have you convinced yourself that you enjoy the rush that comes from shooting from the hip? Sometimes we think that procrastination or last minute preparation is an opportunity to prove to ourselves just how good we really are. The stress it creates leaves us promising to never do it again…until next time. Right?
Two weeks ago, I was hung-up in the worse traffic jam ever! As a result, I was 20-minutes late for a speaking engagement. I was at my wits end and kicked myself for allowing 90 minutes rather than 2-hours for the commute. When I arrived at the event, I could not get out the car fast enough. The person that had been waiting for me greeted me, pinned on my nametag and microphone, assured me all was well, and took my handbag so that I could make my way to the stage. As she grabbed my bag, I pulled the folder with my notes from the outside pocket. I made my way to the stage, glanced at my notes as the speaker before me finished, and calmly began to speak when she looked at me indicating that she was done.
It was at that moment that I was THANKFUL that I had prepared a week in advance and had reviewed my notes the night before. Had I not taken the time to prepare, my anxiety which was already pretty high, would have tripled and my ability to speak confidently would have been greatly compromised.
Whether it is a keynote, a meeting, a formal presentation, or involvement in a project for which you feel ill equipped to contribute, preparation is the key. Preparation is often an issue of planning and time management. Take the time to anticipate questions, ask others what things you should consider as you prepare, make notes, and mentally practice. See yourself doing the presentation, participating in the meeting, involved in the project. You are bound to enter the situation with much more confidence.
What goals are your goals?
Goal achievement is probably one of the best ways to boost your confidence.
When I work with clients whose fear of failure has them stuck, we start the coaching process by reflecting on and writing down accomplishments. Taking the time to reflect on your history of success will contribute significantly to your self-confidence.
Secondly, working toward a goal and experiencing small successes along the way will strengthen your overall confidence, which will then spill over into other areas of your life. Sometimes having a goal that you are not taking action on can negatively affect your self-confidence. That goal becomes a cloud looming overhead and you beat up on yourself for doing nothing about it. There is something quite powerful taking action on your goals.
Use your goals to boost your self-confidence! What are you waiting for?