Boost Your Confidence & Shine Bright

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Following on from yesterday's blog, one of the reasons we do nothing to move out of our comfort zones and act to become unstuck from the rut which we find ourselves in, is because we lack to the confidence to do so.

Can you think of a time when you felt you needed a boost in your confidence? Maybe you wanted to change careers and go for another role but how many jobs have you talked yourself out of applying for because you haven't been for an interview in years or you were convinced you weren’t experienced enough? What about selling yourself in interview? You knew you could do the job, but you felt that weren’t good enough for that company or the competition was too great, so you kept quiet and didn’t push your strengths. Or where you were so nervous before hand, you practically said nothing throughout the entire interview? I guarantee you that every single person has experienced this at some point in their life.

Have you ever been too scared to try out something new, even though you wanted to? Maybe you have thought about starting up your own business but don't have the confidence in you know how set up or run a business or that it will be a success.

What about when meeting new people, do you keep yourself off to one side, not daring to strike up conversation with anyone?  Or having you been avoiding asking someone out on a date because you think you'll be rejected.

Or what about how confident you feel in how you are as a person? Do you lack the confidence to demonstrate your knowledge and experience? Could you do with a boost in confidence during public speaking or doing presentations where the focus is on you? Are you the person you want to be, a person other people like and enjoy spending time with? Do you feel confident that you are the best version of you, and you are proud of who you are and what you do? There are many real life, everyday situations where having greater confidence can be beneficial.

Being more confident is not about you bragging, telling an exaggerated story or lying, it is showing up in the world in a way which shows the best of you.

If you want to explore where you might be lacking in confidence, try out the Confidence Star worksheet which you can download below, in the form of a PDF.

Download PDF

It helps you to highlight where a lack of confidence might be an issue for you, and therefore, where focusing your attention might be beneficial. It will also highlight areas where you do feel confident.

Why is confidence so important?

Well, confidence plays a role in our success as there is an interplay between competence, confidence and success. You can have all the confidence in the world but if you don’t have the ability then you won’t be successful in what you want to achieve. Equally, you could have bundles of ability but lack the confidence. Having both the confidence and being competent leads to a successful outcome. And the key thing is, you can learn to develop both. Boost your confidence to step into a new learning environment, practice a new skill, try out a new experience. The more you do, the more adept and competent you become and this feeds into you feeling more confident…and guess what, you see it paying off and then it goes into this feedback loop. So, to achieve a successful outcome you need both competence and confidence. Of course, as with anything it is going to take time and effort. No one is going to wave a magic wand and suddenly you’re bursting with confidence and become Superman or Wonder Woman. You’re going to take your existing skills and give them a small boost so that you can start to build upon them and turn them into big changes.

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Now there are probably many people thinking confidence is something you are born with and if you haven’t got it, then you haven’t got it and never will. That’s not true, confidence is something you acquire, through the things you do, who you have around you – supporting you and encouraging you, what beliefs you hold and how you view your experiences. As you learn, practice, take feedback, experience more, you gain more confidence because as we have previously stated you become more competent, and you can draw upon these previous experiences.

Equally there are situations or occasions where you are more confident than in others. Go back to your Confidence Star and think about the scores you wrote down; are there areas you feel more confident? If you were born with no confidence, would it not be the case that all areas would score zero? And yet, it is highly unlikely you have scored zero for all sections? In the nature/nurture debate, confidence is one of those areas that fits in the nurture side, it is something you can learn, develop and change…which is a bonus for us because it means that if we are wanting a boost in confidence then we can do something about it. As you change over time, so does your confidence.

If your Confidence Star highlights areas in which you feel your confidence is lower, then what is really going on here? What are the real issues at play and how might you address those? Use the results from the Confidence Star to help you decide which areas to focus upon and what needs to change in your life.

Take tiny steps to change how confident you feel. Just think, if you were just 10 % more confident in the areas where your attention needs to go, what difference would this make in the number of opportunities you come across, the number of connections you make, the possibilities or solutions which would be present? How would a 10% boost in your confidence change your world now and over time? What would be different for you?

Boost your confidence by:

  • Developing your self-belief. Use your confidence from some areas of your life and transfer this to the areas where you are not as confident. After all, you are the same person, it is only the context or environment that is different. Accept who you are and who you can become and believe you are a confident person.
  • The past only determines your future if you allow it to. Use your past successes to help you grow your confidence today.
  • Put the work in and practice. Don’t forget the link between confidence, competence and success. You would not have got this far in life if you had none of these.
  • Gain support and learn from others who project confidence.
  • Act and speak with confidence and see what happens.

Remember, you are not born confident, it is something you gain as you grow. Don’t hide in the shadows, shine bright and be the star of your show.

I Should Be So Lucky

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Just to be clear, I am not a Kylie Minogue fan, but if I say the word lucky, this is what immediately pops into my head, such is the pervasive nature of this type of pop song. And how many of you now have the next part of the chorus going around in your head?

Anyway, yesterday's blog was all about success, but some people believe that you must be lucky to achieve success. Are you one of those people who believe you are either lucky or you're not and it is fate that rules whether you achieve success, or you don't? Do you ever wonder why other people are lucky but you're not? The official definition is 'having good things happen to you by chance'. But what would happen if you could influence the game of chance?

In today's blog, I am going to breakdown what lucky actually means and shift perspective, to question our attitudes and beliefs which contribute to how lucky we are.

There is a saying, "you create your own luck in this world". Here’s how we do that.

L - Location: It is true that being lucky is about being in the right place at the right time but, you must put yourself there in the first place. If you are looking for a new job, you are the one that is doing the search on the internet, applying for it and going to the interview. If you're wanting a new partner, you're the one who must go out on dates. Whether it is attending craft fairs to sell the items you have made, presenting webinars, going to networking events, seminars, training events, you are being present, right where you need to be in that moment, giving yourself a far greater chance of achieving the success you strive for than being sat at home doing nothing, waiting for something to change or happen.

 U - Understanding: This covers several different areas. Firstly, understanding what your strengths are, what areas need further improvement. Recognising and understanding what opportunities are worth pursuing and which aren't worth the time nor effort. Understanding that there is more than one way to achieve your goals; it is important to have the awareness to take on board any feedback you receive as you work towards your goals and to be flexible in how you adapt to challenges. It is also necessary to understand and accept that whilst you might have all your steps mapped out from A to B, the way there might actually be wrong for you at that moment in time. Understand how you might be getting in your own way of achieving your goals and creating your future life.

C - Connections: Who are you spending your time with? Consider we are the average of the 5 people we spend our time with, are you spending your time with people who hold you back, drain your energy, are toxic or don't believe in you? Or are you spending your time with people who stretch you, encourage you to grow, give their support and who energise you? Do you have the right kind of connections in your life right now who will give you attention, but who will also receive attention from you? If you haven't, then what is stopping you from connecting more with people? How are you showing up in the world so that people see you? The more you connect with people, the more opportunities you have for sharing, learning and developing. The world does not work by doing everything yourself so build more and deeper connections, seeking out relationships which encourage collaboration. A good network can provide each other with support through the bad times and be there to celebrate the good.

K - Knowledge: I am a firm believer in that you can never stop learning and you can never have enough knowledge. Investing time and money into building your knowledge base will never go to waste. Knowledge is power, not in negative, destructive or controlling sense but in the fact of it giving you more choice in the direction you want to take your life.

Y - You: Everything comes down to you. You choose what changes you are going to make, and if a changed is forced upon you, then you are the one that makes a choice on how to respond to that change. The goals you set are your goals, they are not for anyone else. Yes, others may benefit from you being successful in your goals, but they should be for you primarily. The work you put in and the actions you make are your choice and in this, the results you get are your responsibility. You choose what mindset you have, are you going to follow a mindset where you always see the worst in everything, where failure is inevitable, and you have no control over your life? Or are you going to have a mindset where you grow, accepting that failure is just a perception and a natural way to learn and develop? It might also create further options or better opportunities. How might your attitudes and beliefs either push you forward or hold you back? And knowing that luck is a combination of location, your understanding, your connections and knowledge, what are you now going to do? It is your mindset that determines how you view the world and your place in it, the choices you make, the actions you take and just how lucky you really are.

And here’s a thought…if Kylie had known all this and put her dreams into action, instead of being stuck in her imagination and doing nothing, maybe she would have been luckier in love…Who knows?

Now, go create your own luck and see what happens.

What is Success?

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Be honest, when you think of the word success, what springs to mind? In today's world, I think a large percentage of the responses would be linked to money. However, success is much more than that. The Oxford Dictionary definition includes '1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. 2. The attainment of fame, wealth or social status. 3. The good or bad outcome of an undertaking." What would your definition be?

Whilst spending the day training, and knowing the theme of today's blog, my thoughts often drifted to what I considered to be success and how success comes about. There are several aspects necessary for success; clarity, preparation, context and expectations.

Clarity:

By clearly defining your outcome or goal, it will be more achievable. Don't start anything without first knowing what your aim is. there must be a high degree of clarity or what the end result is. What is the actual outcome by which you are measuring success or by which you are satisfied success has been attained?

What are the criteria by which you are judging the success? If you are not clear, then how will you know you have achieved the outcome you have been striving for? A lack of clarity also leads to confusion. Confusion leads to overwhelm and inaction.

Preparation:

The Chinese Philosopher, Confucius says

 "In all things, success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure."

There is something in this I feel because there must be some preparation and planning before you implement a set of actions and behaviours.

Success is like taking a car journey. If you want to get to somewhere you have never been before, there is no point in just getting in the car and driving around aimlessly. You need to have some idea of where you want to so, otherwise how will you know you are going in the right direction or what is to stop you from driving around in circles, ending up back where you started or getting lost?

If you wanted to get from A to B, you'd set the details into your sat nav or look on Google Maps first to get a route. You'd make sure the car was capable of such a journey and had enough petrol in it to get you there. Maybe you'd want to check out where you'd stop off for a bite to eat; and this is even before you set off driving. Would all this preparation be a waste, or it is necessary in order to arrive where you need to be? And, if something then happened along the way, your previous skills and experiences would help you to navigate the challenge or respond accordingly.

Context:

What you consider success in one context might not be in another at the same moment in time. Success, therefore, needs to be defined clearly for each context.

Recognise that success is achieved in, and at, various stages. In some instances, there is a definite end point, but for others, it is a process, a series of micro successes that are constantly evolving. Success can be more fluid and maybe then it is more about the journey, and the feeling this generates, rather than the destination. This comes back to what your definition of success is. Is it a finite point where you declare, "I am a success” or is process where success is not measured by a grand end point but is a series of achievements along the way?

Expectations:

When it comes to determining our success, in whatever context, it is worth taking into consideration your expectations. Be realistic about what can be achieved in the timescale you have. For example, I could not get Mason to walk in a perfect heel position with a 10-minute training session, it would be totally unrealistic. Just like if you build a house, you'd have to dig out and put in the foundations. Then the completion of the house comes together brick by brick. Success is a culmination of multiple actions rather than an immediate gain.

Today, it is easy to readily associate success to fame and wealth because we are constantly bombarded via social media with messages of someone being famous, their success being defined by their celebrity status, and it is almost made out that this has all happened in an instant. But success is something more than the number of followers you have or the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is getting out of bed in a morning when you don't want to face the world. It is helping your children figure out their homework. Asking someone out on a date, and if they say yes, it's a double success. Or maybe it is getting a promotion, setting yourself and challenge and sticking to it, solving a Rubik’s Cube (epic failure where I am concerned, nod to my sister who can do it in quick time). And in my case this weekend, it is seeing Mason doing a few twists/turns and taking a few steps walking to heel.

Success is unique. Success is individual. Success is whatever you say it is.