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Creating Confidence in Every Conversation

confidence

Think of a recent social or business gathering you attended. Who were the people that you were drawn to? I bet that they were the ones who exuded confidence. You probably remember them well because these people radiate a warmth and enthusiasm that magnetized others toward them. People with an authentic, confident approach are comfortable in many environments and see networking situations as expansion opportunities, while less confident people often hide in the background or stick closely to people they know.

If you are lacking authentic confidence and its showing up in your business interactions; you are not alone. We all yearn to have confidence; to feel empowered by simply being ourselves. Yet the truth is everyone can use a confidence boost every once and a while. Confidence is not something you achieve and then hold perfectly in place forever. Here are a few tips to help you cultivate and project confidence and master any conversation you’re in.

Cultivating Authentic Confidence

1. Nothing to Prove.
The moment you stop trying to prove yourself to others is the moment real confidence can begin to grow.  As people, we are all on equal footing and as you embrace the concept of nothing to prove, you will feel a release of pressure – the pressure that comes from trying to meet the expectations of others. As you embrace and build your own blend of talents, and pursue the things you love to do, others will marvel and want to know your secret.  

2. Do What You Love.
If you’re looking to build confidence, there is nothing better than doing the things that make you feel confident. Understanding and playing to your strengths is the best way to do so. Your body and your brain both LOVE IT when you indulge in the things you were designed to do. In return, they will reward you with magnetic energy and a level of competence that people can’t help but admire.

3. Have a Routine of Positive Self-Talk.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, positive affirmations can really change your presence. Give yourself positive messages that remind you of your strengths, talents and successes. Here are some simple positive self-talk tips to try.

Project Authentic Confidence

Cultivating real confidence is the goal, and yet it can be just as important to fake-it-while-you-make-it.  Here are a few easy-to-implement tips that will get you showing up with charm and poise.

1. Smile.
One trait of confident people is that they aren’t afraid to smile – with their mouth and their eyes. This act creates positive energy within you, so even when you feel nervous, it doesn’t show on your face. This, in turn, exudes confidence as you talk to others.

2. Show Interest.
People with confidence care about others. Take the focus off yourself and put it on others by asking thoughtful questions and listening with interest.

3. Be Still.
It’s common to fidget with your hands, especially when you’re nervous. However, that is a clear sign to others that you aren’t confident in what you’re saying and/or doing. To refrain from doing this, consider keeping your focus on your breathing, instead. This helps relax your overall nerves and limits any fidgeting.

New situations can make anyone feel a bit anxious and uncertain. By applying these simple tips, you will be on your way to feeling less nervous, more empowered, and more confident.

Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of leaders and have helped many to discover their unique talents and use them in their everyday work to elevate performance, improve relationships and eliminate stress. If you want to be more confident and more successful, I can help. Schedule a FREE strategy call with me and we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to show up confidently in every conversation. Click here to sign up for a time slot.

Believe It or Not, Success and Happiness Requires a “No”

commitment

Are you the kind of person who says “yes” to things before you know if you have the time and energy for them?  If so, you’re in good company. Lots (and lots) of people make commitments they probably shouldn’t. They do it for reasons that make sense in the moment…they want to help, don’t want to be a disappointment, feel the need to prove something, FOMO (fear of missing out) or just plain old fear of saying “no,” and suffering a negative consequence. Most often, we say “yes,” with good intentions, an easily delivered commitment makes us look and feel good in the moment. Yet what if it really does the opposite? What if I told you that your freely given “yes,” might actually be the thing standing in the way of your own personal success?

A “yes” is a promise – and overpromising can have negative consequences throughout your life, including limiting your career. Nobody wants to disappoint others, yet trying to do everything asked of you and please all your stakeholders all the time will lead to burnout and mediocrity. Overcommitment can also lead to deeply rooted feelings of insecurity, resent, stress and insufficiency.

Improper commitment has negative consequences. I’ve highlighted just a few examples below, yet the list is really limitless…

  • A “yes” to the wrong thing…
    • Steals time away from doing the right things.
    • Takes more energy for you to complete.
    • Creates stress and frustration.
  • A “yes” for the wrong reason can…
    • Lead to resentment that can interfere with a healthy relationship.
    • Create a situation which highlights a weakness.
    • Leave you with unmet expectations.
  • Too many “yesses” at work and…
    • Label you as tactical, not strategic – limits advancement.
    • Not enough time for self, family and friends – creates guilt, isolation and stress.
    • No ability to focus – making it difficult to deliver your commitments on time, target and budget.
    • You let people down – building a reputation as nice, yet unreliable.

Time is a resource we say we value, yet give away without regard. Let’s change that. When you begin making commitments with real consideration for all of the implications, a lot of positive things begin to happen for you. You FEEL better about your commitments, you spend more time doing the things you actually WANT to do, you have ENERGY for your tasks, you have TIME to think, your family and friends get a BETTER, less frazzled slice of your time. Over time, a steady habit of healthy promises gives your career a competitive edge, too. You become more personally confident and trustworthy to others. People trust you for important things and you become a trusted advisor to your boss, team members, clients and team.

Commitment is a good and healthy thing, you simply want to focus your commitments on the ideal activities, events and people. So the key becomes knowing what to say yes to and how to say no when you have to…or want to.

Determining what to say “no” to is the most important step. First and foremost, always give yourself time to reflect before making a commitment. It can be five minutes, five hours or five days depending on the size of the request – just build a habit of giving yourself space from the requestor – literally get out of their presence so you can process the request and respond optimally. Build up a repertoire of phrases like these:

  • Neutral –  “Let me think through that for a minute and I’ll let you know if I can commit.”
  • Positive lean – “I’d like to do that, give me time to double check my commitments and I’ll confirm whether I can or not by…X time.”
  • Negative lean – “I believe I am already booked, however let me double check my commitments and see if I can help.”

Getting clear on what constitutes an ideal “yes” may take some time at first, yet it really isn’t hard. Even better, it’s kind of fun to think of what you will say “no” to. I am a reformed over-committer, and when I started building up a better habit; I was at a point where I didn’t have a whole lot of options – and with that kind of “permission,” making the choices were really easy. About five years ago I received a cancer diagnosis and I knew immediately that a.) it was a yellow light, not a red one. And b.) I needed to make some strategic choices – fast.  As a business owner and coach, I literally couldn’t afford to take months off to get healthy. Instead, I had to genuinely value my time and make the most of it so that I could attend my responsibilities AND get healthy. It took me about 30 minutes to decide what (and who) stayed and what went. I graduated clients who didn’t need me anymore, I cluster booked the rest so that I only worked alternating weeks, I reduced all non-essential commitments and I created time for family, friends and health. As I made these changes, I wrote out the pros and cons of the decisions and made each into a permission slip – I called them my Pink Permission Slips – the things I wanted to do and the things I didn’t.  Here’s the wonderful thing: I went about executing my changes and no one pushed back, no one even asked why I was no longer as flexible or available as I once was and no one knew I had cancer.  This was a powerful lesson for me; I thought I would need to play the “cancer card,” but I didn’t.  So I am passing this jewel on to you that you may shine brightly doing the things you love — you don’t need to have cancer or be ill in order to make value-oriented decisions about your time.

“All you need is to decide what to do with the time that is given to you.” Gandalf, LOTR.

10 Tips on how to reach your goals

So, you’ve determined your vision and wrote out what you plan to achieve. Great! You’re on the right track toward reaching your goals!

You might be thinking, “What’s next?” That’s the easiest part! Wondering how? Well, now that you know what you want, you’ve got to stick to it. Consistency is always key.

Follow these Ten Tips to stay on track with your goals:

 

  1. Envision and Document! Really form what you want to achieve in life and then write it out as if you have already achieved it. Make sure your goals are significant to you. They should cause enthusiasm when you think about them. It has been proven that people who write out their goals are ten times more likely to achieve them than those who didn’t. Once you write them out, keep them out where you can see them so they serve as a reminder of what you are working toward.
  2. Expect Obstacles and Plan to Overcome Them Take some time to think about some of the obstacles you will face and write out plans for overcoming them. Studies have shown that preparing for challenges will increase your ability to stick to your goals. Then, when you hit the bumps in the road, you’ll know exactly what to do and you wont be caught off guard.
  3. Develop Positive Thinking and Feelings – Think about how you will feel when you finally accomplish your goals. Your goals need to be “wants.” Wants are something you desire. These are your goals, not somebody else’s. It will help you feel more excited for your goals if you know you are doing it for yourself, and yourself only.
  4. Visualize Success – In order for you to reach it, you need to see yourself reaching your goals. What this does it create room for the Law of Attraction to help in your success. Always keep your eye on the prize. Simply put, the LOA is the ability to attract whatever we are focusing on, into our lives. If you can see it, you can do it!
  5. Vision Board Creation – Create a vision board of what your goals may look like to you so you can be reminded of how close you are to reaching them. Even something as simple as using your computer screen as a vision board by having images that inspire you toward your goals.
  6. Get Support – Join a support group! Or, create your own group! There are even ways to enlist others to help you and report your progress. Reporting your progress to friends, or a support system, increases your odds of staying on track of, and accomplishing, your goals!
  7. Forgive Yourself and Learn to Let it Go – If you take two steps back, it is okay. It’s bound to happen from time to time. One off day, or off week, is not going ruin your success – unless you let it. Researchers call it the “What the Hell” You should always plan for obstacles and how you’ll get back on track as part of your “Expect Obstacles and Plan to Overcome Them” plan.
  8. Track Your Progress – Keep track of how you are doing. It’s important to know how far you have come to be able to see any type of progress.
  9. Routines to Help Set Yourself Up for Success– Try to stay on track with doing things that will help you reach your goal. It is best to schedule them in the first part of your day to ensure they do actually get done. If you begin to fall behind on your routines, it is okay – the important part if to get back into the rhythm of things sooner than later.
  10. Celebrate Little Successes Along the Way – Reward yourself for wins along the way. This is another good reason to track your progress! Big goals can have mini-goals or activities along the way and you should always celebrate your accomplishments. Remember, you are working toward your goals to make your life better. That’s a cause for celebration!

 

These 10 tips are available to help increase your chance of success and make the process more fun for you! Give yourself sometime to create your goals and don’t try to rush the process. Enjoy it.

Remember: slow and steady, you’ll win the race!