Friday, 16 March 2012

More (not so simple) ways to be Confident

Many of my clients come to me not just for more confidence but also to learn new skills in being assertive, speaking up and increasing their energy and motivation levels.

A common concern is being scared to speak out, either in a meeting or in a social gathering. I have witnessed this many times over myself when I have been at a party or a networking event and find myself being the one that always tries to get people to open up by asking lots of questions and generally being interested, or to join in on any debates, discussions etc.

I have never worried about whether I am knowledgeable enough, being totally content to ask questions for clarity or to say 'Don't know much about that, tell me more'. People love to talk about their area of expertise. However, to not know anything much about anything at all, is not really acceptable if you want to be interesting to others and feel confident.

So I repeat the 10 simple ways to get more Confidence after this next session, which is not so simple to adopt!

  • Read a newspaper regularly, either on the web or the paper variety. Listen to the news and keep up to date with what is going on in the world
  • Pick the subjects that interest you and find out more by researching, watching programmes or reading books
  • Keep up to date with government policy and discuss with others if they agree or not, and why? Don't be afraid to learn from others. We can't know everything! but also make your own mind up by looking at all the facts
  • Keep up to date with your own profession. 1 hour per week is minimum for ongoing development and learning
  • Get a coach and at least read self development books or listen to audio
  • Set your self goals and write an action plan to achieve the one that is top priority. Review, reflect and celebrate achievement
  • Ask your boss what you can do to get that promotion. Get clarity on their expectations and find out where you can upskill to progress in work?
  • Get yourself a brand new hobby that you always wanted to do and to hell with if you're that good at it!
  • Volunteer work - meet people you would not normally associate with and learn how others live
  • Pick a theme each year on something new you will do that takes you outside of your comfort zone
  • Praise other people all the time. You will be rewarded in so many ways if this becomes a habit.

And to repeat:

10 quick and practical methods to increase your confidence:

    Smile loads! Smile when you meet people and generally be happier even if you’re not feeling that way.

   Learn from the past but don't dwell on that which you can't change. You could even ask yourself 'What was good about that?' for a great reframe of the situation.

 Buy yourself some new clothes, get your hair done, treat yourself to something new. I know you won't need too much encouragement from me on that one!

 Are you prepared for situations? Are you prepared enough to meet any challenge that may come up? Are you prepared for that networking event, that presentation, meeting someone for the first time? If not, get to it.

Play to your strengths. Expose yourself to what you are good at, at every opportunity. Improve your weaknesses and put a plan in place to improve them in time.

Don't be a people-pleaser! Learn how to say no to people, when you really want to. After you’ve said it the first time, there will be no going back. 

 Be in charge of your thoughts at all times. If you’re thinking negative thoughts, you’re probably asking a negative question or focusing on the problem rather than the solution. Change the question to a more positive one.

Whenever you feel stressed ask 'is this really important in the grand scheme of things?' If you're having to make a tough decision, ask yourself how each of the options affect the next 10 hours, 10 days 10 months etc. (I call this my 10/10 rule).

At the end of each day list your achievements and successes throughout that day. Acknowledging them before you ask 'What could I have done better?' is a great discipline.

Every morning when you’re in the shower, visualise your day as though it was already a success. Visualise success and the relevant confidence and it will be so.

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