In my last article I wrote about the five reasons I often encounter when my clients dig deep into what is holding them back from achieving their goals. We refer to this as lack of confidence in our own abilities and fear of success. The reasons as to why we feel that way and methods to shut off the voice that says, “Who are you kidding?” have been the subject of numerous books and articles. It is also one of the reasons therapists, healers, and coaches like me exist who can help others break through their barriers.
Here are three of my personal secrets that I use when working with creative entrepreneurs and women who want to improve their leadership skills and claim their lives back.
- Focus on your strengths.
One of my favorite tools is Myers-Briggs. It is a personality assessment that gently identifies a person’s innate strengths. Because it is the largest and longest-standing program for this purpose, there is a lot of data that supports its findings. All my private clients and leaders go through the assessment for two reasons: 1) so I can learn who they are and prepare information in a way that they will receive best; and 2) so my clients can understand themselves better. For example, instead of focusing on why you are not an extrovert, let’s focus on how you can make your introversion a selling point. And instead of wondering why not everyone thinks the same as we do (like in my case with my preference for systems and processes), we learn to shift our focus back to the people and find what works best for them. With awareness of what is and is not in our nature, we can present the best version of ourselves to the world.
- Recharge from your history.
Let’s face it—shit happens. It happens to all of us at some point. That’s just life being full of unexpected curveballs, tests, and challenges. If you’ve ever been hurt before, well then welcome to the club because we all have. Here is when I ask my clients to tell me about a time when they have been successful and felt good about themselves. And then I ask a simple question: “If you have succeeded before, what do you think your chances are of doing it again?”I ask this question because logically and truly there is absolutely no reason why you can’t repeat past successes! It makes zero sense for you to believe there are only failures in your future. Shift your focus to how you can get that positive mindset back so that your energy is directed toward your success instead of toward your worries.
- Feeling good comes from doing well.
My favorite. I learned this a very, very long time ago. You have to push yourself to your limits—and then sometimes beyond—to achieve anything worthwhile. It is virtually impossible to not feel great when you set a goal and finally reach it. Whatever that goal is for you, I want you to set it, stick to it, and do not give up until you are there. The trick here is to start with small goals, like a to-do list for today with only five tasks and then accomplish all of them (see Beate’s rule of 5). Or, instead of asking for a pay raise right away, start with scheduling weekly check-ins with your boss or simply deliver a short progress report to open that communication channel. Other ideas are to attend a single MeetUp, exercise one more time each week, or take one hour off for yourself. No matter what it is, set a small goal, achieve it, and pat yourself on the shoulder. Small steps lead to big leaps.
I hope you find these three tips helpful for boosting your confidence. And if you want to find out how to use the right language that will enlist more support from your family, friends, and co-workers, you will enjoy reading my book, Happy Woman Happy World. I am big on helping you to feel good about yourself. We are all just people, after all, and everybody needs a little help sometimes.