How do we perceive confident people and what do we think about our own esteem? Our understanding of personal confidence and esteem is greatly affected by our cultural and family environment. It is true that not all cultures treat confident people with appreciation. Moreover, not all educational systems encourage and promote confidence and esteem in school children. Yet, when we embark on our professional career, confidence becomes one of the key qualities employers, colleagues and business partners look for in you.
The good news is that we can boost our confidence and esteem. There are dozens of exercises, recommendations and techniques that can help us to improve our perception of ourselves and of the reality around us. Such techniques and exercises can boost various spheres of life. In this article we have decided to focus on the three principles, which help to increase confidence and esteem. Each principle is accompanied by simple but workable exercise.
It’s ok to make a mistake!
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Actually, if you think about it, these are not mistakes, these are our learning experiences. Everything depends on our perception of each given situation! If we allow ourselves to treat our mistakes as learning experience, we end up developing a powerful strategy for the future, which helps us to move forward. If, on the contrary, perceive it as a real mistake, a fault, - we are in danger of getting stuck and blocked by it.
Ray Dalio, a famous American investor, self-made billionaire, owner of one of the largest hedge funds and philanthropist, has invented a winning formula: “pain/failure + reflection = progress.” The meaning of this formula in essence goes down to the realization that we can succeed and grow professionally only if we can honestly and objectively assess not only our strengths but also our weaknesses, instead of taking a defensive position. In other words, what we need to do is to make a detailed analysis of a painful situation and decide what can we do differently to deal with a similar situation in a different way next time it presents to us. This is a way of learning. In fact, failures and mistakes are an important part of the process of learning and of personal improvement.
How can we change our perception of potential mistakes? Here is a simple exercise:
On a piece of paper write down your ‘mistake.’ Now, look at it properly and try to find something positive in it or something, which may help you to avoid stepping in the same river twice.
Find your inner support!
It is true that we all seek the acknowledgment of our achievements by others. What is more important, however, is to learn to value our own achievements, without the need for general attention and recognition.
Tony Robbins, a well-known writer and life coach, always encourages participants of his seminars: “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” Everybody knows how to complain and want others to find workable solutions. But this is not the way to succeed in life and career. Yes, we need to identify the problems, but we should invest in searching for solutions, instead of simply complaining. Only in this way can we achieve our victories. Even if it is a tiny and insignificant victory and nobody else knows about it except us. Still, this victory brings more satisfaction and learning experience than any fruitless complaints.
How can we increase our personal value in our own eyes?
One way is to write a Diary of My Success. What we need to do is to write in our diary at least 10 daily achievements. What is important is to do this on a daily basis. Try to list as many achievements as possible, even if they seem to be insignificant! Just think about it: the things, which normally disappoint us are also quite insignificant (somebody gave us an unfriendly look, somebody said something unpleasant). If such tiny things can spoil our mood, some other tiny things can brighten it up!
Just do it!
Sometimes we find it difficult to move on, to become active, to make a step. In some situations, we are inclined to overthink instead of to act. Yet, no results can be achieved by overthinking. What prevents us from undertaking actions? Maybe we are unsatisfied by what we are doing? Then, we need to look for our passion. Confidence can only be reached through actions. Overthinking leads to stillness.
We all know Oprah Winfrey, a brilliant talk show host, media executive and television producer. This strong and charismatic woman has had a challenging life experience behind her, which makes her advice on how to deal with difficulties ever more powerful and relevant. Her recipe is: “The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, 'What is the next right move?' Not think about, 'Ooh, I got all of this to figure out.' What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move and the next right move ... then you won't be overwhelmed by it, because you know your life is bigger than that one moment.”
What should we do when we don’t know what to do?
Well, we need to imagine that we know what to do and do just this. Or we can imagine someone we trust and ask ourselves what this person would do if they end up in a similar situation?
As we can see, we can learn to be confident at any stage of our lives. A bit of reflection and simple exercises can help us on this way. If you feel, however, that your lack of confidence or self-esteem has deeper roots and needs some friendly help and advice, you can always get in touch with Anna. Here, in Gross Leadership we are happy to help you!
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…”
(W. Shakespeare, As You Like It)
We believe that each and every one of us is not only a leading actor but first and foremost a writer of our own destiny. Overwhelmed by life events, we may unintentionally forget that we are the sole playwrights of our own lives. We may even unwittingly drop or lose the thread of our unfolding life story. Then, we start questioning ourselves and let others do the writing for us. Doesn’t this happen to all of us occasionally? The best thing we can do is to resume the leadership as soon as we can: only we should write the play of our life!
With the renewed confidence and new skills, we design new perspectives. Coaching and training are the best instruments we use to achieve this goal.