How to Build Confidence in a Sustainable Way?
What do you bank on to build confidence?
Compliments? or Impediments?
Clients saying they are pleased with the proposal. Manager saying he/she is pleased to see the project outcome. Team saying they are inspired by the approach.
are all compliments. Compliments make us feel good. Enjoy it.
At the same time, it is important to know about the nature of compliments.
Compliments are subject to
🤔 opinions, the mood of others
🧩 communication style
Compliments are transient. The saying, ‘a pat on the back is only a few inches away from a kick in the pants’ is true.
So banking on something that can change and is difficult to control isn’t the best way to augment confidence.
A challenge is simply a situation where we see some impediments.
Taking the approach of reflecting on impediments we have overcome is better as this keeps us in a learning mindset along with giving a boost of self-belief.
Here are some self-coaching questions whether or not compliments have come your way after a project, presentation, win.
☆ What did I do better than previously?
☆ What aspect of my personality has changed with this experience?
☆ What would I do differently if I had to do this again?
☆ What has this experience taught me?
Enjoy compliments if they have come by, at the same time extract the essence of your experience to augment your confidence.
The 4 T’s to power Trust in oneself
How many times have you thought?
I want to do it but don't think I can I don't think this is my cup of tea but I wish it was I want to take this up, but what if I can't do it
These thoughts of lack of trust in oneself slow us or even stop us from working on goals like building new skills/ starting a new venture / implementing a new idea / changing something, etc.
Alternatively, when we trust ourselves, it is like giving us a key to open doors of abilities, possibilities, opportunities. Sometimes people lose trust in themselves after a mistake or after being criticized. Sometimes, they might be more prone to criticizing their own decisions after they make them. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are.
Trusting oneself is such an important step for self-development and growth. When we don’t trust ourselves, we are unwilling to test ourselves. When we don’t test ourselves, we remain unrealized.
All of us want to be our Best Self in life. There is unrealized potential in every one of us.
Trusting yourself builds confidence, and the good news is that even if you don’t trust yourself now, with some effort you can build up that trust over time
Building trust in yourself can help boost decision-making skills and self-confidence. This can make life feel a little easier and much more enjoyable.
Here are 4 T’s to power Trust
Every step can be made more effective with deep breathing, so remember to take few breaths in before you try them.
The first step is to take up the task, action. No doubt that the mind will pose excuses not to take up. To be able to navigate these excuses, simplify it
What are the various things that need to be done? Which action am I willing to start with? Can I get any sort of help to make a start?
Turning up is the most important step. It is here that the fear of not being able to do will be strongest. Just turning up itself is a huge step towards powering trust.
Make sure to mentally prepare for the task before actually doing it Think through it, plan it, Imagine doing it. If you are someone who imagines the worst possible outcome, replace it with imagining the best. Manage your imagination and what you permit yourself to imagine. Imagination is a useful tool to recreate ourselves
Once you turn up, tune into yourself. Scan your body to understand how you feel, become aware of any emotions that make you unsure, fearful. Tackle it by letting yourself be the best you can be at the moment. Remember, by turning up you have already done something different from usual.
Turn back is simply about looking back to appreciate the effort and outcomes, and also learn from the experience. The importance of this step can’t be over-emphasized. By recognizing ourselves for doing something different from usual is a step forward towards strengthening self-confidence.
Anything easy is not worth pursuing
With due respect for all the work each of us does, it is also true that growth happens only when we break the easy-peasy bubble.
The 4 steps for powering trust in oneself may seem like an effort and unreal at the start, but it is something that works and will start to become automatic when done repeatedly.
These articles are based on the life experiences of several of my clients who have worked on trusting themselves by doing small and simple steps consistently.
Can’t to Can – 3 steps to drop the ‘t’
Are you someone who finds it difficult to start/continue working on your goal?
Does the phrase, ‘I can’t do it‘ lurk in your mind every time you want to start?
The word Can is within the word Can’t
Yet, sometimes we are unable to move from Can’t to Can.
The truth is, sometimes the things we can’t YET do come in the way and that prevents us from even attempting what we can.
The other truth is, there is always something we can do towards our goal, no matter however small.
Every Step Matters!
Starting with What we can do sets us up to be able to do What we thought we can’t do.
Most of us know this. However, it is easier said than done. Is there a way one can shift from knowing to doing?
To shift from Can’t to Can, we have to drop the ‘t’
Here are the 3 ‘t’s based on my own experience and from the experience of my clients.
Being Tentative makes us unsure. Drop this ‘t’ and replace it with Assertiveness
Example : I will try to go for a walk - Tentative I will go for a walk - Assertive
When we think we can’t do something, we choose to do something else instead. Drop this ‘t’ and replace it with Commitment
Example : I won’t spend time on what’s easy to do unless I do this small step I can do today towards my goal
What stops us from doing what we can on any given day could be the worry of a timeline that seems impossible to meet
Drop this ‘t’ and replace it with Empowerment
Example : By doing this small step, I feel more connected to my goal Every step helps me learn and grow
By applying these steps to each thing we can do, we can make sure-shot progress each day.
By dropping the 3 ’t’s and replacing them with Assertiveness, Commitment, and Empowerment, we can move forward to ACE our goals
The beautiful thing about mindset is that once we become aware and consciously change what stops us, we become unstoppable!
Drawing Boundaries is a step towards Boundlessness – 4 step process
Have you had conflicts with friends or family members due to your likes or dislikes?
When something we like becomes an obsession, it is called craving. Likewise, when something we dislike causes stress it is called an aversion.
Likes and dislikes are so embedded within that we may not even pick up that they have turned to an extreme which is craving or aversion.
Here are some tips for knowing if you have a craving or aversion
- Unable to stop thinking about the thing or situation you like or dislike
- Urge to constantly explain your point of view
- Intense emotions of anger, frustration when it comes to letting go or toning down
If you observe that any likes or dislikes you have cause you to experience any of the above, it may be time to set the balance right.
Things can be set right by learning to draw boundaries. Setting a boundary allows us to value relationships more than our own likes and dislikes. It is a temporary phase to heal, reset, and reconnect.
The reality is by not setting boundaries, we overcompensate for the stretch.
By consciously drawing boundaries, we can work on ourselves to expand, deal with the situation differently, i.e, allow ourselves a step towards boundlessness
Boundlessness is the ability to expand or alter one’s own personal limits in a way that is conducive, at the time when we are ready. Through this, we can be more of ourselves with everyone around us.
Here is a 4 step process that I have found to be very useful and effective. In my work as a coach, I have also found that my clients arrive at something similar after they reflect and realise that they want to change.
To make it easy to remember, let’s use the word DRAW as the mnemonic
Step-1 : D – Develop interest to reflect on your day
Just the intent to want to self-reflect is a way forward. Take few mins at the end of the day to ask yourself some questions
Did I have any moments of losing my cool or being frustrated today? Were there moments related to a like or dislike of mine? Is it a pattern related to the same context?
Step-2: R – Re-evaluate to validate
Without jumping to conclusions, re-evaluate the scenario. With the armour of self-awareness, step into the scenario being aware of how you feel and react when it comes to your likes and dislikes in the presence of others who influence you. Some self-coaching questions could be
How would it be if I were to tone down my likes? How would it be if I were to let go my dilike? What are some thoughts that come to me when I consider this?
Step-3: A – Adjust behaviour
Here is the crux. Altering behaviour is not easy. It requires conscious steps and consistent effort. If you find that you are swinging to craving or aversion, are you willing to draw a boundary? Some self-coaching questions could be
When I think of making a choice diffrerent from the usual, how do I feel? What is a small step I am willing to take towards this outcome? What benefit can the change bring me and to others?
Step-4: W – Widen
Appreciate yourself for making changes. Observe how that is working and slowly continue to take steps towards what feels right and rewarding. Some self-coaching questions could be
What was the first order consequence of my action on my emotions and those close to me? How do I continue to balance and make this conducive for all those involved?
With these steps, you will find that you can take steps towards expanding your own personal limits for your likes and dislikes in a way that is most conducive for you.
Boundlessness is a beautiful state which allows us to explore more about ourselves.
Drawing temporary boundaries allow us to keep what matters most, i.e., relationships, while we grow and flourish
The MIRROR method to being Transparent
Transparency, i.e., openness and honesty is a quality we all value. What does it take to be transparent? The best way to understand this is by turning the spotlight onto ourselves.
Being Transparent with others starts with being Transparent with oneself.
By being transparent with ourselves, we can gain a deeper sense of the stories we tell ourselves which drive our behaviour.
“Every game in life is actually played on a 6-inch ground – the space between the two ears”, said Martina Navratilova.
We live in our minds. By keeping this area uncluttered, we can apply ourselves freshly to any situation.
Here is the MIRROR method for being more transparent.
A prerequisite for using this method is curiosity for self-development and willingness for self-management
Step-1: M – Monitor
It is easy to monitor others, but it takes a bit of practice to become aware of one’s own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Monitoring here is about making a mental note of times in the day when we feel unnatural. Body language and sensations in the body are good indicators of how natural we are.
Naturalness is a state when we are self-confident, stable. This is the state when transparency shines, on the contrary when we are not natural, it is difficult to be open, honest.
Learning to observe oneself is a skill worth developing
Step-2: I – Isolate
Take time to pause and be with yourself. This is valuable and often taken lightly.
Find a space in your day when you can disconnect and just be with yourself.
Step-3: R – Reflect
Ask yourself some reflective questions about what you noted about your day. The objective of this reflection is to understand yourself better.
Some Self-coaching questions could be: What made me think or act in a certain way? Is there something I would like to change about my response the next time?
Step-4: R – Reconsider
This step is simply about rethinking the scenario from a perspective that best serves your state of mind.
Some Self-coaching questions could be: Do I want to think or act differently? How might it help me if I am able to apply myself differently?
Step-5: O – Organise
It is one thing to know something, it’s another thing to be able to do something different. This step is to work on yourself. Rewiring the brain requires intent, effort, and patience.
Some Self-coaching questions could be: What will it take to apply myself differently? What small steps am I willing to take to change how I feel?
Talking to coaches, mentors is a great way to re-organize one’s thoughts and actions.
Step-6: R – Reapply
The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. The real effectiveness of something can only be determined by putting it to the test by trying or using it.
Reapply here simply means to take initiative to do the steps identified.
Progress is Perfection in the journey of Self-management
Patience, Perseverance, and Self-compassion are the 3 pillars when it comes to any learning. More so when it comes to self-management as this learning is only evident to the person in question until the change in behaviour becomes evident to others.
Here is a ready reckoner.
Enjoy the MIRROR process, use it as many times as you need to master the Art of Transparency.