Building self confidence and self esteem is essential if you want to grow, move forward, shine your light and let the world see what you’re made of. Maybe you’ve been asking yourself “How do I build my self confidence?” or is there something you’ve always wanted to do but you’re not totally convinced that you can get there? Have you shared your goals with others only to hear that “It’ll never happen” or it “Won’t work” leaving your self belief more than just a smidgeon shaken and stirred. Perhaps you’re left wondering where your self confidence went and if you should just chuck in the towel right now. The good news is that you can build up your self esteem and increase your confidence. We show you how, in 4 easy peasy steps that will give you the right stuff to believe in yourself and show your fabulous stuff to the world.
Welcome to the third episode of The Positive Change Guru Podcast, the podcast for a positive community. We want you to be inspired, achieve your dreams and take action. Our mission is to help you achieve your goals and unleash your awesomeness by providing you with practical, actionable tools for positive change. So what better place to start than with the subject of our third episode, the imposter syndrome podcast all about feeling like a fake and how to overcome it. Let’s go! [Read more…]
You’re an Imposter. That’s right, you’re a fraud. Everything that you’ve ever achieved is down to dumb luck. You’ve blagged your way to where you are. How come nobody else has noticed except you? You’ve conned them all. Sound familiar? If you’re suffering from imposter syndrome you’re in good company. Research suggests 70% of us will experience the phenomena at some stage in our lives. Look around you, is it really true that everyone else is smarter than you? Perhaps they’re shiftily looking sideways in your direction and wondering the exact same thing? But how to get rid of that constant fear that you’re so fake? Imposter syndrome & how to beat it.
Saying ‘Yes’ at work when you want to say ‘No’? We all know what it’s like, you’re trying to make it to the next level on the career ladder and the temptation to say ‘Yes’ to everything can seem overwhelming.
Do you find yourself;
Burning the candle at both ends?
Wearing the long hours that you work like a badge of honour in the hope that somebody somewhere will notice?
Agreeing to take on additional work wondering how you’ll cope?
Putting your own work aside to help others?
Giving up your weekend to get that report completed?
Saying ‘Yes’ to others and ‘No’ to yourself?
If you answered yes, it’s a dilemma that resonates with us all.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the ‘Yes’ default. We know from research in the field of neuroscience that when we encounter stress we can experience what Dan Goleman refers to as an ‘amygdala hijack’ a fight, flight or freeze scenario where the not so smart part of your brain takes over. It’s easy to panic and go straight to ‘Yes’ based on the fear that we’ll miss out if we don’t. However, there are only so many hours in the day when you’re already attempting the herculean feat of maintaining a precarious work life balance.
So how do you override an amygdala hijack and respond with a considered ‘No’ whilst remaining a contender for the next promotion? Saying no requires a balance of emotional intelligence, mindfulness and strategic career judgment, but what does that look like in real life?
The Mindful Quandary
Elad Levinson, Organisational Effectiveness Consultant calls this a ‘Mindful Quandary’ – the act of recognizing the tension between sacrificing health and happiness to achieve a strategic career trajectory. Levinson offers the following four questions as a checklist for whether to say ‘yea or nay’ to a request at work.
- Does saying ‘Yes’ to an assignment relate to the team/department/organisation’s goal? If it doesn’t this is the cue for dialogue with your manager about how saying ‘Yes’ can contribute to the overall goal of your team.
- Will my efforts have an impact towards something important in the future? This applies to your own future as much as the organisation’s. When you find yourself saying ‘Yes’ to everyone else’s’ requests stop for a moment and make sure that you are completing at least one task everyday that moves you towards one of your personal goals. We know this is one of the key differentiators for people who achieve personal success – they break goals down and move towards what they want every day.
- Will saying ‘Yes’ satisfy key people whom are important to your success? This isn’t about people pleasing or sucking up to your boss, but about building strategic alliances. When you say ‘Yes’ just to keep everyone else happy you’ll find that your own workload suffers and your motivation takes a nosedive as you become increasingly stressed. Work out how to say ‘No’ or ‘Yes, but not today’ on the basis of the strategic alliances you want and need to forge.
- Will saying ‘Yes’ showcase your talents? If it’s an opportunity to demonstrate your strengths then go for it. When you’re using your strengths and natural talents you are in ‘flow’, optimizing your performance.
Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson in their work on the VIA Strengths Assessment (www.authentichappiness.org) demonstrate how identifying and working with your strengths can increase your efficacy by up to 38% giving you a bump in performance that will get you noticed for the right reasons and give you maximum return on investment for your ‘Yes’ efforts. So the next time someone asks you for a favour, harness that mindful quandary to say no (or yes) and still win friends and influence those around you.
Feeling assertive? No? Well you’re not alone. On our Essential Assertiveness course we often hear the same thing from delegates. Reasons range from not wanting to hurt others to fear of being perceived as a tad machiavellian. If you can answer yes to the following questions, you may benefit from flexing your assertiveness muscles:
Do you worry about hurting others’ feelings if you’re assertive?
Is the path of least resistance your favourite route?
Are you afraid of being thought of as a bully?
Do you feel that there’s something not quite ‘nice’ about being assertive?
Are you afraid you’ll be disliked if you disagree?
Do you find it hard to say ‘No’
Are you constantly putting others first and yourself last?
Are you frustrated when you don’t speak up?
Feel you owe more to yourself than keeping quiet?
If you answered yes, there’s a good chance you need to keep calm, carry on and put the following tips into practice.
Step 1: Examine Your Beliefs About Assertiveness:
It’s time to make like Inspector Clouseau and work out where those beliefs about assertiveness come from. And then ask yourself if they’re really true. The next time you stop yourself from speaking up for any of the reasons outlined above. Stop. Pause and ask yourself;
Where’s the evidence? Am I 100% sure it’s true?
Look for alternatives. For example, before you say yes instead of no because you think others will think you’re being difficult, examine your thinking. Find an alternative response, a more effective way of thinking:
‘The other person will understand that I’m busy right now.” or “Other people say no and nobody minds. It’s ok for me too.”
Once you begin to question your thinking you’ll find that very few of our beliefs about ‘how things are’ in life are true. Other than we’re born, we die and we get taxed in between we can’t think of anything else that isn’t up for discussion!
Step 2: Prepare, prepare, prepare
Planning and preparation will stand you in good stead for those moments of amygdala hijack when your mind goes blank (it happens to the best of us). Try using a simple script to help you get your point across in difficult conversations. We love this easy, peasey example:
“When you…….” State clearly what happened.
“I feel…..” Let the other person know the impact of whatever has happened upon you using objective, neutral language.
“What would really help me is….” State what you would like them to do.
“How does that sound?” Check in with the other person to see if they’re on the same page.
Having a plan will stop you searching for words, ‘umming’ ‘erring’ and wondering how you’re going to get your view across.
Step 3: Give Yourself Permission & Believe You Can:
Self belief is the cornerstone of assertiveness. Work on your thinking, identify your beliefs (see step 1) and then commit to being assertive. Start practicing right now. Set yourself small assertiveness goals each day. Make a pact with yourself to communicate your opinions, feelings, beliefs and wants on a daily basis. Give yourself the rights and responsibilities associated with assertiveness. The right to express opinions and to say no along with the responsibility to do it. Permission granted. Knock the guilt (and the fear) on the head and go for it. The more you achieve your assertiveness goals the more you’ll build your assertiveness muscles and believe that you can.
Want to find out more? Check out our Essential Assertiveness course on 8th December in London or discover our other courses on the Events page. We’d love to see you there!
A huge thank you to Gill Thackray for her guest blog that shares five simple but effective tools for boosting confidence.
Confidence – the elusive holy grail?
Confidence – the elusive ‘holy grail’. We all know we should build our confidence but the sticking point is knowing exactly how to do that. We know it when we see it but how do we actually create it?
Confidence encompasses everything from our behaviour and our body language to how we communicate. We all know someone who has it in bucket loads, they effortlessly exude it, but take a closer look and you’ll see that their seemingly ‘effortless’ confidence is something that you can study, learn, practice and perfect. These five simple but effective tools will have you well on your way to feeling, looking and sounding confident regardless of the situation in which you find yourself.
5 steps to boost confidence
1. Develop self-efficacy
This is the belief that you will succeed and that you can achieve your goals. To develop this, work out exactly what you want to achieve and then:
create mastery experiences where you’re setting and achieving goals, not necessarily the first time you try, remember it’s a learning experience
find vicarious experiences – observe others’ achievements and work out (or ask them) how they got there. This will shorten your learning curve. If they can do it, you can too
create a support network of people to be your own personal cheerleaders and encourage you
Think about how you manage your reactions to stress, view setbacks and stress in a positive light, it’s all learning rather than ‘throwing in the towel’.
2. Adopt a growth mindset
Recognise that life is a learning curve and that any changes you want to make to your confidence levels will require hard work and effort. When you try but ‘fail’, treat each setback as information that you can use the next time round to help refine your skills.
3. Play to your strengths
Work out what you are good at and emphasise these skills. Try a ‘strengths assessment’ to find out where your true strengths lie and then use them to your advantage.
4. Monitor your self-talk
Listen to that small (or big) voice that narrates every time you try something new. If it’s a negative, ask yourself, “where’s the evidence for that?” or “is that 100% true?” Rewire your brain by making a conscious effort to find evidence that suggests you canrather than you can’t.
5. Set yourself SMART goals
It sounds obvious but it’s hard to hit a target that you can’t see. Identify the changes you want to make and then start small and build up to bigger challenges. As you work your way up to larger goals your competence and your confidence will increase along the way.
to find out more about our suite of courses and discuss bespoke confidence building training for your organisation.