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Mastering Confidence

May 19, 2017

Lisa Haydon | Pivotal Coaching

ILisaHaydont's all around us: we read about it, we think about it, and we witness it... Confidence is a determining factor of success.

We know people who display it masterfully. It remains inconsistent and sometimes elusive for others. So what's the secret sauce to knowing how to show up the way we want to and how to manage our brain and body to realize confidence?

We've all lived that moment of leaving a meeting and cringing thinking about who you were, how you acted, or what you said in that moment in time. We have a gift in these moments: it was only a moment, it is in the past, and it’s most likely forgotten by those in the room. So now let's focus on the future and your next opportunity to show up with your full potential and your full package of talent.

Some say self-confidence is a state of self-belief. For many who want to perform at high levels, this self-belief can be an elusive goal due to a constant focus on learning and self-improvement. You may view your world or yourself as always needing improvement or to be better. Whatever your reason for not having consistent confidence, your mindset will get you through these wobbles in confidence.

How do you master the mindset of confidence?

Let's draw from the sports world and visualize your next big meeting as game day.

Here's what your coach would tell you:

  • Do self-talk personal affirmations. Get the negative talk out of your head
  • Set a goal and intent for continued performance improvement
  • Assess and reassesses who is on your team and who needs to be traded.
  • Surround yourself with those who believe in you
  • Learn from your setbacks and failures. Analyze them, move on, and look forward. Draw from your resilience
  • Prepare, train, learn. Address your fears in advance and establish what's the worst thing that could happen. Repeat. Repeat again
  • Play your game. Ignore competition and critics. Know your talents and leverage them
  • Focus on the long-term game plan
  • Find a mantra and live by it
  • Figure out your training program to a winning mindset
  • Old habits are comfortable; new ones are not. Keep yourself comfortable working in the discomfort
  • Self-confidence is the cornerstone of your performance. Find it. Know how to keep it in the game even when you are losing
  • To build on to your training plan, don’t overlook health, eating habits, and exercise
  • Plan, do, put yourself out there, learn, repeat with confidence
  • Maintain your list of wins, successes, and accomplishments. Those are proof of your talent and capabilities. Refer to this list
  • And finally walk into that meeting, event, situation standing tall and with strong body posture

Build a strong foundation

Feel any easier? Likely not, this is a long list of things to think about and act on. For those of us who play golf, look at your work on confidence as you would your golf swing. Your golf swing is essential to a great golf game. There are many elements to your swing, and one little adjustment can make or break your game. When you learn golf, good instructors teach you the skills in increments. Work on one thing at a time, practice it until you master it, and then move on to the next element. It’s not about one magic thing; it’s about creating a strong foundation that will withstand anything and then building upon it. Practice, practice, and more practice.

Self-confidence is a lifelong focus.

If you are learning, developing, and taking risks, your confidence will always be ebbing along with you and your changes. There’s a world around us and it’s always throwing us a new curve ball; in business, this could be the new owner, new boss, new transformation project, new strategies, new business objectives, or new team. Our worlds will consistently challenge our state of confidence.

What’s the recurring theme in all of this?

Mindset, focus, training and preparation, discipline, grit, and repetition. It’s a tough competition against yourself and a demanding professional world. Work on your confidence every day. A strong foundation of confidence that cannot be shaken will get you through many disruptions and many changes.

For those that may want to reflect on this a little further, here’s an exercise to build your foundational story on strengths and talents: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/09/28/how-do-you-identify-your-strengths-an-eight-step-process/2/#3047a75317a1

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