Over the years I’ve helped thousands of people to increase their confidence, not just because it’s a nice thing to do but because I’ve seen it have a massive impact on their personal and professional success.
Here’s just a few of the things I’ve seen people go on to achieve purely by increasing their confidence;
And yet rarely does a client come to me and say “Can you help me increase my confidence please?” It is only by exploring what that client brings to the table am I able to see that one of the underlying issues that needs to be fixed is their confidence levels. Often I have to redirect the client back and check that they really want to talk about the subject they walked in the door with or if they feel that there is an underlining issue impacting on their results in this field. By exploring this together we often find that whether they call it a lack of confidence or not that is, in fact, the real issue. (Don’t worry I will keep the techie stuff to a minimum, I just wanted to give you a little insight.)
Interestingly my books may be about building confidence, sales and success and yet the one I was asked to write by the UK’s leading non-fiction publisher was not worded as increasing confidence but about fighting fear. Whether you see it as fear or confidence put the two on a timeline and you will see that the opposite of fear is confidence. And so being able to build yours is critical to building your personal and professional success.
Here’s four signs your confidence levels need some loving;
Everything is fine
A sure sign that your success could be heightened is to look around you and find that everything is running along smoothly. What everything? There is not one area that could do with a tweak or that you are focusing on for future growth and development? Not one thing in your personal or professional life that you look at and think “I’d like to learn more” or “I’d like to reduce how much I do that in my life?” You see when we face fear (or try to ignore it like a dog being told off for raiding the rubbish bin!) we do our best to avoid making eye contact with the issue. The “If I don’t look over there I can’t see the problem” attitude. And that means there is a blind spot potentially hiding opportunities for you to learn and grow your confidence. So it’s also as a sign that you aren’t pushing yourself enough. And why don’t we push ourselves more? Because we fear the result we will get!
If you find yourself not as busy or productive as usual, look for the fear. Remember the fear is the opposite of your confidence and as such by noticing where you lack action you can start to pay attention to the areas that could need some support. A perfect example is when you realise you’ve not updated your website or sent a newsletter for a while. Or you’ve stopped bothering to do those nice little touches you used to do when you first started working for that company years ago. The lack of spark can point to the areas that need some assistance and where you could be lacking confidence and thus impacting on your results.
It may not be an area directly connected to your personal or professional success however I often hear clients say that connected to the area that they wish to change in their life, as we work on a deeper more subconscious level they share that they notice they’ve stopped reading or going out with friends or cooking nice meals. Things that may seem completely irrelevant to success can showcase a lack of love for your life. And when we find ourselves in a rut, feeling unappreciated or like we aren’t getting the results we want, that can impact on our confidence and it can often show up in this way. So are you loving your free time as much as your professional life? They have a knock on effect to each other. And so this process can work the other way too.
You believe everything.
Worse than fake news is some of the drivel we listen to in our heads. We have all heard of the Imposter Syndrome (I can shut that bad voice up in about 1 session!) and we’ve heard of the shiny thing syndrome (where everything looks good so we go around in circles, creating no real results) and best of all think of the rubbish you let your head say to you. The way you berate yourself for being rubbish at that, or never been able to do this, or have you noticed how many chins you’ve got recently. All that negative talk can only hold power if you let it. So if you notice the voice in your head has become a little bit too much like the evil stepmother, crossed with Simon Cowell and The Wicked Witch from the East (or was that West?) stop that voice, it is damaging your confidence, enabling fears to grow strong and stopping you from achieving what you really wish to.
I’d love to see what it could do for you too!
When I wrote a chapter in my book about the biggest fears that impact on success, the one chapter that my publishers were not sure that was right for the book, was this one. “Is it really that big a fear?” they asked. And that fear, is the fear to take time off.
And I bet there are many that read this article that think “I go on holiday, fearlessly, what are you talking about?!?”
The fact is over many years of working with people looking to achieve more, so many fear actually stepping away from work and being in the moment. But what is the big deal?
Why do you need to turn your phone off to succeed?
Why should you leave the laptop in a different time zone?
5 reasons to leave it all behind;
So do you still think its pointless to turn off that phone and disconnect from the work place?
Do you still question the benefits to your success of riding the bike, building the sandcastle or prodding a barbecue?
If I’ve got your attention and you know you should turn off your business for a few days, and then find yourself answering “Just this email honey, then I will be there, promise” then here are my top tips to actually being in the moment. Turning your back on your business and fully engaging in something else for a few days of R n R, relaxation, no results fun.
Top tips to dealing with the fear of taking time out;
Know your success. To be able to walk away, first of all need you to appreciate how awesome you are. In my book we use this tool in a different way to power up your success, but here by accepting that you do achieve. That you do win. That you do know how to get what you want, you are able to see and accept the successes you’ve had.
Now if your version of success turns out to mean you’ve worked 17 hour days, 7 days a week and will hand on heart tell me that “it’s the only way it could be done” 2 things – Firstly it’s a long term recipe for disaster, because you are not a robot and your body will make you rest at some stage. The old adage that there’s no rest for the wicked is not one you want applied to you. Or if you are one for the saying “rest is for when you are dead”. Reframe that one because too many people’s lives are cut short because stress, overwork and a lack of time for health and relaxation were not part of the game plan for success. If you really fear taking time out, think of a time when you failed astronomically. How did you get over it? The fact is if you take 2 weeks off and you came back to discover your worst case scenario had in actual fact happened, you have the facts that you could overcome that level of adversity and still be a success. (See below on how to ensure worst case scenario doesn’t happen!)
Trust you will get the results you want. And to do this you need to know what those results are. However you choose to do it you need to take the time to plan your success. Whether you love a vision board, a written plan, a mindmap or a diary with time scheduled to work on your success, you still need to know what your success looks like. What does success look like to you? What goals have you planned? By when? Knowing this helps you schedule in time for time out.
Your Success/Business is in good hand. When someone fears taking time out and I challenge them on that, they often realise that in their mind I’m suggesting they walk out of the office right now and stop work for 2 weeks without planning. As with all things connected to your success it needs to be planned. This not only ensures you come back rested and happy it ensures that those you work with don’t throw things at you on your return! Just as you would plan your holiday – plan what will happen while your way. Who is in charge? What protocol is to be adhered to? What constitutes an emergency to contact you? If you own a small business you can automate your social media so that people think you are still in the country at your desk. (The only downside I’ve found to this, and you are hearing from a holiday lover who had 42 days holiday last year and couldn’t even tell you where her phone was! Is that LinkedIn and Facebook have not yet set up a holiday message for messages. You can for your business page, but not (as yet) for your personal page.) So respect your team, customers and suppliers, talk about your plans well in advance so that everyone can ensure they have what they need from you. And they in turn will respect your time off. I read about a CEO who never checked anything on his phone after 7pm. Everyone in the company knew this and respected this. Why? I wouldn’t mind betting it’s because every single action that the CEO took every moment of every day was respectful to the staff, the board, the share holders, suppliers and the success of that company. Everyone agreed that he deserved that time to himself for whatever purpose he wanted.
Lastly ask yourself. What kind of a role model are you to your friends and family? You may love 24/7 work but it is not good for you whether you like it or not and what kind of ambassador are you for success?
Are you in effect saying that unless you work 24/7 you can’t be successful?
Have you ever considered that those around you could possibly be suffering trying to keep up with your insane working hours? Not everyone can work 24/7. What levels of guilt and inferiorty get created by someone at work who never seems to take time off?
Success can be made easier and faster with the right actions (trust me, it’s what I do for a living!) but by not taking time off you could be showcasing that the only way to success is back breaking, soul destroying hours. That’s a belief that says to achieve, it has to be really really hard work. Why not try a new belief that says, “I can easily plan for my success and get what I want and still nurture my mind, body and soul and respect the ones that I love.”
Your mind is powerful tool, and if you tell it that it needs to be very hard work and near on impossible to achieve success, your brain will go out its way to prove you right. Be a role model that the next generation can look to and think “Wow a great career, a happy life and people that love them, that’s awesome!” Too many people sacrifice marriages or relationships in the name of success and it doesn’t have to happen.
The fact is that if you plan, automate and cater for holidays then it truly can be an opportunity for your success. While my phone has been switched off I’ve won awards, had free PR in the national press, gained new clients, new sales and even speaking engagements! Now that is defining how you want success and getting it on those terms!
I hope this proves a useful guide to getting a guilt free time away from your career, however it is not time away from your success. Savvy people know that taking time out is a critical part of their success. Do you?