Self confidence is a powerful intrinsic force that can grow or diminish depending on our actions.
Today, I want to explore one method of growing your self confidence that I only recently discovered.
My sister and I used to joke (up until recently) that when we would bring home our school test results our parents wouldn’t congratulate us. Instead, they’d say something else.
A typical example of this would be when I’d come home and show the results from my math test.
“Look, I scored 94%” as I handed the test results to my dad.
He would reply with “What happened to the other 6%?”
My mother was similar.
On one of my English essays I received a high mark and the teacher wrote “Excellent!” on the paper.
My mum pointed out “That’s not correct. It’s not excellent otherwise you would have scored 100%. She should have said it was very good, not excellent.”
Now, I know that both of my parents were happy when both my sister and I did well at school. They would congratulate us both and probably said those comments afterwards a little tongue in cheek, but what sticks in my mind is the above mentioned comments. I’m sure that wasn’t their intention, but that’s how I remember it.
Something is missing. It’s not quite there. That could have been better…
Two months ago I learned something new that has changed the way I operate, mentally.
Since then, and I feel a little weirdly embarrassed to say this, my self confidence has grown.
Many people don’t see me as having a lack of confidence and I probably am more confident than many people. But internally I would often lack confidence, for no good reason.
That all changed two months ago because I hired a personal and professional coach.
The first thing we did was an assessment of my abilities. The tests measured me against other top executives. I scored well in the areas I figured I would score well in.
My logic abilities were all very high: Discernment, Draw Conclusions, Unusual Logic and Mechanical. The grey bars are the minimum a top executive scores and the green bars show what good top executives tend to exceed.
However, I scored low when it came to a couple of other areas of the test and that gave me good reason to explore the coaching program. There was one obvious area that I really wanted to address. To sum it up, I was highly critical. Critical of myself and also critical of others.
I know that to be true – but when I compared my results against the results of other top executives, I was on the high side of critical. That’s not where I want to be.
What happened over the coming weeks changed a lot of things.
My coach, who was different to every other coach I’ve ever met, started to break down some very simple, but profound concepts. Today, I want to share the concept with you that has impacted me the on the subject of self confidence. It also resulted in me being less critical of myself, and the two seem to go hand in hand.
Rewiring Our Thoughts
I’d like you to consider something.
If you were to take on a task, what would you do?
For me, I described that process this way;
I would get a task to be done, then I’d make it done. Once I did the task, I’d then evaluate what I did and go back and correct things or I’d say ‘yep that’s good enough’.
I ran this same exercise with my sister. She basically described exactly the same process.
- List the task
- Do the task
- Evaluate the result – improve it or move on
This applies to almost everything.
In the case of my business (as an example) I might have a sales meeting.
- I book in the meeting
- Have the meeting
- Evaluate the meeting
Once I evaluate it I would almost always come up with ways I could have improved the meeting. I may have missed an opportunity to address a concern or to promote the comprehensive service that would benefit the customer.
If a sales meeting resulted in a sale, I would celebrate, but even then I would think about correcting something with the meeting.
So here’s something obvious. No matter what we are doing, we’re constantly able to improve a task once the task is completed. It’s in the doing that you learn what does and doesn’t work right? Perhaps it’s while doing something you realise it would have been simpler to do it differently. Or perhaps there’s a technique you could apply that would improve the doing.
When you realise that, no matter what you’re doing could be improved!
Here’s the catch.
In following the above task workflow, you will always result in being critical of the tasks you perform.
Because when you do them you’ll discover and learn something new that can improve it.
What I discovered was, there is an important piece missing from the above workflow and I want to share that with you now.
The missing piece is ‘Acknowledge The Done’.
Think about this for a minute.
If you choose to do something and you make it done, then you acknowledge yourself for doing it, what happens?
Let me play that out in another way so you can visualise what I’m talking about.
You decide you want to run a half marathon. You get up and train every day and then you run an event. Most people then acknowledge the done right? They get to the finish line and raise their arms – they did it! WOOHOO! It’s done! I ran a half marathon!
But you don’t.
Instead, you go straight home and think about how you could improve your training. During the run you could have pushed harder. Perhaps the extra drink of water made you feel bloated and slowed you down.
Right now you’ve jumped straight into critical thinking.
What is happening to your self confidence?
Six months ago you couldn’t even run a single mile but now you’re being critical after finishing a half marathon?
Acknowledging the done is the missing ingredient in your thought process to building self confidence and being less critical of yourself.
Acknowledging the done is what says “YES, YOU DID IT”
Each day, we take on new tasks.
- We call clients.
- We fill out forms.
- We do a 30 minute workout.
- We complete our work schedule.
At the end of each task, acknowledge the done.
- You called the client.
- You filled our those forms.
- You did your workout.
- You completed your work for the day.
Each task builds self confidence towards the next task.
Without trying, a change in the way we think results in us not diminishing our achievements, but builds them like a platform before us. One that we can stand on and say “I’ve done it.”
Over the next week, try this for yourself.
Set the task, do the task, acknowledge the done. Afterwards, and only after you have acknowledged the done, evaluate it and consider it a success or think about ways to improve.
I’d love to know how your mind works. Share your thoughts with me below and let me know what you think.
This blog post is DONE.