Cultivating Confidence Part 1

Cultivating Confidence Part 1

From time to time I ask my audience what it is that they’re struggling with the most and every single time they come back with the same answer.

Confidence, whether it’s confidence to start a business, confidence to go to the next level, confidence to ask for what they need in a relationship, confidence to succeed in a personal goal. It always comes back to confidence.

What is confidence?

I thought I would try and tackle what is actually a huge thing in this short blog. Confidence, for the purposes of this blog comes from a deep understanding of yourself, of ourselves. And I’m constantly amazed at how many of us have not had an opportunity to experience a real deep internal look at what’s most important to us as an individual and not part of a family unit or part of an organization or a part of some other group.

This is a process that I use with every single one of my clients. If you work with me then we go through this process, regardless of how self-aware you are or not. I’m going to walk you through it very quickly just to give you an idea of how you can tap into what’s really truly important and unique to you.

We are just a combination of lots of different experiences, lots of belief systems, lots of values and decisions and memories that we’ve made that have got us to the point that we are now and that can be difficult to unravel.

Just a moment in time

Before I walk you through this process I need to make you aware that this is just a snapshot in time. And what is most important to you right now maybe different to what was most important to you a few years ago and it may be different to what you find most important in the future. What I want you to be aware of is to get comfortable with maybe exploring this process regularly. Certainly if you have a big life-changing event then do it again but also just check in with it from time to time because things do evolve.

What is important to YOU?

I believe this is where our confidence starts from. It’s about knowing what’s most important to you, knowing those key core values that make you who you are. If I was to ask a roomful of people what their core values are they would tell me a whole load of really cool words.  They would say things like security and love and compassion and contribution and health and wealth, education, knowledge.

They would give me a whole lot of different words. But as I work through this process things will start to become a little bit more granular and distilled because a lot of those words that come straight off the top of our heads are things that we have been told are important. We’ve got a lifetime of being told what we should believe and what we should value. This is about laying all of that aside and actually going to a place where you can understand exactly what’s most important to you. 

What can you not live without?

Let’s get started. First and foremost what can you not live without? What physical things and people and places could you not live without? Because this is going to give us an insight into what’s most important to you. So have a think about that, what’s most important to you? What could you not live without? That’s a physical thing; a thing, a person or a place. 

Then the next part is think about what does that thing, person or place give you? What does it do for you? What do you get from it?  Maybe it’s your favorite place and it gives you peace or maybe it gives you a sense of adventure or maybe it gives you a challenge. Now we’re starting to look at those values type words, those words that elicit some sort of emotion or feeling and are not a physical thing. So not things like money – money gives you the ability to do things that you may find are connected to your core values. 

 

First of all we’re looking at what can you not live without. Next we’re looking at what does that thing person or place give you? Usually that’s where we stop, we’ve got a list of values words and we’re like yeah okay so these are the things that are most important to me. And in that room full of people, (because I do this on a regular basis in a group) I will have a number of people who have the same words. Lots of times you get love, you get health, you get security, you get belonging. Lots of times people will share common values but the next step in the process is to write your definition for what that word means to you.

Time to define YOUR values

Now is where things start to get interesting because I might have four or five people in a room with the same values word but I will bet you that their definition of that word is different.

The meaning of the words are actually your vision of that value and once you’ve done that, when you’re sitting looking at your values words that came from things that you can’t live without and your definition of those words, then you should be looking at a piece of paper that’s staring back at you and you can look at it and go yeah, that feels like me.

 

 

Know what is important to YOU

And that is the first step towards cultivating confidence. It’s knowing what’s most important to you and what that means to you. From that place it becomes your guiding light or your moral compass in anything that you want to do going forward.

From that place you can look at the goals that you’re setting, personal, professional and say okay, does that really fit with what’s most important to me?

I hope that’s been useful. When I when I work with clients through this process it’s far more in-depth and we take it much much deeper and further but this is the first step towards cultivating more confidence for you. 

Let me know how you get on with defining your value words and using them to set your goals.

 

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

The meaning of communication is the response you get

The meaning of communication is the response you get

Let me ask you, have you ever put a post out on Facebook or social media or sent an email or even had a conversation with a friend that just didn’t go according to plan and you got a really unexpected response? Has that ever happened to you?

It happens a lot with my clients and when I’m working with teens. You know, they will say one thing and then they get an unexpected response that causes them to have a bit of a reaction and it can lead to conflict.

So let me ask you, what does this statement mean to you?

“The meaning of communication is the response that you get.”

I’ll share what it means to me. It means that if we take responsibility for the response that we get from our communication, it puts us in a position of being able to change that response. If we just put out our communication and expect other people to be able to understand it and not take responsibility if they don’t, then we could end up in a bit of a stalemate.

 

The frustration of engineers

For years I was an engineer and then I was a manager of engineers. When you’re an engineer it can be frustrating when you’re trying to explain technical information in a simple way. My team used to get frustrated with me because I would send their emails back to them, telling them,

“You can’t assume that people have the same level of knowledge as you or that people are looking at this problem, at this situation, through the same lens that you are.”

 

And they would get frustrated and say but they are technical as well and should understand this stuff. But I sent the emails back to them over and over and said,

“You have to explain this simply so that when somebody reads it they’re not made to feel stupid. They’re not made to feel less than because they don’t understand the terminology that you’re using, then we will be able to move forward and be able to succeed in our common goals.”

Take responsibility for your communication

So if you take this same approach in your communication, by taking responsibility for the response that you get and then changing how you communicate, then you’ll find that your interactions will go a whole lot more smoothly.

Remember nobody likes to be made to feel like they don’t understand and nobody likes to be made to feel less than. Next time you’re going to post something on social media or send an email at work or have a conversation with a team member, just have a think about the meaning of your communication is the response that you get and that you’re in control of changing that communication.

Let me know how you get on.

 

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.