Self-Confidence…It’s really not as hard as it sounds.

By JoAnne Foist

ConfidenceatworkSelf-confidence is having confidence in oneself.

This is such a simple yet perfect definition.  Unfortunately, we often make it so much bigger than that.  In fact, I continue to witness amazing and talented individuals limit themselves due to their lack of self-confidence.

Here’s a question for you, do you think self-confidence is the ability to be perfect at everything you do?  Meaning, will you only feel confident when you have mastered something?  Well guess what?  That’s not self-confidence, that’s perfectionism.

Plain and simple, self-confidence is about believing in yourself.  It is having the confidence to try, not in the absence of, but in spite of fears.  Yes, self-confident people still experience fear, but they have confidence in their ability to handle what comes their way.  They would rather try and learn from the experience than let the fear of failure stop them.  They realize that the more they try, the more confidence they’ll gain.

With that said, below are a few more ways you can build your self-confidence.

  1. Be courageous even when you don’t feel like it.  When you act courageous you start feeling courageous.  You’ll start believing more in yourself and others will believe in you as well.  Remember, “we become what we think.”
  2. Stop worrying about being perfect and instead focus on giving it your best and in a timely manner.  Believe it or not, it is better to deliver something good and on time then something great too late.  Think about it is this way, what if Apple waited to launch the iPhone until it was perfect?   And ponder this, is it perfect yet?
  3. Make failure your best teacher.  Look at each failure as a learning experience and build from it.   Think of Thomas Edison, who said, “I have not failed 10,000 times…I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”  Have confidence that you will eventually find the best solution, win the sale, get the promotion, get your degree, etc.  With every try you gain experience and get better.  True failure is not trying.
  4. Take risks and embrace being a novice.  Don’t try to master everything and don’t let your inability to be immediately great deter you from trying new things.  You’ll never know what you could do if you don’t try.  Plus, you’ll miss the exhilaration of experiencing new things.
  5. Stop second-guessing yourself.  Once you’ve made a decision, move forward with passion.  It’s a lot harder to reach your goal when you zigzag.
  6. Build your muscle.  Many think of self-confidence as this huge unattainable ability that one must be born with.  But we should think of self-confidence as a muscle.  The more you work it, the stronger it gets.   In other words, for most of us, self-confidence really just needs to be developed through practice, through successes and failures.  Every little bit helps.
  7. Keep your perspective.  There are greater catastrophes in the world then what we experience, and we all only have a short time on this earth.  So lighten up a bit and focus on enjoying all the experiences and lessons of life.  This takes some of the pressure off and helps keep you from getting chocked-up.   Plus, you’ll be able to look back and know that you not only gave it your best shot, you enjoyed the journey.

See, self-confidence is not so illusive after all.

If this is an area you struggle with, download our free eBook, The Confidence Habit.  Or, contact us to learn about our workshops and coaching programs.  We’ve witnessed incredible transformation in our clients and would love to help you on your journey.

Habits of Confident People

By Kimberly Gerber

confidence1 copyConfidence is one of the most admired traits in people.

Yet how can we recognize the habitual behaviors associated with confidence so that we can learn to behave in these ways as well?  Consider the following behaviors that can mark a confident person.

A confident person…

  • Believes in their own abilities, talents and strengths, and is not paralyzed by doubts. The key word here is paralyzed – we all have doubts from time to time and a confident person remembers to have assurance in their own beliefs and does not look for the approval of others, knowing it’s not needed.
  • Knows they have much to offer the world, and respect the value they bring to life. They treat others well and expect the same in return.  They are not hesitant to have boundaries and protect their own rights.
  • Is certain, yet realistic, about the goals they will achieve. They believe in their plans, and anything resembling failure is regarded as a temporary setback, challenge to overcome or learning opportunity.  A confident person is comfortable in taking on challenges and acting even in the face of risk.
  • Identifies themselves with other confident people. They celebrate others’ successes and relish in the realization of people’s inherent potential.
  • Dreams big and acts on those dreams. They can picture themselves as successful in whatever they do.
  • Accepts the recognition of others rather than diminishing or deflecting such recognition as if they believe it can’t possibly be warranted.
  • Accepts themselves as they are, yet are open to feedback that will help them become better.
  • Is open to new ideas and is willing to entertain them.
  • Is willing to accept mistakes.
  • Is always prepared to do their best.

Confidence is like a muscle – it has to be exercised to get strong.  It requires plenty of preparation and practice, and can be achieved by anyone who has a desire to be more confident, successful and fulfilled in their lives!

And, if you’re serious about building confidence, download our free eBook, Incredible Confidence. You’ll learn how to project confidence in everything you do. Plus, you’ll receive the Incredible Confidence training series for free!

What makes a Great Leader…well, Great?

Business Partners Shaking HandsBy JoAnne Foist

Think for a moment about the greatest leaders you know…what makes them stand out from the pack?

While many adjectives can be used to describe a great leader, and our definitions of leadership might differ, we all know a great leader when see one. Think of the leader you most admire…how do they make you feel and what skills do you think they possess?

Do you want to be known as an exceptional leader? I sure hope so. You don’t have to run a company or start a revolution to be a leader; leadership is demonstrated by how we live our lives everyday. Below are seven habits of great leaders that, with practice, you can master.

Seven Habits of Great Leaders

  1. Confident – Great leaders have confidence in their ability to get things done. And when they do not have previous experience with an initiative or challenge, they have the confidence to know they will figure it out and/or procure the right resources to do so.
  1. Inspirational – Great leaders inspire action. They inspire their team to be the best they can be and they help them get there. They do what it takes to set their team up for success.
  1. High-Integrity – Great leaders lead by example. They have strong values and can be counted on to be consistent, honest and fair. They make ethical choices, they practice what they preach and support their team in doing the same.
  1. Communicators – Great leaders are kind, smart and courageous in their communications. They are proactive and inclusive communicators who go the extra mile to create clear (and often concise) messages in order to ensure everyone understands the vision, goals, direction, etc. Great leaders listen to their team and establish systems and habits to ensure ease of communications throughout their organization and customer base. Great leaders also realize that revolutionary ideas can come from anywhere and so they communicate with everyone!
  1. Positive – Great leaders use optimal thinking to motivate others and focus on a successful future. They see the opportunity in every challenge and keep everyone focused on overcoming obstacles and continual growth.
  1. Tenacious – Great leaders demonstrate perseverance when pursuing their goals. They hold firm to their vision and see it through to completion. They accept roadblocks, pitfalls and hurdles as obstacles to overcome – not reasons to quit.
  1. Supportive – Great leaders follow the platinum rule. They support their team the way the team needs to be supported and they provide a safe environment to work and share ideas. They encourage and support risk taking and challenge the status quo. They care about the well-being and success of each team member.

Using these traits as a barometer, how great is your leadership? A quick way to up your game is to select a few areas where you aren’t so successful and practice the behaviors indicated. Pay attention to the changes you witness.  Leadership is about leading ourselves as much as it is leading others and developing your leadership skills is an investment that pays dividends through the course of your life.

Take the first step in building leadership muscle by registering for our free training class on Building Incredible Confidence. You can start by downloading our free eBook, “The Confidence Habit.” It’s full of tips for developing your confidence and, by applying just a few of the techniques mentioned you will begin feeling more bold and seeing the response to your improved skill.

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If you are a high-performing professional who is interested in being more successful in EVERYTHING you do; then check out Excelerate’s Powerful Presence Program. It is a very unique program designed for people who have a track record of success and who want to exponentially grow their business or advance their career to the executive level.

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Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

bigstockphoto_Natural_High_407475-2If we are not prepared to change with the pace of our world, we will find ourselves stuck, or worse, left behind.

We all have our comfort zone, a world where we feel comfortable and safe. We are at ease in our routine surroundings, job, community, and relationships. But here’s the catch – in our ever-changing world, life inside our comfort zone will still be tossed and turned.

Here’s a good example. Depending on your age, you have had to make changes to the way you listen to music: records, 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, MP-3’s. Or what about the phone you have: rotary, push button, remote, cell, and who knows what is next?

Confident people know that the world is constantly changing – perhaps faster than most of us desire. So, to be comfortable moving forward, we can engage in some simple habits that prepare us to think and live outside our comfort zone – even if just a little bit at a time.

Ask these questions:

  1. What would you do if you could do anything?
  2. What would you like to learn about?
  3. What small changes would you like to make to your life?

Change your routine everyday:

  1. A new restaurant or menu item
  2. A new route to work or school
  3. Morning or evening rituals

Experience something different on a weekly basis:

  1. Visit a museum, art store, antique mall, etc.
  2. Go to a kid’s soccer, baseball, or hockey game.
  3. Explore a new walking trail or park.

These simple and fun exercises can help you to stretch your comfort zone. And as we get out of our routine and try on new attitudes, behaviors and perspectives, our thinking grows, our experiences grow, and life grows too.

If you want to learn how to maintain your confidence while getting out of your comfort zone, download our FREE eBook, “The Confidence Habit.”

As an added bonus, you’ll also get our Confidence Training Series for FREE!  So join, and start enjoying a more calm and confident life.

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

Business woman with arrows and questions sign above isolated onHave you ever had an idea, a dream, or a sudden burst of confidence to try something new, only to be reeled in by your internal voice that says, “Who do you think you are?”

All of a sudden we find ourselves in a tug-of-war between our confident, forward moving self and the other self – the one who holds us back by causing us to question our ability. You’ve heard those voices say things like:

  • You always start a new project and never finish it.
  • You tried something like this before and failed. Why do you think it will be different this time?
  • You didn’t grow up in a family that did things like this.
  • Don’t be so full of yourself.
  • What makes you think you can do this?

Over the course of a lifetime, we’ve been conditioned by real and imaginary voices. Chances are, we’ve internalized more negative than positive messages, leaving us with a very vocal inner critic.

In order to turn off the inner critic, you might want to try these ideas:

  • Shift your inner critic messages to messages of accomplishment – whenever your negative voices show up, remind yourself of the positive qualities you possess.
  • Evaluate the critical message. Is it true? Is there a bit of truth? Or is it a lie?
  • Look yourself in a mirror and say, “Yes, this may be true about me, AND this is also true.” For example: “Yes, sometimes I do procrastinate and I am really productive when I put my mind to it.”

Just remember, when you hear the critical voice asking “Just who do you think you are?” you have the power to turn the volume up, down, or better yet, turn it off.

Replace that negative voice with a supportive, positive one that speaks power into who you are.

If you want to learn how to be more confident, download our FREE eBook, “The Confidence Habit.

You’ll find tools to develop confidence and overcome your inner critic.  As an added bonus, you’ll also get our Confidence Training Series for FREE!  So join, and start enjoying a more confident life.

Confidence and You

iStock_000017880167_DoubleThink of a recent social or business gathering you attended. Who were the people that projected confidence? You probably remember them well because confident people radiate a warmth and enthusiasm that draws people toward them. They approach these occasions as opportunities to meet, greet and grow. Less confident people, however, generally hide in the background or stick closely to people they know.

We all yearn to have confidence – to feel as if we belong. Here are a few tips to help you feel confident no matter what you’re doing or whom you’re with:

Smile – Confident people smile – they smile with their mouth and their eyes. Their energy is positive. Even when they’re nervous inside, they don’t show it on their face.

Breathe – If you feel a little anxious around people or situations that are unfamiliar to you, take a few deep breaths to relax. Slow, mindful inhales and exhales lower anxiety and nervousness immediately.

Show Interest –  Take the focus off yourself and put it on others by asking thoughtful questions and listening with interest. People with confidence care about others. So always ask, listen and learn.

Use Positive Self Talk – Give yourself positive messages, reminding yourself of your strengths, talents and successes. Recite a simple mantra for when you are feeling anxious or uncertain.

New situations can make anyone feel a bit anxious and uncertain. By applying these simple tips, you will feel less nervous, more empowered, and more confident.

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