Episode 3 of the Elite Achievement podcast focused on confidence, which is one of my favorite topics, because I think it has a lot to do with the goal achievement journey.
I was on my own journey when I started my career, and continue to be on a journey today, to grow my confidence. I hired my first coach, specifically to work on increasing my confidence.
Mind you, I was projecting confidence, and I was showing up as confident, but I wasn’t feeling confident at all. That’s one of the interesting things about confidence. Confidence in the goal achievement process is when who YOU think you are, aligns with action, to achieve your goals.
There were many times in my professional career when I acted confidently, but I didn’t think I was confident. And there were other times when I thought I was confident, but I certainly didn’t act confidently. It’s about blending thinking and action together.
What Happens if We’re Not Confident?
Confidence is essential in the goal achievement. When we’re not confident, we tend to show up as someone other than ourselves. We can often watch others achieve success and advance their careers while we feel more like a victim than a victor. Ultimately, if we’re not confident we are limiting our potential and risking not living our life to the fullest!
As I went on my own confidence journey with my coach, and as I work with other individuals on growing their confidence two things have emerged as confidence destroyers…thinking and not taking action.
How Thinking Impacts Your Confidence
When it comes to thinking, we can talk ourselves out of being confident and minimize our confidence with our mindset. We can think too much about past situations and ruminate. I am so good at rehashing past situations and replaying conversations over and over again in my mind.
I tend to ruminate and reflect on conversations or situations that didn’t turn out the way I had anticipated or wanted. And often, I’m ruminating by myself! I’m in my own head, thinking things through. The challenge is that I’m replaying and rehashing these conversations without consulting the other parties that were involved. And this can hinder confidence because, more often than not, when we ruminate, we tend to focus on the negative and over-blame ourselves.
Ultimately, we’re trying to put meaning onto a situation from our perspective. We’re not considering the other parties involved and their perspective, opinions and insights. A huge part of growing your confidence is catching yourself when you are replaying a story or conversation over and over in your mind and stopping.
Sometimes recognizing that you are ruminating is enough to get you to stop that behavior so you can focus on moving forward and learning from the given situation.
Another element of thinking that can destroy our confidence is overthinking. I’ve found in my work coaching women that women tend to strive for perfection. I know there have been so many times in my business where I want the perfect plan or the perfect language, or I want all of the details figured out before I take action.
Striving for perfection is hindering because we often start figuring out the details or tweaking our approach by taking action. So, if we limit our ability to take action because we’re continually overthinking, over-planning and striving for perfection, we’re never going to let ourselves launch and move forward.
The last element of thinking that can destroy our confidence is future thinking. I know for me, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety that comes with future thinking. I’ll often be thinking about all the bad things that can happen and all the reasons I shouldn’t move forward and take action.
With this type of thinking, we can literally talk ourselves out of taking action, which lowers our confidence, keeps us stuck and hinders our ability to achieve our goals.
So, how do we think less so we can take more action?
I believe that there is no shortage of ideas on how to grow a business or build a clientele. A lot of you probably already know several of the things that you can be doing consistently to achieve your goals. So, the question becomes, how do we stop overthinking, past thinking or future thinking, so we can take action and implement strategies and tactics?
Here are two concepts to help you minimize thinking and take action.
Number 1 – Play With the Fear
What I mean by this concept is that you really explore the fear. If you find yourself stuck because you keep thinking of all the “what ifs” and “what could go wrongs,” you can play with the fear by asking yourself two powerful questions.
What is the worst that can happen if I take this action?
And then flip the script and ask yourself, what is the best that can happen when I take this action?
When I thought about launching my own business, I walked through this process. There is a ton of fear and anxiety that comes with leaving a professional career that you know to go out and build something for yourself. But I knew in my heart that I was called to serve others and called to coach.
I explored what felt like the worst thing that could happen if I tried. I realized that the worst scenario for me was that I might bomb as a coach. I might onboard zero clients, make zero income, and not be able to support my family. I thought through what I would do in this situation. I could move back home with parents or get another job to pay the bills. By identifying a worst-case scenario plan I minimized some of my fear.
And then I flipped the script and thought about the best things that could happen if I created my own business, became a coach and worked for myself. The best that could happen was that I live out my mission, work for myself and help others achieve their goals. I would get to help others maximize their potential and achieve their definitions of success. I would get to take control of my schedule and choose the clients and projects I wanted to work with. I would get to create content for my clients that would ultimately make an impact.
As I explored these two questions, it became painfully obvious that I needed to take the leap.
All of the positive things that could potentially happen far outweighed the negatives. The risk of actually not living out my mission, not exploring my full potential and not making an impact felt worse than all of the fears that were keeping me from making the decision. So, if you struggle with future thinking and fear keeps you from moving forward, you can ask yourself those two questions – what is the worst that can happen and what is the best?
Number 2 – Test the Validity of Your Stories
We tell ourselves a lot of stories. I create tons of narratives in my mind, and they’re usually not positive. They’re usually worst-case scenarios. A lot of times, these narratives can keep me from taking action.
One of the most common narratives that I create and that exists for a lot of my client’s centers around following up. If you’re building a business or are in sales, you’ve probably learned by now that a lot of people don’t answer your first email or your first phone call. And more often than not, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the fact that we are all living our own lives and consumed with our own agendas. A lot of times, if we’re coming into people’s lives unexpectedly, it’s not that they don’t want to talk or engage with us, or even use our service…it could be a matter of timing.
I had to quickly learn that I needed a follow-up system if I was going to build a great clientele and create a coaching business empire. And to do that, I had to test the validity of a lot of the stories that I told myself.
What proof did I have that people didn’t want me to send a follow-up email? You know what? I didn’t have a lot of proof. In fact, I had the opposite.
A lot of times when I followed up, people would reply and say, “Thank you, I really appreciate your follow up. I meant to get back to you.”
If you find yourself not taking action because you’re overthinking, you can ask what proof you have that validates the story you are telling yourself.
The second question to ask yourself is whether the story you’re telling yourself right now moves you closer to your goals or further away from them. You’ll probably find that the story you are telling yourself is not serving you well. Now…you have a choice and you are back in control of the situation. You have the option to rewrite the story or continue telling yourself a story and avoiding action. You can now recognize that if you do the latter, you will be off-pace and likely not achieve your goals.
Growing confidence centers back to thinking less and taking more action. It’s working through past thinking, overthinking and future thinking.
I hope that the questions I shared can help you start to navigate your own negative self-talk and self-doubt to help you grow your confidence on your goal achievement journey.
Here’s a quick recap of the questions you can use to grow your confidence along the goal achievement journey:
– What’s the worst that can happen and what’s the best that can happen?
– Have you tested the validity of the story that you are telling yourself?
– What proof do you have that validates the story you are telling yourself?
– Are your thoughts moving you closer to your goals or further away?
And don’t forget to focus on your progress and celebrate your wins!