7 Days to Becoming a More Confident Leader
Day 1 – Document Successes
Where does confidence come from? To understand how to become a more confident leader, you first have to understand what confidence really is. While the dictionary defines confidence as “belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities“, it doesn’t really give us any answers. Where does confidence come from?
There are many situations you face as a leader, on a daily basis, that you are unsure of. These situations can cause you to freeze up in fear not knowing which decision is the right decision. You need to develop confidence to become a strong leader that people will follow.
“When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment.” – John Maxwell
You gain confidence from your successes, both big and small. The problem is we have a hard time seeing our own success on a daily basis.
Why We Overlook Our Successes
The main reason we miss seeing our successes is that we set the bar for ourselves. There are hundreds of things that you do every single day that are successes, but you don’t see it that way because you think of it as a responsibility. We take for granted all of these accomplishments that we have every day because we think those things are what we are “supposed to do”. This includes things like:
- Returning phone calls to customers
- Providing helpful insight to an employee
- Providing bids on time
- Paying bills on time
These are all things that you accomplish and you succeed at doing. So, why don’t you celebrate those things? Because long ago you learned that those were just things that were part of everyday. You established a bar for things that were thought of as accomplishments and things that are just responsibilities. When you think “everyone else does it too” it takes the value away. This sets the bar where we say it should be. And, to top it off, we constantly move the bar up as we accomplish more. Instead of giving you a feeling of confidence it builds the “not enough” feeling because we can’t hit the bar. What would happen if you got rid of the bar? If you started to view each thing you accomplished during the day as a success, and then celebrated because of it?
Change Your Focus
Part of the reason you struggle is because you are most likely focused on the wrong thing. Society has a problem of being led by our feelings and attitudes. The problem with this, is that our feelings and our attitudes lie to us. You may wake up in the morning feeling like a failure and like it’s going to be a horrible day. You may end your work day feeling like you accomplished nothing at all. Or, you may feel like you have nothing to be confident about. However, just because you “feel” this way, doesn’t make it true.
You need to start to separate your feelings and attitudes from your behavior and actions. You may not be able to control your attitudes and feelings, but you can definitely control your actions. Commit to acting based on knowledge and not your feelings. You may not feel confident, but when you start to take action and change your behaviors, eventually your feelings and attitude are going to catch up with you. In other words, sometimes you have to “fake it ’til you make it”, because if you start to act and train yourself to think like a confident person, eventually the true confidence will follow.
Put it into Action
You know you need to change, but you just don’t know how to do it. Over the next 7 days you are going to be provided with simple steps to help you become a more confident leader. The tasks may seem easier on some days than others, but the important thing is that you commit to it and stick with it over the full 7 days. The tasks each day should take you no longer than 5 minutes. That’s right, just 5 minutes a day, for one week, and you will be well on your way to building more confidence.
Today we are going to begin to build a positive habit that you can carry forward every day. Your Day 1 action item is to simply document 3 successes that you had today. We are going to start to develop the habit of seeing our own success for what it really is. As you begin to see all of the things – large and small – that you are succeeding in everyday, you will become more confident and realize how much you are able to achieve. But, to reach this point you have to start to see your successes and call them what they are.
So, document those successes! It is important that you get them down where you can come back and look at them later. Do not just think about your 3 successes – DOCUMENT THEM! Get the in writing. How you do it is not as important as the fact that you take the time to actually do it. So, grab a notebook, login to Evernote, or give the Spearity app a try – just find a way to start writing down at least 3 successes at the end of every day.
What if You Can’t See Your Successes?
If you have been stuck in the rut of poor thinking it can be hard to climb out. As you start this process of becoming a more confident leader you might not be able to see your successes each day. If you are really struggling to come up with your three successes for the day ask a loved one to help you get started. It’s always easier to see the success in someone else than it is to see our own successes. But they are there, because you are a successful person – and if you don’t see it yet you will soon.