And so we come to the end of this series on negotiating your personal confidence boost. The last few weeks we’ve focused on how to foster personal confidence, celebrating the fact that it’s never too late to develop this key skill set. It’s a fundamental problem that so many women suffer from lack of confidence, given that it affects your ability to negotiate your best life. I set out to tackle this by offering some support for you to negotiate your personal confidence boost. I hope you’re finding some value in the simple yet powerful tools we’ve shared. In Part I we addressed the 4 Levels of Mastery around competence as well as the 4 C’s of Confidence building. In Part II we explored some impactful exercises you could try on to kickstart your confidence boost, including exercises to promote the all-important ability to love yourself unconditionally and expand your comfort zone to avoid self-sabotaging. In Part III we revisited the confidence-competence loop and the importance of directing where your focus goes through visualization and incantation techniques. Today, we’ll close off with a few more tools to add to your toolkit so you can turbo-charge your confidence.
Tied to utilizing your power phrase for incantations, I invite you to have fun with power poses as another way to create confidence in the moment. Studies show that striking a ‘power pose’ in advance of a presentation, negotiation or other event that requires you to show up as your best self, will promote an immediate confidence boost. Amy Cuddy stormed the airwaves with this concept following her Harvard study about the positive impact of power poses. The concept was simple enough. Our body language affects how we feel about ourselves and so it stands to reason that by commanding a powerful physical stance we can make ourselves feel more powerful. Simply striking a ‘Wonder Woman’ pose, or ‘Victory’ pose, or even interlocking your hands behind your head will do the trick. The study found that in addition to this beneficial emotional reaction, the power pose also changed our body chemistry, increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol.
So next time you need a quick hit of confidence, duck into a washroom stall if necessary and take a couple moments to bask in your power pose of choice before you start. If you’re worried that you may feel silly, ask yourself what have you got to lose in trying it out?
Get Stuff Done
(a.k.a. Completion Cycle)
While the power pose offers an immediate confidence boost, in considering confidence, it’s also important to examine those things that attack our confidence. One of those things is overwhelm. When we find our self in a state of overwhelm it can undermine our sense of confidence. One way to counter that potential problem is to increase your awareness and implementation of the completion cycle. For every project, plan or task, we follow a cycle from inception to completion. Initially we have an idea. Then we make a decision. Next we enter the planning phase. At some point we actually start the project. Then we either continue or go into a hold pattern. Ideally, we finish the project and so complete the cycle for that item.
When we leave projects incomplete, it takes up space in our mind and interferes with our ability to be fully present in the now. Every item you add to your ‘to do’ list, takes up both energy and space and leaves less energy and space for other items on the list. Can you think of areas in your life where you have incomplete projects or issues? Areas where you have not yet achieved completion or closure? How many of these unresolved items are currently in your bucket?
If you have a few, don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone. We often fail to get to the completion stage. There’s a host of reasons this can happen. Those who follow me know I advocate getting clarity in life. This applies to your big vision and dream, and also to your individual projects. Lack of clarity is a key cause of lack of completion. Added to that, we have baggage and conditioning that hold us hostage through fear – whether fear of failure, success, judgment, rejection/no or getting outside our comfort zone. Perhaps it’s a lack of a required skillset or a perception of lack of skill in a particular area that holds you back.
What if you decided to change your mindset and your pattern around completion? What if, rather than starting a multitude of projects, you chose a small manageable number instead? I invite you to consider that 10 finished projects is more potent than 20 projects in indefinite limbo. What if you decided that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing? What if you committed to prioritizing your ‘to do’ and chose your top project and asked yourself what it will take to get it done? And then you took the next step. Imagine the power of that simple shift, repeated daily.
Imagine the potency of the space that would open up for you as you methodically, with intention, prioritize your projects and systematically complete them. Imagine the freedom that comes with that. Remember that there are options for getting to completion. One is doing it yourself. Also available is to delegate, delay or dump a project. Or put another way, you can consider automating, delegating or eliminating certain tasks as you clean house to refine your ‘completion’ list to make room for the new.
Remember too, that these ‘projects’ need not all be physical ‘to do’s’ (although to be sure there will be loads of those to consider – everything from major construction or business projects to family pictures to cleaning up the junk drawer). Be sure to also consider any debts unpaid, promises not kept, or time with people you care about. Digging still deeper, I invite you to also deal with unresolved resentments, unstated thank-you and appreciations as well as things you need to ask for that you’re avoiding.
This series just scratches the surface of the wealth of tools available to help you negotiate your personal confidence boost. Hopefully, this sampling kickstarts you on your path to increased confidence so you can get more of what you want and deserve in life. You don’t have to implement them all. As noted above, a smaller number of finished projects will better serve you than a host of unfinished ones.
Choose the things from this series that most resonated with you and start implementing those in order of priority that most appeals. As we discussed in the confidence/competence loop piece, every little boost you get in your confidence will inspire you to try on new things which will increase your competence, which in turn will further boost your confidence and so on in a positive upward spiral that will dramatically improve the quality of your life.
My hope is that the next time we talk, if I ask you to rate your confidence on a scale of 1 – 10, you’ll be on your way to shooting off the chart.
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