If you are in the middle of something and it’s hitting you big time, you’d probably rather not be at work. The dread of this particular challenge is dragging you down. You feel it in your body, and you hear within as your thoughts, that echo around the common theme, “I can’t handle this anymore!”
You are feeling incompetent, overwhelmed and perhaps, fear that your credibility is slipping.
What if I told you, you can instead, feel more confident right now? In this article, you will learn the one question to ask yourself to remove that self-doubt and instantly feel surer of yourself.
If there were such a thing as a Leadership Doctor, they’d diagnose you with failing confidence. The one telltale sign, without the blood work or body scan, would be your negative mind chatter. The doctor could tell what the issue was, as soon as you mentioned to them that your thoughts were full of:
What do you think about yourself?
Confidence is what you tell yourself. Nothing more. If you think you can, you can. If you believe it’s possible, you’ll figure out a way to make it happen. If you trust you will handle it, you’ll handle it. Confidence is a belief in your abilities, of your potential and of your faith that you can learn or figure it out. Confidence is an inner game.
Are you worried about what others think about you?
Where many women get stuck is that they wait for something to happen, someone else to do something, say something or offer them a better option. If you doubt, hesitate, hold back, or find you are afraid to say something, it could be because you want the go-ahead from someone else.
Their opinion won’t make you feel more confident
Sadly, most women leaders rarely hear words of encouragement like that from their boss, their board chair and probably even rarer still from their employees or colleagues. Praise, accolades or encouragement just don’t show up. But here’s the funny thing…even if it did, it still wouldn't make you feel any more confident. Because it doesn’t matter what they think, it only matters what you think!
Your confidence rises or falls based on what you think about your capabilities
You become more confident when you shift your inner dialogue. When your thoughts rotate around reflections about what you can do, instead of what you can’t, your confidence rises. To feel increased confidence, work to have these kinds of thoughts yourself:
To feel more confident, tame your inner dialogue
To be a confident leader, you need to be the encouraging voice inside of your head. Instead of the negative mind chatter, you need to:
Tame your inner dialogue
Confidence is what you think you can do. The challenge is most of our thoughts are unconscious. Learning to change your inner dialogue takes time. It helps when you develop a system for checking in frequently with your thoughts and adjusting them as necessary.
The proven technique: Install a system to help you manage your thoughts
A system that helps you to pause your thinking and checking in with your thoughts is the first step. Once you pause, take a moment to ponder. Ask yourself if your current thoughts are moving you towards the feeling and outcome you desire. You may find as you reflect that your thoughts are keeping you stuck in feeling incompetent, overwhelmed and lacking creditability.
Ask yourself this question to instantly feel more confident
If your thoughts are negative, focused on what’s not working or circling around who needs to say or do something before you can feel sure, try asking this question.
To feel more confident right now, what do I need to be thinking?
The act of pivoting your thoughts to the future, to confidence instead of lacking confidence changes how you feel.
When you shift your thoughts, you proceed forward with increased feelings of confidence. You once again feel more capable, because you are thinking about all the experience you have, what you’ve done before and how much you believe in your project.
When you manage your thoughts, you feel more confident
You can overcome self-doubt and feel a surge of confidence by following the system to regain control of your thinking. Every time you are struggling, or you hit a wall, come back to pausing. Stop long enough to reflect (ponder). Ask yourself: To feel more confident right now, what do I need to be thinking? Shift your thoughts (pivot), and take the next action step forward (proceed).
2 Immediate Boosts of Confidence
Sometimes though you need an immediate boost of confidence to handle a tricky situation. You can find 2 immediate confidence boosts here to get you through today’s challenge.
Your problem: You ain’t happy!
You’re struggling. Some days are worse than others. You want a way out of the mess. You want to feel more capable of doing your job and more content in life. But, the big question is, how do you discover that?
The solution: You just don’t know, and it’s frustrating!
Perhaps one of the options you’ve considered is coaching. But, you really don’t get what coaching is; you don’t understand it, or you aren’t sure what it’s all about. So, you’ve hesitated to take the next step.
Let me try to clear the fog for you.
What coaching is not:
Coaching isn’t therapy or counseling. Both of those may be something that can benefit you as well, either on their own or in conjunction with coaching, but they are different. I am neither a counselor nor a therapist, so I am proving you a description of what they offer from the International Coaching Federation (ICF): Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction, and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways.
What is coaching?
So what is coaching then? Coaching is a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires you to maximize your personal and professional potential. When I am coaching you, I am asking you a lot of questions. I get you thinking, usually, in ways, you haven’t been thinking on your own! You have probably been stuck in a rut, regurgitating the same thoughts over and over. OMG, I don’t know what to do! I can’t figure this out. I just want to enjoy my life!
Coaching is not advice, it's questions
Most often the questions I ask are pointing you forward. As a coach, I use curiosity to help you to explore things that you probably already know, but have either avoided, overlooked or are afraid to take on. I might ask you What if you could figure it out, where would you start? I could ask you to describe me what your life might look like after you've achieved joy, happiness or contentment. That helps you get more precise about actions you need to take, because not everyone is looking for the same thing. Maybe you want to be home at least 3 nights each week to make supper, but someone else wants two vacations south each year. Another lady might focus on being able to deal with her workload or be better at growing a cohesive team. Coaching helps you to see your challenges with a new perspective AND create a plan to navigate all the roadblocks between you and your future, step-by-step.
The benefits of hiring a coach
As a coach, I am helping you to reach your full potential both in at work and in your life. Part of that full potential might be that you become more productive or have better time management. You might develop better relationships with your employees or peers. Through coaching, you and your organization could achieve better results. You may find a better balance between work and life or achieve a higher state of health, which subsequently allows you more joy in life.
Coaching will give you confidence
When you work with me, I’ll help you to feel more confident, and the result is you’ll get out of survival mode, which so many of us live in and you’ll move to thriving in both your leadership and life.
Here is what your peers say about coaching?
Don’t take my word for it. This is what some of the women I have coached, have said about their coaching experience and the difference it's made in their life:
How to hire a coach
You may be even more curious now about coaching and are thinking about trying coaching out. To look for a Coach, you can begin with a search on the Internet. There is a multitude of coaching sites available for you to consider. If you have a friend who is using a coach, you may ask that friend for a referral.
You might be concerned about finding a qualified coach, even if you don’t quite know what that means. The best place to ensure you are getting a certified Coach is to use the referral service that the ICF provides. There you will find a list of credentialed coaches to meet your needs.
What are you looking for in a coach?
Finding the right Coach is like finding a pair of shoes that fit really well. Looking pretty is nice, but it’s not going to help you if you are on your feet all day. Your Coach is going to help you get over some of the hills in front of you. You’ll want to find one that feels supportive, encouraging and who will push you a bit to achieve your full potential. Take the time to find the right coach. It will be worth it for both your career and your happiness.
3 Questions to ask a Potential Coach (and 3 more CRITICAL ones you should be asking)
As with anything else you are purchasing, you should do your homework before hiring a Coach. Be sure to ask the following three questions:
Hiring a Coach is serious business!
Ask these 3 critical questions to make sure you get the right Coach for you!
Are you ready to sample coaching?
Before you dive in, most coaches offer a complimentary session. This session lets you get a feel for the Coach's style and helps you determine if this partnership might work for you. If you’d like to sample my coaching, you can book a complimentary 30-minute session with me here. With a complimentary session, you will get the opportunity to get a feel for coaching. You can ask me any questions you’d like that will help you to either understand coaching better or see if you and I might make a good team helping you as you move to thriving in both your leadership and your life!
Leadership could be summed up by saying personal growth.
OMG, think of all the things you’ve learned since you started supervising, managing or leading. I’m not talking about spreadsheets, reports, and contracts. You have learned soooo much about yourself, what makes people tick, unwritten rules of meetings and when to speak and when to hold your tongue.
The learning twist in leadership positions
When you advance into a leadership position, you suddenly must understand more than the mechanics of the job. You are no longer concerned with the intricacies of frontline work. You now have to discover how to get people to work together, how to motivate them and how to navigate the ongoing drama between co-workers. Now that everyone’s eyes are always on you, you need to figure out how to be calm and composed even when you feel like freaking out, falling apart or running away.
That learning for you is all personal growth.
A different kind of learning is required
As you work to develop your leadership skills and competencies, much of what you are doing requires you to look inside of you.
How to fit the learning in
The question is how the heck do you do that in the midst of your busy schedule? Most leaders don’t have the time or the luxury to go back to school in the middle of their career.
The truth is, the most effective, influential and successful leaders have added learning in by becoming voracious readers.
Yes, they read books. Lots of books.
On a regular basis, you will find leaders reading on an airplane, in their office, before they go to bed or first thing in the morning. They put reading into their schedule and make it a part of their life.
Leaders are learners
Leaders are readers
3 ways to add reading to your already busy schedule
More about Audible Memberships
You are probably wondering what Audible is. Audible is an Amazon company that provides the audio version of books. Audible is a monthly subscription service that allows you to listen to audiobooks at a highly discounted cost. You can download books right to your phone, tablet, or computer.
Each month you’re given one credit, which you can use to buy any item in their catalog regardless of their respective cost, rating, or length. The membership costs you $14.99 Canadian each month. You can end your subscription at any time, so really there is no risk! And, your first book is free!
Learn More About AUDIBLE Here
What should you read?
To help you out I wanted to give you a sneak peek into my library. If you want to know what I’ve been reading and rereading grab this guide and get my 20 favorite leadership books. In it, you will find the Audible links to each of the books starting with my very first suggestion Mastering Confidence. When you use this link to Audible, you will get it for free!
You can also purchase books on iTunes. Here’s the Mastering Confidence Link to the iTunes version.
Leaders are Readers
Remember, leaders are learners. Most leaders find the best way to learn is by reading books. Leaders are readers. Figure out how to add minimally 10 minutes of reading to your days and see your leadership success, impact and enjoyment skyrocket!
Get your first Audible book free here!
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.