Increasing your confidence as a leader is critical to both performing strongly and to feeling good. Confidence comes from inside of you rather than from external sources.
You don’t become more confident as a result of what others say to you.
Instead, your confidence increases when you tell yourself you can and when you then believe you can. That means if you want a greater level of confidence, you need to grow it from inside.
To help you out with your thinking, I’m sharing some confidence hacks. The 1st Hack was Know You Can. If you can’t do it, no amount of thinking you can do something will give you the feeling of confidence. That means you may need to take some training, read a book or practice a skill to become more proficient, adept or able, thus more confident.
Confidence is what you think you are capable of doing
This week we are moving on to the 2nd confidence hack: Believe You Can. This hack is all about shifting your mindset.
I think I can…I think I can…I think I can…
Do you believe you can? If you don’t, I’m sorry to tell you, but you are in for some big challenges! If you don’t believe in your ability or skill, you will hit internal resistance. That inner voice will tell you to should step back. It will suggest you let someone else take the reins. That whisper in your mind will caution you, that you aren’t quite ready yet.
Believe You can
The confidence hack "Believe You Can" is about change your thinking. Your thoughts can either propel you forward, cause you to freeze or to make you pull back. If you want to increase your confidence, you’ll need to become aware of those thoughts and possible alter or tweak them. Sometimes it doesn’t take much of a shift in the words you are thinking. This powerful example from Alicia Keys reminds us of how quickly changing one word can impact us.
Shifting from “If I…” to “When I…” is an incredible tweak!
Here are 2 ways to tweak your thoughts to have the most power over your confidence levels.
Use Your Inner Guidance Cycle
Using the steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle (pause, ponder, pivot & proceed) will help you to become aware of your thoughts. The cycle gives you access to your Inner Guidance System, which is that inner wisdom. That internal insight allows you to notice the thought and then determine if what you are thinking is going to be helpful in getting you where you want to be. That awareness can help you to fine-tune the thought.
When you think, “I’m not ready yet.” You tend to stay quiet at a meeting. Noticing the precise words you are thinking, lets you step back and perhaps alter the what is going on in your mind. If you’ve been practicing public speaking (Remember Hack #1 was about increasing your competence so that you Know You Can), you may then adjust the thought to “It’s not going to come out perfectly, however, if I keep practicing I’ll get better. Speaking up now is an excellent opportunity to practice public speaking in real time.” This transformed thought boosts your confidence and helps you to speak up.
Develop a Growth Mindset
A fixed mindset keeps you stuck in a particular belief. When you have a fixed mindset, you don’t trust you can change or grow. You think you’ll never be smarter, more talented, a better speaker or good at conflict. The result of holding the belief firmly is that becomes an ongoing attitude of “Why to bother trying?" This stance kills your confidence.
Instead, when you develop a growth mindset, you become open to possibilities. A person with a growth mindset knows that it will take effort and time, however, that it is possible to change themselves.
Grow your growth mindset
To adopt a growth mindset, get better at asking
Believe You Can = Increased Confidence
Shifting your mindset and the way you think can have a profound impact on your confidence level. First, use the Inner Guidance Cycle to become more aware of your thoughts. Then develop a growth mindset that keeps you open to change and possibility. That increased awareness and a mindset shift will heighten your confidence, so you can both have a greater effect on your leadership and feel good in the process.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.