Showing posts with label Build Confidence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Build Confidence. Show all posts

Friday, January 28, 2011

Give Yourself Credit for the Small Victories

I’m not a technical person by nature. Fortunately, I’m married to someone who is. In fact, my husband Lee can do anything that involves assembling, taking apart, and repairing items. To me, he is an absolute genius in this area.

But I’ll never forget the first laser printer I got for my home office in 1990 because I assembled it and hooked it up to my computer myself. Granted, this was not particularly difficult. But the instructions weren’t quite as intuitive as the ones packed with computer devices today, so it was a real accomplishment for me to do this on my own.

The rest of the day I remember feeling really good about myself. I had stretched outside my comfort zone and worked something out on my own, without asking Lee for assistance. And my printer worked!

The important point is that I recognized and gave myself credit for this small achievement.

Too often, our self-talk is critical and judgmental, which leads to feelings of inferiority and a low sense of self-worth. We focus on what we haven’t done or on how what we have done falls short of our (often unrealistic) expectations.

The way to build your confidence is to be on the look-out for things you’ve done well in the course of your day, no matter how small, and recognize the accomplishments. You can’t rely on someone else to notice everything you do. And besides, you’re apt to discount their input if you don’t first recognize yourself the value of what you’ve completed.

So at least twice a day, take time to reflect on what you’ve done so far in that day that you are proud of. Maybe you’ve taken time to offer a kind word to a stranger, or you’ve made an important business call you’ve been putting off, or you exercised patience in a trying situation, or you took time to read to your child. All of these actions count. They have a positive impact on your self-image and strongly influence what you’ll do tomorrow and the next day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Affirming: The Second Step of Encouragement

In an earlier post, I explained why LISTENING is the first step you need to use if you’re genuinely interested in encouraging someone who’s experiencing a difficult time. It’s important to let the person talk about what’s bothering her and to show that you understand what she’s saying.

If you know the individual well, you’re aware of her strengths. You know what she’s capable of. The problem is that at this moment, she’s not thinking about that. She’s thinking about what went wrong.

So now it’s time to AFFIRM.

What you do is remind the person of her strong qualities. When things go wrong, people often blame themselves. They may feel inadequate. They may feel a loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. They temporarily lose sight of who they are and what they’re capable of.

Painfully focused on their shortcomings, they need to be reminded of their positive qualities. And they’re probably not thinking about past achievements. This is your opportunity to remind the person of her personal strengths, the ones that will get her through this challenge. You can remind her of obstacles she’s faced before in equally tough or even tougher situations - and what she did to succeed.

A favorite colleague who masterminds with me excels in this second step of encouragement. We’ve worked together for five years so she knows me well. If she detects any discouragement in my voice during our monthly phone calls, she listens and then reminds me of the skills and strengths I’ve used in the past to handle a similar challenge. She affirms the specific qualities I possess that will help me deal with my current hurdle. After each of our calls, I feel encouraged and stronger.

The gift you give people through AFFIRMING is a strengthening of their belief in themselves. Whether you’re a manager, a coworker, a parent or a friend, you have the opportunity to encourage another person every day. When you see someone who’s facing a setback, consider how you can listen and affirm. Your support can make a difference not just for that day but for the rest of their life. 
"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa, Indian humanitarian