Hi readers :-)
How often have you had those moments in work and personal life where you want to say something but then fear creeps into your mind and stops you in your tracks. It might be happening in work meetings where you think of a great idea to share but your confidence to speak up is quickly overshadowed by fear. This fear can often be what stops leaders from having important conversations with their staff, and on a personal level can be what stops us from acting on our big ideas or from telling someone how we feel.
I am stating the obvious here; fear will always be present in your life, throughout all the areas of your life, and in various forms. I believe it's how we deal with it that separates us from 'people who let fear be their excuse' and 'people who acknowledge their fear and do it anyway'.
When it comes to fear around confidence I believe there are three areas that it can stem from:
1. Fear of confrontation: Did you know that we will go to more lengths, normally at the cost of our own happiness, to avoid confrontation? For some of us the fear of confrontation makes us sick to our stomachs and that feeling alone is enough to put us off doing or saying something.
2. Fear of repercussions: The unknown of what will happen next, how will other people react, and most importantly, what will happen to me?
3. Fear of competence: We simply don't believe we're good enough or have the skills required.
Here are some easy tips to help you work through the above (these are written through the eyes of confidence in a leadership role but can be easily adapted to any situation).
1. Plan it out. Logical planning can help alleviate the overwhelming emotion that fear can bring. By writing it out it will remind yourself of the facts and give you the confidence you need to either; make a certain decision or have a confronting conversation. For example, you might need to have a conversation with a team member who is continually coming in late but the fear of confrontation is taking over. Writing down the days they have been late and the impact it has had on your business will give you a logical foundation to base your conversation around.
2. Role Play. After you've planned it out you might still feel a bit fearful. Meet with a colleague or your mentor and practise, practise, practise. (I think this is the most underused coaching technique. Yes, it makes people uncomfortable but that’s where the best learning and development happens).
3. When possible, choose a meeting time when you are at your best. Just like when we need to take a bandaid off it's best to just rip it. If you have planned it out and practised then just do it. The longer we sit thinking about it the more our mind starts to create highly unlikely scenarios in our minds that add to our fear.
4. Remind yourself of how you got to where you are. The power of reflection is great when it comes to limiting your fear, especially around fear of competence. Remind yourself of the previous performance conversations you have had, even gain confidence from other challenges in your life that you have overcome. If you still feel as though you lack competence then take every opportunity to attend seminars and training to develop your own skills. (And of course, keep reading my blog)
5. Know that you can only influence the way a person reacts. This is your reminder that you will never be able to control how other people react, you can only influence them. So focus on what you can control – YOU. Keep your intentions and standards high, let it flow through to the language you use, your tone and your body language to ensure your message comes across. How the other person chooses to accept or not accept your message is up to them.
There you have it, my top tips on how to get your confidence back.
Now off you go and put this into action.
Have a great day :-)
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