Have you heard the saying that building confidence is like building muscle? You’ve got the potential to be confident (aka to build muscle and get in shape), but you’ve got to do the work to get there.
“The work,” for strengthening your confidence, is exercising that muscle called “courage.” The courage to start something new, to do something out of your comfort zone, to talk to that person or people you’ve been admiring, to write that book, to take that class…
Now you don’t have to do it all at once. You don’t have to go all in; you can do it in incremental steps.
For example, you don’t have to sit down at your desk and tell yourself “Now I’m going to write that book I’ve been wanting to.” Because, you know what? Chances are, your mind will start freaking out and it will start a little self-sabotage program in your head.
It goes a little like this…
“You know you suck at this. You can’t write. Who’s going to read this? This is a lot of work! You’re never going to finish this! Who are you to write a book? You know, there’s so much to watch on Netflix right now…”
I know because I’ve been there. It feels a little overwhelming, then the self-doubt and negative self-talk come in.
Start slowly. Create a plan on how you’re going to approach your confidence-boosting actions toward your dream life.
It may feel overwhelming, but like they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” But, there was a plan in place.
Choose paper or computer. Or both! I love post-it notes. I also love Evernote. One’s a paper system, one’s using a computer. Use what works best for you.
Start with your goals. What would you love to have in your life? If you’d like, do the Wheel of Life exercise and find out which area needs the most attention. Choose one area or up to three. If you focus on more than three areas, it will feel overwhelming and you’ll quit way more easily. I want you to succeed in this!
3 Simple Steps to Plan Out Your Goals
Step 1. Okay, using post-its or Evernote now, write down as many goals as you can.
Step 2. Now, choose 3 goals out of all the goals listed.
Step 3. Plan out for the next 90 days.
How to Plan Using the Quarterly System
You’re going to do a quarterly system here so you’re focused on the next 90 days.
Let’s say you want to write a book.
Month 1 of 30 days:
- Week 1 (you can break this into days once you have your weekly outline done): Write the outline (7 days)
- Weeks 2-4: Write the first 3 chapters/1 chapter a week (21 days)
Month 2, 30-60 days:
- Write 4 chapters/1 chapter a week
Month 3, 60-90 days:
- 1st week – write last chapter
- 2nd week – edit book
- 3rd week – do book cover and plan social media/launch/website
- 4th week – launch book
It may take longer or shorter than 3 months. You’ll need to adjust accordingly. Sometimes writing a chapter takes less time; sometimes more.
I usually adjust on Sunday evenings so I go into the new week with a new improved plan. I also look at these steps and break them down even further for the week and days, as need be.
For example, write the first chapter. That may include gathering resources so I list those I need. I may have multiple tasks to do to launch my book so I may want to include those tasks throughout the 90 days.
If you want to plan the year according to the quarterly method, you’d sketch out the year, but you’d do the step-by-step for the quarter you’re in – it would be more flushed out and planned than future quarters.
By the way, I learned of the quarterly system through the book, The 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders.
So you can see that you’ve got a great plan for getting your dreams accomplished and checked off your list, but how does this relate to confidence you ask?
When you accomplish big goals – those goals where you have to stretch yourself – you gain some confidence muscle. When you approach those goals with courage in spite of your fear, and you start to accomplish even the little to-dos off your list; you’re building your confidence muscle.
Confidence isn’t being fearless. Confidence is having the courage to face your fears despite the fear. The more you face your fears, the more confident you’ll become.
Another example is how far I’ve come in socializing with other people. When I was younger, I was painfully shy. You wouldn’t know it now. I’ve had to be in situations where I’ve had to speak up, I’ve had to show up, I’ve had to speak. I still get a little nervous at times, but I’ve done it so much, I’ve become confident socializing and meeting new people because it’s been rewarding time-after-time. Yes, sometimes people are snobby, but most of the time, people are amazing. We connect. And those are the people and situations I choose to focus on. If people don’t like me, that’s their issue. Doesn’t tell me a thing about me; but everything about them. And that’s okay. I wish them well.
Another example is that when I became the executive director of a non-profit here in New York, I was not confident in my abilities to lead an organization. Did I have those skills? Yes – most of them! Could I learn them and rely on my ability to learn and grow and trust myself to lead with excellence? Yes. That confidence came over time, but that stretch created a gap in which to grow my confidence.
I am an executive director and I do a pretty damn good job. Could I say that 7 years ago? No, but I had faith that I had it in me and I gave it my very best. I was scared I couldn’t do all the things the job required of me at first, but I was more hopeful that I could. And I did. And I grew my confidence in that area because of my belief in myself. And, I had the support of my husband and family, too. That’s important as well. Having cheerleaders (or coaches) is a huge help!
So what will you pursue that will stretch your confidence muscle? What do you know you’ve been putting off because of your fear, but you just know you’re meant to pursue it?
The world needs more of you and your gifts. You’re allowed to shine. Don’t focus on the haters (that includes your negative self-talk).
You are amazing. Step into your light.
I’m rooting for you!
By the way, this is my go-to method for creating my dream life, but sometimes I need the help of a coach for that extra support and accountability. Sometimes we just can’t seem to get out of our own way! If you’re frustrated in life and feel overwhelmed; if you feel like there’s something more for you; if you feel scared to go for your dreams – I can help you get past those roadblocks and create that dream life you’ve always known is there for you. CONTACT ME to get started on your dream life.
Ask yourself: What would it feel like to stop wasting time and effort trying to do it on your own?
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