When you lack Confidence, it can seem like you may never develop it, or regain it.
We can all lack confidence in some areas, and feel fine in others. Like; being ok in a close friend or family group, to feeling panicky at the thought of standing up and talking about ourselves in front of others!
There are times in everyone’s life, where life events can seem to sap your confidence. Being out of work for sometime due to illness or redundancy. Maybe having children, moving to a new area, or country, and starting work for the first time.
There are times when low confidence can seep into everyday and starts to prevent you living life fully. Meaning you may miss out on opportunities, because you don’t feel confident enough to put yourself forward.
If you suffer with a lack of confidence, one thing to know is you are not alone. It is more common than you may think, even though some people seem very confident, that doesn’t mean they are!
Three small things that you can do, that start to increase your confidence:
- write down a list of all you have achieved from being young. Learning to ride a bike, or swim, playing a sport, dancing, for example. Or learning an instrument; getting badges from youth groups; learning to cook – even something very simple; to sew / woodwork and make something. Any certificates you have, learning to drive, to type, to read and to write! The first time you did a journey by yourself; overcoming illness or tragedy; getting your first job or work experience, helping others, friendships, being there for family and friends… the list goes on.
- Get a little notebook, and every day for 21 days – write down 3 things each day that either made you laugh or smile and feel happy, even if only for a moment. Then after 21 days read them all back and then carry on if you want to. This is great to do with children near bedtime; just ask them what made them laugh today and see what they say!
- Watch a film, programme or comedian that makes you laugh out loud! Laughter is contagious and it helps us reduce stress and live in the moment, and the feeling lasts.
Try and see how you feel.
The next steps would then be to very gently step out of your comfort zone, and try a small thing like complimenting someone else, and making them smile.
Arrange a day out to visit something very different, a train journey to the city or beach; an exhibition; or animal sanctuary; a theme park. Even though your heart may beat a little faster, tell yourself ‘just do it’. **Go with supportive people, or on your own. This is about gentle steps, not anything that makes you feel terrified. Do your planning on times of journey’s there and back, opening times, distance to venues etc… and have some fun.
I hope this helps in some way
How do you survive Christmas while managing an SME?
Christmas can be a wonderful and a stressful time for many reasons; the pressure for it to be just right, for everyone to get on! fitting in extra activities, buying presents and if you have a business – trying to manage that too.
For some business owners I know, the festive period is a time to wind-down, and an opportunity to plan for the coming year, for others it can be relentless, and also managing staff holidays, whilst keeping clients happy.
My advice would be: do have a cut off point so you can have time over the festive period, to be festive, or to relax and re-charge. We are much more effective and efficient as a result – because as much as you may love, live and breathe your business, there is more to You and your life. If we look after our well-being and literally sometimes do ‘nothing’ – yes nothing, or watch a film, play games with family and friends, or get some fresh air, the benefit is immeasurable.
To truly-wind down, this means managing the expectations of any staff you may have, your clients and family too, most people do understand. Be clear when things can be done by, switch the email to ‘out of office’ – you have worked hard – but no-one can run on empty. Think of yourself as your favourite car, or an amazing race horse, how would you look after them?
So, your present to yourself is: TIME – to rest, recuperate, recharge and be You, and so that you can free up your mind to come up with great solutions, and ideas. When we are stressed or running at max constantly – the solution focused centre of our mind closes down, because we are just ‘surviving’.
Look to the greats; Einstein knew the power of doing ‘nothing’ to gain his best ideas, and many top business people know about the power of true rest, and meditation (there are many forms including; nature; music, exercise and Yoga) this also puts you very much in tune with yourself – your intuition or ‘gut instinct’ which is never wrong, and will serve you well, not just in business but in life too, and if there has been a problem or issue to deal with, you are certain to come up with the answer by allowing your mind the time to process a solution.
Christmas isn’t the best time for a lot of people, so if you have people around you, and food on the table – being grateful is an amazing boost for you too – and those closest to you
Have a Happy peaceful Christmas and New Year
I am signing off now and returning to Confidence Coaching on the 3rd January 2019
I delivered a talk to a lovely group of people on Wednesday 5th December
titled: ‘Presenting Yourself Confidently in Business’
here is the slide showing what we covered
Presenting covers so many things – from how you present yourself, whether in person or over the phone, in emails and on social media, across your Branding, literally delivering a speech, talk or presentation – to ‘Being Present’
A present is also a gift
Presenting is a way of giving information- so people are informed about an event, a promotion or new product, idea or concept and to raise awareness, generate interest and to educate, so people can make informed choices, or it could be to raise money for a good cause.
Many people have a Fear of presenting and there are many reasons why – the fear of being judged, and feeling exposed, getting it wrong, embarrassing oneself or forgetting what to say, or worrying that you have nothing good to say that people will want to listen to. During the talk, we discussed whether people really do judge you in the way that you think, in this situation – and generally they don’t – do You?
Here is why – we are generally thinking about ourselves! it’s true – and whether what is being said or shown, is of benefit to us – we may switch of and be thinking about what’s for tea, or the email you should have sent, or not be interested. As the presenter – it’s your job to try and know your audience and there are many ways to do this – depending on the type of event it is – and it is good to remember that not everybody will be interested, but that’s OK.
When it comes to the fear or Anxiety – the best way to get around this is to get out there and do it! To feel Confident – you need to Practice Practice Practice and know your subject – do it in front of the mirror, others or video yourself – so that the first time you do it – isn’t the actual presentation or talk itself!! and you can get the timings right.
You need a little bit of Adrenaline – and you can learn how to control anxiety – one good thing to remember is it’s the same adrenaline if you’re Excited therefore; ANXIETY = EXCITEMENT our mind believes what we tell it – so Choose!
Also, check out your venue beforehand – arrive early – introduce yourself and your subject – have a clear key message and maybe 3 – 7 key points and objectives, to help your audience know what to expect, but it also helps your when planning your presentation / talk /video -to start with the end in mind.
Don’t tightly script what you want to say – bullet point your key points – put notes on PowerPoint – to print off as an aid (PowerPoint) also has presentation mode – so you know whats coming next – don’t overcrowd the slides, they are there as a visual aid only! Invest in a ‘clicker’ – have handouts and extra information for those who want it. Have a checklist of what to take with you – put everything on it – including ‘Take Presentation’ or ‘take handouts’ Computer – cables – plan B! – which could be your presentation on a memory stick, or emailed to yourself or the organiser.
BREATHE and SMILE and most of all be YOU – there is so much more – so get in touch if you want more information 🙂
This Wednesday 10th October 2018 is WORLD Mental Health Day
I will be in Maidstone Kent at County Hall, Kent with the FSB for MENTAL HEALTH in the Workplace
It is sure to be a very informative event to help all employers and staff – to encourage a healthier happier workplace – which has a massive impact and helps people to feel so much happier.
What is good Mental Health?
“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”
The Mental Foundation reiterate this “Good mental health is not simply the absence of diagnosable mental health problems”
When a person’s Mental Health is compromised it can affect their work, their family life and friendships, and their physical health too.
Latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive is:
2016/2017 12.5 million working days lost due to Stress, Depression and Anxiety
Which is now 40% of all work absence, compared to the previous 2015/2016 of 37%
This equates to an average of 23.8 days a year lost per person
My personal argument is, there is also the days prior to absence – loss of focus and productivity when a person is feeling stressed, overwhelmed, tired, depressed or anxious. Prevention is always preferable, and it is in the interest of all of us, regardless of size of business – to look after our own Mental Health, to take responsibility. If you are the Boss, yours really matters, and is a great example for any employees you have, but also, if you feel good, the knock-on effect is -so will they.
To create the best working environment we can, offer and maintain a good Life/work balance and to let people know they are Valued.
No-one can run on empty, family and social life is important to our mental well being and happiness, making us more productive. One thing above all things, to get the best from an employee, to have great productivity and Loyalty – is to let them know they are Valued, that their role is important, to make sure they understand what their role is, and how it fits in with everyone else’s, and to spend time on their development – so you have happy loyal productive employees.
A few tips:
- Take lunch away from your desk or work station and have a proper break, go for a walk, even 10 minutes helps – most people do not do this!
- Have regular team meetings
- Prioritise workloads – to avoid duplication, and overwhelm and allow for –
- Good time management
- Leave work at a time that allows valuable time at home with your family, or friends
- Exercise – in whatever form you love – the mental health benefits are huge, as well as gaining great physical health too
- Take on a team challenge!
- Practice Mindfulness – it works! as does learning Stress management
- Train in Mental Health at work to help take the stigma away – we all have times we need help and support, you can also enlist dedicated companies for your staff to talk to
- Have numbers for supportive organisations clearly visible – there are so many wonderful ones from MIND, to CALM (Campaign Against living miserably) aimed at men, ANXIETY UK, Heads Together, The Samaritans, Re-think Mental illness, Time to Change… there are so many
Just a few things, there is so much more. The work I do is to work on Confidence, and self-esteem to really help people recognise their skills and reach their full potential.
If you would like to read my current newsletter please do click the link below:
A lot of people who come to see me are suffering with what they think is Anxiety, when in fact it is Stress and overwhelm.
Mindfulness practice can help, even just taking a deep slow breath, and giving yourself a ‘PAUSE’ to then choose and decide how you would like to proceed – even if it is to take some time out from a situation, even for 10 minutes.
Do you need to be saying ‘NO’ to taking on more than you can cope with? If you want to do a great job for someone – which is also taking on their expectations and standards too, coupled with your own – do you really have the time to do a great job for them?
A great way to say ‘No’ is ‘Let me check I have the time, to do a good job for you‘ – then really think about whether you do have the time, or that you even want to do what is being asked of you. you can say ‘No’ but add,’ it’s only No for now, as I’m so busy and can’t take anything else on‘ or is it maybe time that someone took their own responsibility – maybe you could offer to do part of what is being asked – if they also do their bit!
You can question why you may always be saying ‘Yes’
Questions to ask yourself – which can help you with Stress and Anxiety
‘What’s the worst that could happen – really?’ Think about this question – what is the worst really? in some scenarios it could be that someone is unhappy, even angry, that you are not doing what they want. Can you deal with that? probably you can.
‘is how I feel right now helpful to me and the situation?’ then ask yourself ‘what would serve me and the situation better?’ It takes a bit of practice, but if you forget to ask yourself – you will then reflect – which is all a process of learning – do cut yourself some slack – you’re a human, with emotions, and if you are stressed or anxious, your emotions are heightened.
For Anxiety – a great question is ‘where is my evidence that what I am worried about IS going to happen?’ Anxiety is worrying and projecting that worry into the future ‘what if…’ – something that happened in the past, is not evidence for what has not happened yet! If you are able to think instead of the best possible outcome (you can if you can think of the worst!) then your ‘mindset’ changes – into one of possibility – this then means you approach the situation differently, more positively – so the ‘odds’ of things going better than expected are raised.
So, ‘what if…it goes better than expected? that I meet someone interesting, or have fun, or make a valuable connection, or I am able to make someone smile, help them and make their day better?’
YOU CAN 🙂
please contact me if you want to know more
I thoroughly enjoyed running my A2B 10 week course ‘Confidence to be your best You’
Seeing the confidence grow in the attendees, week on week is amazing.
Here is the feedback received:
‘My Confidence levels have changed, I feel happier in myself’
I’ve learnt ‘it’s OK to be ME’ ‘My anxiety has reduced and I now sleep!’
‘I have thoroughly enjoyed this course, a great experience and beautifully put together’
‘I am more confident saying No, and have learnt new skills, and understanding and valuing myself’
‘My confidence has improved, and the course was presented in a kind and understanding way’
‘My confidence has changed a lot – there should be more courses like this one’
I also scored a 10, from everyone on how likely they would be to recommend my course 🙂
If you would like to know more, please do get in-touch