What makes the confident person confident? What keeps them performing at a high level? What stops us from being confident and how can we fix this?
What’s behind that façade we show to the world every day when we leave our house or when we turn on a video call? If it was a shop front, would it be clear on what is for sale? Would it have colourful branding and signage, and would the shop front door be open for business and admitting buyers for the quality goods within that match the façades branding? Or is this open shop for that other person? That person that is free to say and do whatever their heart desires in the moment without fear of reprisal because they are living out their purpose and passions in life?
As we go about our business and come across people, it’s hard to know if the person is happy, sad, angry, nervous, anxious, content, has a great self-belief, has a purpose and is passionate about it etc. In a lot of cases, these people have a shop front but on entering its not what you expected. In some instances you look hard but can’t find the door and never see anyone going in or out!
There are plenty of these store fronts about, I was one of them, without a real purpose and passion but having a nice shop front telling the world I’m doing great and open for business, but God forbid if you walked in. But how can we spot the people that are living the dream, living their purpose and passions in life and learn to emulate them? It can help to start looking for a specific character trait like consistent confidence. How do you spot consistent confidence? Take a work situation and recall someone you know, in your past or present team, group or company that you believe is as confident person? What makes them confident? Here’s what sticks out for me:
Belief – A big dose of belief in what they are doing and in themselves and capable to deliver the task or job at hand.
Desire – Not just have a goal but a burning desire to do the work or their job every day
Action – Stuff gets done, there is a system at play whether you can see it or not that aids consistent delivery and its efficient and habitual.
Positive – Whether things are working out or not, there is a driving force to be curious and assess how things are, stay positive and jump back into the rhythm of belief, desire and action to move the situation on confidently.
The confident persons shop front is enticing, the door is open and inside the promise of quality goods as described by the branding on the shop façade are there on show.
At times, our confidence and life performance falters and we move back into third gear and slowly chug along hoping that over the next hill there is a station to fill us up, recharge or fix whatever needs fixing so we can drive safely and confidently in the life performance lane again. What situations did my performance hit a black spot? let’s stick with my top 4:
Belief – A past outcome has shaped the current belief you have in yourself, and you tie present and future outcomes to how things went in the past. And yes, it was not a good outcome originally.
Fear – There is worry that you can’t do the job or task at hand. Whether this is real or imagined thinking, your subconscious is making it a blocker for you, and you do things that don’t promote positive performance.
Action – You have lost the faith in your system that helps you get the work done and to keep you fueled and healthy to keep working and so doing build confidence. In fact, in a lot of cases you’ve lost your system entirely or forgot how to use it or that you ever had one in the first place. Fear and worry are your major concerns and just keeping your head above water is the goal and not a process to get you out of the rough spot.
Other’s opinion – Overly sensitive to what others might be thinking especially in situations where you need to present your plans or strategies. Avoidance strategies creep in and you start to move away from challenges more often.
What can be done if your life performance is suffering in the above situations?
Understand the cognitive distortions at play – catch yourself thinking, tag the distortion, determine what’s a more realistic thought in that situation and act on it.
Talk it out – With someone you trust or someone you don’t know but knows how to help. Specifically, when were you at your happiest? what are your strengths? what are the achievements you are most happy about and when did they occur? How has your thinking changed from those positive achievements to what it is now? What are you thinking and feeling? What are the small steps that can be taken to move on? How can you get back to fueling your engine? Who can help you?
Get your engine in balance – Look at your system for getting work done and look at your approach that keeps your mind and body fueled to do the work. Most of the time the balance is not right, identify this and get your action system up and running again. Get a partner in action to help you.
Do your best – In the book the Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters the “Do your best” approach hit home perfectly for me. Basically, your mindset should be “I will do my best and can deal with the consequences no matter what they are as I am an adult.” For example, you must give a presentation or put yourself out there in a new situation. Most might think that your goal is to give a good talk and ensure folks think highly of you, well subconsciously anyway. But reality is you can’t control either of those things but only influence them. So, the worry kicks in and now all you can think about is what might go wrong and what might people think? However, if you have the goal of “I will do my best” and I will deal with any outcomes as I am an adult and a professional then it doesn’t matter how it goes, you did your best at the time and will handle it. Your goal is simply “do my best” and if you’ve worked hard, prepared and given your best on the day then you have succeeded.
We all can get back on the Life Performance road, we all can have a store front that mirrors the inside and first step is to talk it out and a plan will come.
Your partner on the rocky road of Life performance,