Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be brimming over with confidence? They’re the ones who know how to speak to clients and colleagues to be seen as experts in their field, and who don’t seem to think twice about walking into a room of people they don’t know and starting up a conversation.
I’m about the polar opposite. I prefer to listen to others rather than talk myself, and tend to analyse every word people say to work out what they might mean. It’s been one of my goals for this year to become more confident, but I wasn’t really sure how to begin.
And then recently, I was talking to one of those seemingly confident people and she told me that once, she had been just like me. But one day, she was sick of being passed over for someone louder yet again, and so she set herself a challenge. She decided to do one thing per week that scared her – calling clients, emailing non-returning clients, taking a more prominent role in organising events.
How nice it all sounded, I said to her, just waking up one morning and being more confident. Actually, she explained, it wasn’t that simple. But as she took more risks, she gradually became less scared. And she developed coping strategies and a routine to make risk-taking less, well risky I guess! My friend lists ‘confident’ tasks to be done, and has assigned Monday morning as her ‘confidence time’. That way, she says, she doesn’t have time to back out, and once she’s done her scary task for the week, she feels much better.
So I’ve decided I’m going to follow her lead and do one thing every week that I’ve put off because it seems too hard or scary. On Friday afternoon I’ll prepare everything I need to get it done, so that it’s the very first thing to do on Monday, without having to search for telephone numbers or write the email before pressing send. No excuses! I’ll keep you updated with my progress, too.
Are you a confident person by nature, or is it something you’re working on, like me? Have you found any ways to make something you find challenging more easy? I would love to hear any ideas you have!