Being in practice can at times be stressful. How does the saying go?
My job would be easy if I didn’t have any clients?
You know, and I know that in the world of professional services your survival and career progression depends on you feeling good. Do you, like Heather and I, ever have any little confidence wobbles? In fact, the last time Heather did career MOTs with coaching clients the root cause to both individual’s career plateaus had been confidence. It’s confidence that helps you pick up the phone to follow up new business leads. It’s confidence that helps you stand your ground when stuff is happening around you which you don’t think is good for your team or firm as a whole. Like Heather, it’s a common question that I get asked, “how can I improve my confidence?” There are lots of longer term answers to the question of improving confidence, some of which relate to believing in yourself, some about having a committed goal for your career, some are about the way you look at things. But here are five quick ways to boost your confidence.
6 ways to improve confidence
- Be a model. Think about someone who is confident, you’re going to model them. How do they and act, talk and walk? List six things that they do; their mannerisms and the way they act. How do they walk, talk and answer questions? How do they stand? Pick four, start copying them. Start watching the body language of confident people, copy it. If you’re wondering just how good this is, consider a client who recently tried it and said “just making myself walk differently really helped improve confidence, partly because I was focusing on the right things”.
- Leave five minutes earlier. OK, I know you’re busy, but how often do you arrive feeling flustered and then are not as good as you could be? I recently had to meet Heather and some other great friends and for a multitude of reasons, involving trains, cars, tripping over, I was late. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I hate being late. Heather quietly said to me afterwards “are you OK?”. You will be more prepared by getting there in plenty of time, can focus on your action plan and the key things you’re at your meeting for. Knowing you’re there and “in control of the room”, can really help improve confidence.
- Get testimonials. I know, I often write about testimonials, but get them, write them down, read them, believe them. Ask for enough detail about what was so good, that will help you believe them. It’s one of the great ways to improve self esteem as well as your marketing.
- Listen to, but don’t lose yourself to the words of others. The reality is it’s not what they say to you; it’s what you say to yourself after they have stopped talking that is the problem! Pick one lesson from it and move on. Nobody makes you feel inferior without your consent.
- Get out for five minutes. If you want a quick boost in the day, the paperwork is piling up, there are three calls you’ve been putting off and ….. Get out for a brisk five minute walk. We’re lucky and can do this in beautiful settings around our office, but even in town it clears the head and oxygenates the blood. Just five minutes of walking tall, will help you boost confidence.
- Use daily affirmations. This is something which we encourage our clients to do when they are struggling with a self-limiting belief. We get them to regularly speak a phrase into the mirror which helps them feel confident and break the self-limiting belief. It may sound silly, but it really does work.
Those are my 6 favourite ways to improve confidence, what are yours? About Jon Baker: Jon Baker is a Business Coach, Sales Trainer and Experienced Public Speaker who specialises in working with partners and potential partners from small firms – typically up to 10 partner practices. He helps the professionals with 5 to 50 staff improve their performance and grow their firm, sustainably, profitably and whilst enjoying the experience.