Something Incredibly Powerful To Help You Triumph In Tough Times
Wow! The year has started with a breathtaking avalanche of change, challenge, opportunity. It’s intense. To cope with this tsunami of uncharted waters, we need one thing constantly by our side. Without it, we simply won’t make it. Here it is.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating is passionate about the power of confidence.
“Confidence,” he says. ‘is not something you can get by swallowing every now and then a can of ‘confidence’ spinach. It has to be continually with you.” He believes confidence comes from experience. That’s true. And confidence also comes from something every one of us has within our grasp. You have it. I have it. I do it. Always. Do you? I hope so. Here it is.
Confidence is preparation.
That’s it. If you prepare thoroughly, you will gain huge confidence. Yes- your heart will still beat fast and palms will moisten, but you will have eagerness in your stride to get into the challenge.
Constantly over the 30 years of my career I have ‘won’ the moment, nailed the meeting, landed the sale, smoothed through the difficult discussion, blitzed the incredibly action packed day of major deliverables- not because I was smarter, more talented, gifted, blessed or lucky- but simply because I was really well prepared. And when I stuffed up- always, it was because I was not prepared.
Here are three powerful tips to build, maintain and protect confidence.
Preparation delivers confidence.
It’s the golden rule. As you face moments this year where butterflies build and you feel fear, stay calm: think carefully about how you can best PREPARE. What research can you do, how can you uncover a genuine insights, who can help you, how can you ‘role play’ in your mind everything that could transpire and how you will handle each moment. Sweat the detail in preparation.
Take A Step Back If You Feel You Are Losing The Edge
Cricket great Sir Geoff Boycott says to build confidence, sometimes you have to go back to basics, and start preparing from the start again.
“A Test cricketer who has lost confidence needs to go back to County cricket and work on the basics, prepare afresh, and rebuild.” If, for example, you feel your presenting style is off its game, go give a few talks to internal meetings and low risk sessions. Rebuild confidence for that major new business pitch when the stakes are high.
Controlling The Demons In Your Mind
“Believe you can and you are half way there.” So said Roosevelt. Sometimes, no matter how much I prepare, there’s a voice that keeps whispering to me, “You’re kidding Chris- you will fail here, no question.”
To build confidence in turbulent times, we have to become, as Dr. Martin Seligman says, “ Brilliant disputers of negative thoughts.” The “No I can’t….” needs to be immediately countered with ….”That’s rubbish- of course I can. It is in my grasp…” I know most of you have those voices in your head too. They are like chattering monkeys in mine.
It’s Sunday night as I write this. I have a week of travel and a series of important meetings and presentations around Australia. I need to plan now each and every meeting, role-play in my mind, start rehearsing, plan how I will maximize the times I have in cabs and at airports, prepare for what can go wrong, and right. You see, preparation gives me confidence.
Always has. Always will.