When I Found My Confidence
Me and my confidence? It used to be awful. I would sit in my cubicle and sweat, cry, pull my hair out and get dizzy. Then I would look in the mirror that my coach told me to use, and “pulled it together”. In the conference room, I would deliver the meeting and run out so fast, people wondered if everything was ok. The most I could say is, I did it. But, I hated it and wanted to do it better. I craved a better connection with my people, staff, clients and business. I wanted to love being there, linger in the halls as I saw others do and really connect……..
Finding confidence in leadership is tricky. You wouldn’t be in the position you are without it, so you have some, but usually not enough. Otherwise you would have that feeling…you know what it feels like. Knowing that you are responding, answering, deciding, doing and being exactly what you should. We have all felt it, even if it was generated by someone else. Yet, creating it for your self, by your self, using tools that you have control over, is the ultimate freedom. I say it is a freedom we all craved when we set out on this crazy journey of owning and building a business or even a life.
Confidence in its purest form is a way of being. You do understand that, right? Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect, but do you? “Being” has been a forgotten act in a world that accepts multitasking as a fundamental skill for everything and technology as a normal way to interact. It is an easy thing to identify, if you know what you are looking for.
Let’s take a look at some ways of “being”
Present: Having presence is allowing your mind to turn off to its voice and your ears to open up to others. Listening without assumption is the largest skill that will create presence. Our minds assume what others are going to say, already creating judgments and then reactions. We then worry what we will say in response to that and before we know it, we haven’t really listened, heard, felt or experienced that person. It takes all senses of course, but listening is the easiest and first one that will create presence. Honor the time you created for that moment and use it for that, nothing more. Multitasking has its purpose. I use it all the time in my own leadership. Yet, it won’t let you build confidence, because when the lack of attention to what you are doing is being spread between many different things, your assessments are off. Build confidence through being present. Listen stronger.
Intentional: Once you recognize this, many of you will see that intention is all about honest actions that focus on the current cause, conversation and person. You can only be intentional if you listen—which is starting to turn into a theme for this article. Bringing intention to your interactions will make you show up and respond in ways that make the other feel heard and important. You gain respect. You are appreciated for your ability to be with someone and hence your confidence is built.
Focused: To be present and to show up intentionally, you must focus. This may the hardest of all. In a society that drains our focus and steals it from us, cutting off the chatter and noise in our heads and listening with our ears and hearts takes practice. Ensure that when you are trying to connect and listen to someone that you are doing so in a space that is quite. Try getting out of the halls, moving out of the kitchen and find a space that allows you to look someone in the eye, listen without conflicting conversations swirling around you and where you can respond uninhibited. When you are finally focused, notice the difference in how you take in what the other is saying you can really be present and intentional. Without focus, nothing can fully take shape and hence the reality of what you can take in is limited. How can you expect it confidently respond to someone then? How can you confidently have another conversation with someone, when you don’t really remember what you discussed last time?
Focusing on Being will focus you on Confidence. Confidence in being able to do these three things will help you understand that who you are, is a leader. Who you are, is who your employees need. Try it out and you will see that Confidence will come from being with people. They just want you. So, get present to focus intentionally and enjoy the place you always had hoped to call home.