“You cannot dream up confidence. You cannot fabricate it. You cannot wish it. You have to accomplish it. I think that genuine confidence is what you really seek. That only comes from demonstrated ability.” – Bill Parcells, Professional Football Coach
In our competitive world, there’s no substitute for confidence.
However, most of us don’t feel particularly comfortable talking about our accomplishments—probably because we heard so many times as children that “bragging is bad.” Some of us don’t even feel comfortable thinking about our successes—as if desiring to bask in that happy glow could somehow make us selfish, or prevent us from moving to the next level.
I’m not saying that you have to go around telling everyone how awesome you are all day long. Don’t think of it as BRAGGING. Think of it as ADVOCATING. Most of us could benefit from doing a little advocating for ourselves. No one is going to do it for you. So how do you tactfully and professionally advocate for yourself?
The best place to start is in your head. Work on your mindset. Do you notice the monkey mind/chatter wheel starts up and keeps going round and round in your head? Here are a few examples of things I’ve heard over the years from clients:
“It’s not good enough” Oh, how I’ve personally lived with the “It’s Not Good Enough” monkey for years! What an exhausting battle! Here are some other popular “HEAD TRASH” saying that get in our way of advocating for ourselves.
“It’s a bad idea”
“WHAT WILL THEY SAY?”
“I’m suppose to be…”
“I don’t know what to say?”
Well, first you have to notice and observe the words. Are they positive or negative? How might you change the words that keeps playing in your head when it comes to or before sharing your accomplishments?
Start with your own positive self talk. In fact, positive self-talk is one of the most powerful tools employed by top earners!
When you focus on what you don’t have or haven’t accomplished, you lose power and momentum. There’s always going to be something bigger and better ahead of you—but if that’s all you see, things can start to feel hopeless pretty quickly. In order to approach your tasks or your boss with strength and confidence, you need to have a positive foundation—and that means building up your confidence by minimizing and managing the internal chatter.
If you have a hard time seeing your accomplishments clearly, start tracking them on a monthly or quarterly basis. Look at how you can start building on your prior successes. I call this “positive reflection.” Whether you’re working for someone, running your own business, or currently in a job search, this tool will highlight knowledge about your strengths and help you approach your career from a more strategic place and advocating for yourself will become easier.
Action Step: Positive Reflection
List the items you worked on in the last month/quarter. Include all of the goals you’ve accomplished, skills you’ve developed, and projects you’ve completed. Then, chunk each item down with the following questions:
Using this exercise on a regular basis will help you gain a solid perspective about where you are, versus where you want to be (or worse, don’t want to be). As you address each item, imagine you are sharing your accomplishments and advocating your value for a minute or two. Think about the great work you’ve done no matter how big or small. Remember to notice if the same tape playing in your head and stop yourself, change the words and start acknowledging yourself for a job well done. For an even greater sense of empowerment, share your accomplishments with your spouse, friend, or coach!
Want more help with strategies for building confidence and advocating for yourself?
Are you looking to advocate your way into a promotion and/or raise?
Text me on 617-755-8611 or email DQ@CoachDQ.com to further discuss.