The more I look at business and life in general, the more I realize that life is simply a game of confidence.
Confident people succeed in life more than those without confidence. In sales, confident sales professionals make more calls, schedule more meetings, and close more business. The confident guy gets the girl. The confident athlete works harder and tends to make the team. The confident employee does better work and gets the accolades and promotions. The confident leader creates followers.
Unfortunately, many people are not all that confident when you peel back the layers. So they don’t make the calls. They don’t stand out. They don’t ask for the business. They don’t take risks. They don’t try out for the team. They don’t ask the guy or girl out. They don’t move companies or facilitate change even if it appears to be better for them long-term.
And one more thing: Business leaders who are not confident view employees as “overhead” rather than investments that create ROI (return on investment).
So if you believe this like I do, then you should ask yourself, “How do I continuously increase my confidence throughout my life?”
One of the most simple, and impactful techniques I have learned, and now coach to others is focusing on progress and letting go of the idea of perfection. Celebrate progress often. Understand that perfection is a mirage and will never exist. There will be no “arrival” where suddenly your business/money/life/marriage/children/etc. will finally be perfect.
What slowly and silently erodes confidence is constantly comparing where you are today to where you want to be. This is called the “gap”. There will always be a gap. Where you want to be, in your mind, is this ideal vision of perfection. Perfect health, perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect job…but constantly focusing on how far away that vision of perfection still is, leads to frustration, disappointment, and overall unhappiness with yourself. Ultimately, all of these results lead to a lack of confidence.
So what is the solution? Well, there are many ways to build confidence. But for this article, we’ll focus on just one, simple solution. Constantly turn around and compare where you are today to where you used to be. Look at how much you have accomplished. Celebrate how far you’ve come since last year, last month, or last week.
This is all about mindset. You must train your mind, and then build habits in your life, that force you to turn away from the vision of perfection and instead, celebrate the distance you’ve made from the past.
Action Plan #1: As a quick exercise, take 5-10 minutes and write down all the things you’ve accomplished THIS year so far. Feel free to write more than ten. But big or small, personal or professional, write down everything you can think of. As you review your completed list, how do you feel? Surprised at how many things you’ve actually accomplished? You’ve done a lot, I guarantee it. The trick is in acknowledging this fact, and celebrating it.
Action Plan #2: Going forward, at the end of every day, write down three things you accomplished that day. Write them in a journal (I use Evernote on my phone) so that you can easily review all the accomplishments over the past week, month, year, etc. as you move forward.
I’m convinced confidence is the key to everything. These simple action plans will create a new habit of celebrating progress along the way, and ultimately building new levels of confidence…which will lead to greater success both personally and professionally for you.