Confident and Courageous are traits of achievers
Confidence and Courage that helps us push through difficult situations and in conquering fears. It is possible to eliminate self doubt by with these 4 tools that I will share here. Many of the inputs that I have gathered from various gurus I follow like Chalene Johnson, Brene Brown and Jennifer Grace – all of them rely and go back to courage as a key component to building one’s confidence. And to be honest, I know I am not the 1st one to address the subject but as a sufferer of anxiety and conqueror of a severe eating disorder, this are the highlights of what has kept me in touch with my inner strength to live a meaningful life without relapses.
How courageous can you be? To fully grasp that, you have to start thinking about who you are, you have to find yourself. What psychological color code do you belong? What mindset do you have? How well do you know yourself? Knowing one’s self is your foundation in finding yourself, your personality and finding those traits that you have that can’t be frightened over. Harnessing that knowledge is an asset that can help you find your niche market and attract the tribe that is like-minded to you. To help you, visit www.colorcode.com to have some insights on what color code you belong.
It’s very interesting that there are personalities of different shades and degree – we have introverts, extroverts, ambiverts, those who are outgoing or shy. With a sea of personalities that you might have not guessed still on where you belong, we can overcome that to be courageous, fearless and confident. When you want to have your own business, it does not matter what it is, it could be fitness coaching (like I do), a shop, a CEO, to be a leader of your organization, anything that you want your business to be – it will take a lot of courage and a lot of confidence to succeed in that. Ultimately, you are the only one who can make that decision and decide at the end of the day if all that you’re doing makes sense to you.
You’re not building other people’s dreams here, instead, you are building a job of your dreams. It could be unicorns and rainbows because believe me or not, they did work for me.
Imagine someone that you dislike. You don’t know that person but it puts you off. Now let’s do some “psych” test on the characteristics of that type of person:
Does he not make eye contact?
Does he/she pose lots of time? Notice the body language
Does that person not seem to have any interest in other people?
If YES to all those questions, then most probably, that someone is an INTROVERT. Often, establishing a conversation with them would generally be about themselves and they don’t seem like they are interested in whatever you have to say. These are the common traits of a shy person once you strike a conversation with them. Many times, when you encounter individuals who don’t communicate with you most of the time, then you can presume that he/she is a shy person. As adults, we deal with shyness by putting up a barrier. Try to look out if you are exhibiting that vibe to other people.
Why do we talk about this? Is this even important? Yes, it is. Because we are in business. It is important that we understand how others may perceive us in a way and how we perceive others, if we are allowing that person to come into our world.
On the contrary, an OUTGOING person is always smiling, they engage with you, they ask questions, they are curious about a lot of things. In a party, you will notice that everybody gravitates to them because they are great storytellers. They are interesting because they are interested. See the paradox? They ask questions but not in an annoyingly intrusive manner. This is something that we, as businessmen, should practice. The only way to be better at it is just doing it. There is no perfect roadmap to achieve that. One of these days, if you choose to continue on this path, you will have to come across inviting other people. The more you expose yourself socially, then the more you get confident and courageous.
But as you go about this “rehearsal”, remember to be always in repeating. This is important because one tendency is for you not to get superficially interested in others and that means bad business. What you should develop is a sense of confidence without leaving behind your cycle.
So at this point, we have two types of people. Those who are shy or introverted and those who are extroverts. Between these two personalities, a match is possible. Introverts are not really hermits who don’t deal with people at all, but instead, they deal with the right kind of people. It’s not their first choice to be like that. There are times when they seek some “alone time” by themselves to recharge and get energy. And something really surprising about introverts is that they don’t like noise. Say for example you are an introvert and you want to go shopping, you just go without looking for a shopping buddy or someone to chaperone your spree, you are ready to go by yourself. This helps introverts in their thinking process to process all their ideas. An extrovert, however, feeds out of people. They need noise to think. They need to meet people!
By this time, you might already have an inkling on whether you’re shy or outgoing. If you got that figured out, that will help you define first of all, your boundaries. It will serve you a lot if you can define the environment that is best for you. Just put me for example: I like to tell stories and, yes, I’m more of an outgoing person. But when I perform, I exhibit introverted traits. I did the colorcode test for my personality and the results were right on point. I was such a mix between those two types that now, I understand why I am having so many issues because I am battling with trace. Unconsciously, I keep trying to conform to stereotypes in my subconscious and this battle of my personality is bringing me down.
That’s why I highly recommend that you spend some time on the tests there in www.colorcode.com and try to see whether you are an introvert or extrovert or you’re a mix of those two. This is going to bring you knowledge on how you tolerate social situations. As people in business, it is our lifeblood to interact with people a lot and you have to start setting boundaries.
How do you overcome shyness?
When you get out of your own head and focus more on other people, you can overcome shyness. Shy people are sometimes mistaken to have intimidating persona. In the past, every time that I met somebody in person, they tell them: “You are not what I thought you were!” Yes, many perceived me to be unapproachable and intimidating. Because I am driven, I have goals, it seems that I don’t look back or I don’t care. I have realized soon that this is how people perceive me and I have to work on something to turn that.
It is said that shyness is only cured in kids because in an adult’s world, it is not. Shyness, as an adult, is perceived as being selfish and unfeeling and when it boils down to your perception of yourself – I am not important.
Our goal now is to build our motivation, build our confidence and to reach out to people who are like us. To do so, we need heaps of motivation. We want to make people feel comfortable, relaxed and valued. As you write content or deliver a message to your leads and customers, every single message must pass the “so what” test. Say, she is talking to me, so what? What value are you bringing? This is the way others are seeing everything that you put out there. Am I important to this person?
We, are going to be self conscious and aware of the various social situations. Your goal is to make people feel comfortable, relaxed and valued. Watch out from letting them think or feel: “This is too much” or “It doesn’t relay to me”. These skeptical questions are the very reason why we are very emphatic.
There are a lot of ways to talk about our products without putting a sign out there. When there’s a sales pitch, consumers would often say this at the back of their mind: “She’s trying to make a sale.” That’s one freaky stuff about asking for money and selling! But again, there are a lot of personalities out there which should motivate and push you to be more flexible, to change in the way you are delivering your message. It takes a lot of courage and a lot of confidence to be interactive. We have real verbal communication and we have to use that to influence people. Even if we don’t see people, simply receiving a text or an electronic message is one way to make real connections with them. Do they feel that you care? Harness the ability to match the other person.
Set a time to return messages. Once a message is read, it is gone. So you better think twice before you send those messages out. Think and decide whether it’s a yes or a no. It is important to acknowledge this type of communication. Business success depends on making people feel that we like them, they have to feel it. You can’t just put hearts, smileys or emojis, that will freak them out. You have to listen and be aware of those types of personalities.
Send communications to your friend that you usually communicate with and ask them for feedback or meet them over coffee and ask them about your manner of writing.
From personal experience, I realized that I was so business-like in my mails that it felt cold. So then, I started to change, I reprogrammed my brain to do slight alterations in my manner of written communication. Many times, we think too much of ourselves so get out of your own way to know their feedback.
I suggest that you start practicing this with intention. Try pondering on the following questions as you start this task:
- How do I connect with people that I haven’t talked to for 5 years? 10 years?
- Where are you from?
- Where do you work?
- Do you play any sport?
- What do you do for fun?
- What are you into right now?
- Do you prefer going to conventions or going to classes?
- Do you come here often?
The list is endless, but one question will open all doors. If you are involved in telling your story, stop yourself every once in awhile and ask: “Okay, what about you?” You need to retrain your brain to not make the conversation one-sided and be viewed to be too self-centered.
4 POWER TOOLS:
Tool 1 – Accept what cannot be changed.
As we talk about different personalities, you should learn to accept that in the course of your social interactions, there will be those who cannot empathize with you. Accept that there are things that you cannot change and settle down with the belief that you already did the best you can. With a plethora of persona that you have to deal with day and night, it really does not mean that you have to be a perfect tea cup for everybody! As you do this, you allow yourself room to meet more people and to expose yourself in different situations.
I’ve also learned to be true to myself. It was only 5 months ago when I started to say “no” to people that I don’t want to deal with, particularly the passive-aggressive type. You want to be happy? Know your principles. The whole process of you building courage and confidence to open up is going to expose you to people that are not ready to do so. They will think that this is too much information and they could hardly grasp the process in their heads so they conclude that they’re not ready to deal with it. When you encounter individuals like these, you have to let them go – and even that takes courage.
MANTRA and AFFIRMATIONS
I personally believe in mantra and affirmations because, practically, those words is all about “believing”. A mantra is a phrase that will give you empowerment when you doubt yourself. As you go through this journey, you have to establish rules for your confidence. When you start drawing a personal mantra as your confidence booster, think about your Achilles’ heel.
Mine is that, I want to help people, even if they don’t ask for my help. I am a rescuer. I feel like this is my calling. But sometimes, people are not ready. That gets me in trouble. I don’t know how to say “no” And I was like: “Oh, I don’t have time to dry my hair, to go my nails, to bring kids to school, to pick them up”.
Do you see now what has been compromised?
Creating your Mantra:
I will always ____________ when I _________________ (in this blank insert some type of tough feeling that gets you in doubt or in trouble). When that happens, I will _____________ (what I am going to do). I am __________________ (powerful phrase, e.g. because I am extremely powerful).
Mantras and Affirmations are great ways for you to restart reprogramming your brain. Our brain is hardwired toward negativism. “You are not good enough”, “You don’t have experience” the list of negative thoughts is endless. Then doubts start to creep in, but we have to stop that before it swallows us whole. To fight that, my mantra goes like this:
“I will always allow myself to follow my heart and my God in all decisions I make feeling content.”
When I beat myself up because of a decision I made or because I have disappointed someone in choosing what’s best for me, I will remind myself that I am smart, strong, caring and thoughtful. I am brave and I am enough.
In building confidence and courage, we have to set boundaries. Yes, we can deal with all these personalities by finding the perfect timing for us to interact and to have an open communication. But with the same courage, set your boundaries. This is my fortress and I need to be strong to keep going.
Tool 2 – Taking the Leap
Choose a group. In that group, I want you to share a scary thing. You have to push yourself physically. When you conquer physical obstacles, you start retraining your brain to conquer the mental block that we have unknowingly built within ourselves. You can find a lot of motivational videos on fitness and in conquering physical obstacles. That’s a quest that entails more than just conquering your emotional barriers. From Dancing, running, some activities of the like will give you a boost. As you take that leap, keep in mind that you are doing these things for yourself. It all starts in your brain. Let’s do this little brain tweak and if you do, you can do anything.
Tool #3 – Build a Power Phrase
Your power phrase goes with your mantra. Have this written in your journal or somewhere you can read it every morning. We call this a “CATCH phrase”. Every time you catch yourself against the principles you’ve set and in times when you doubt yourself, these phrases can help uplift you. For me, it goes like this: “I am enough.” I’ve put it everywhere in the house ( a total of 6, for the record) and it’s working!
To build courage and confidence as you keep putting yourself out there, is a matter of PRACTICE. You have to keep practicing. Some catch phrase examples that might work out for you is:
“I am braver than brave”
“That’s not true”
“I know I can do this”
“I will get through this”
This catch phrase doesn’t apply in your health and fitness only but in the deeper aspects of your life as well. These phrases are your defenses when you’re put against a wall doubting yourself whether you can do it. The phrase is your barrier that tell all the voices to shut up. You will let them play in the background and you just don’t pay attention to them.
Every time someone comments on Facebook or Instagram, I do print screens of that. Sometimes, I have to go there myself and say: “Yes I can do this, I am doing this”. When someone gives you bad advice or unwanted comments, then check: Who is this comment coming from? As a coach, I’d like to reach out to tell people: “Look what all this has helped me to do” If there is a possibility that I can do this – helping people – for a living, then that would be amazing. So start creating your confidence evidence file.
Step 1 – Now, think of 3 things that you have faced and overcome in the past. Something that really scared you, but you’ve faced it head on, anyway and that has pushed you to become better.
I remember when my father disappeared. Our house and cars were under the company name and he left without a trace. Back then, I just started my consulting business then I got the company. Everyone was freaking out. It was said to be the biggest bankruptcy in Puerto Rico – a total of $136 million in debtor’s claims. No one was taking my mom’s house. The biggest bank and surety companies are after us. I even had to go to the police for protection. I was 29 back then when I said: I can do it. So I reorganized the company. Nobody went to jail and we didn’t lose a thing. I was young back then, I had no idea and I did that. I could hardly believe the events I went though back then but in the end, I was able to get out from a really bad relationship. Yes, I have been fearless.
How fearless can I get? At a young age of 25, I moved from Puerto Rico to Oregon because I needed to start over. So around November 7, I left, then landed a job by November 11, bought a car 2 weeks after. Sometimes, I look at myself and say: That Girl did that? I am 41 now, and I could absolutely do way more than that.
So make your lists. It doesn’t have to be as grand as the personal experiences I’ve laid before you. You could start small, like getting out of the bad relationships, standing up to a friend. Find those 3 moments in your life when you have been the hero.
Step 2 – Write down the emotions for each of these moments then write what happened after. The results does not have to happen immediately, but write the end story – what happened in the end? Even if the results of your efforts showed years later. Write that.
Tool #4 – Give credit to whom it is due: YOURSELF
Did you do the homework above? Once you do, write down how you felt after you’ve conquered that obstacle. This is the time where you’ll be giving credits to yourself. Even if you don’t have much support from the people close to you, you can still make yourself stronger and more confident by putting a lot of posts everywhere in the house to remind you that YOU DID IT. Put blinders and do not give up now. Even if nobody signed up, you still have to do your posts. Why? Your efforts are not as fruitless as you think. People are watching. If you didn’t do what you have been doing for the past 10 months, you have to start again from scratch – because you stopped the ball.
After all has been said and done, NOW It’s time for you to try. Build the confidence and just do it.