In giving my keynote speech, Leadership and My Life as a Disabled Person at the recent Calibre Leadership Programme I was once again reminded how valuable it is to stop and reflect on your experiences and achievements. This inspired me to write the second in my series on confidence.
We tend to be so busy trying to fit so much into our days and weeks that we forget how far we have come over the months and years.
At this time of the year with many of us taking well-earned holidays it seems a good time to stop and reflect. Looking back over your achievements, no matter how seemingly small, can give confidence. It is easy to forget, or dismiss, the things you do that require positive strengths and skills. I am talking about the things you do every day that you do as a matter of course. Living with a disability or health condition means you will be managing all sorts of situations and activities that require perseverance and flexibility and that is just for starters. If you are a working parent you will be demonstrating time management skills to make everything happen that needs to happen. If you are running your own business you will be taking responsibility for strategy and operations and people and I could go on. It doesn’t do any harm to take some time out and consider what skills you are demonstrating all the time by being you.
This is a good exercise as it gives you the opportunity to evaluate what you can do (because you are already doing it) and how it could be applied to other situations or projects.
Bank the things you do that give you valuable perspectives and essential skills and store them somewhere between your ears. You now have a bank of examples you can use to remind yourself of successes you have had. When you are feeling like your confidence account is overdrawn then visit the confidence bank in your mind and get some funds so you can feel in confidence credit again.
I began my keynote speech by saying that we all have a story. After I had shared mine I co-facilitated a discussion around confidence. As the delegates shared some of their stories it became very evident that they were regularly demonstrating impressive skills and experiences. We aren’t good at finding time to look back so this was a welcome opportunity. We also aren’t good at patting ourselves on the back and recognising our achievements and it was inspiring to see that recognition acknowledged.
I was reminded that we all already have examples to open a bank of confidence. It has 24 hour access all we need to do is allocate some time to review the account occasionally!