IT HAS BEEN SAID, many times, that the most successful people are the ones who have failed the most. The difference is that they never confuse failure with being a failure. They are confident it is a lesson that helped them get one step closer to the solution or outcome they were seeking. Top mindset and performance coach Tanja M Jones outlines her seven steps to confidence and success.
Thomas Edison took more than 1,000 attempts to create the light bulb. During his journey, after nearly 200 attempts, a journalist asked him why he hadn’t given up. Thomas replied that he didn’t believe that he had failed 176 times; he believed he had eliminated 176 ways it wouldn’t work. He saw himself as 176 steps closer to the end result. Imagine if we all thought that way about our goals and desires!
Perspective is everything. Consider that our definition is decisive and it completely determines our reality. It influences the decisions we make and the actions we take in business and in life, which then impacts the outcomes we produce.
FEAR OF FAILURE
It is often our fear of stuffing up, or not being seen as perfect, that stops us from learning and growing. Many of us are consumed by what other people think of us and we put a lot of unrealistic expectations on ourselves to have it all sorted. This is all before we have even given ourselves a chance to discover something new. We often compare our rough first draft with someone else’s polished bestseller and that comparison completely paralyses the fulfilment of our potential.
Many years ago I used to seek perfection until I realised, after much time wasted, how counterproductive it was. Now I relate to myself as a ‘perfectly imperfect constant work in progress’. I certainly get more done nowadays.
As a coach I often hear people say, ‘I’m just not confident to do that’ and ‘I don’t know if I can do that’. The fact is we never wake up on Planet Confidence; we don’t magically go from one place to another without a few growing pains along the way. We often tell ourselves we’re not confident at something we have never tried before. This statement develops a subconscious reason to not even try, which becomes the handbrake to our personal evolution.
So here are my seven steps along the path to confidence.
STEP 1. IDENTIFY A SKILL GAP
Get clear by identifying an area that you lack confidence in. Is it cold calling, door knocking, writing copy, listing consultations, prospecting, leading or perhaps public speaking? Whatever it is, become acutely aware of the things you wish you could do but currently don’t have the courage or competencies to try. Take a moment to explore the difference it would make to your business and life if you became skillful or even masterful in that area. What positive impacts could this new ability bring? What potential revenue could you earn and how much time could you save as a result of increasing your efficiencies and capabilities?
STEP 2. MAKE A DECISION TO LEARN
Many of us think about doing things but never take any real action. We spend time in consideration, which paints an illusion of progress; we get busy writing lists, but no rubber ever hits the road to advancement.
How do you know if you have actually made a decision? Taking massive and immediate action usually follows the initial thought. Once you have identified the area you would like to develop, you must make a decision to do something about it, otherwise it will remain a dormant opportunity for growth. Decide to be a student and educate yourself; decide to take an action today to forward your own evolution. No matter how big or small, make the decision and pick up the phone, send the email, knock on those doors or write that article. Whatever it is – just do it!
STEP 3. ASSET MAP
Time equals money, especially in real estate. Don’t reinvent the wheel; use your time wisely and ‘asset map’ your workplace, community and the industry to identify who is demonstrating best practice in the skill you would like to develop.
Reach out and ask to take them to lunch or at least a coffee. Let them know you would love to learn from them. Humans generally love helping each other, so consider when you ask someone to help you are actually giving them a gift. You are recognising their greatness, identifying them as setting the benchmark and making them feel worthy by asking them to share their wisdom. If it goes well, you could also ask them to mentor or coach you; this will support you in remaining accountable.
STEP 4. PRACTICE BUILDS COMPETENCE
Be prepared to stuff up and fall over. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep going. The only way you will become confident is to build competency and the only way to do that is to practise, practise, practise.
STEP 5. ASK ‘WHAT’ NOT ‘WHY’
When we are learning we are bound to make mistakes. When that happens, don’t ask ‘Why me?’ but ‘What am I to learn from this? What is this teaching me?’ This will swiftly shift the focus off self and suffering onto the lesson to be learned and the progress to be gained.
STEP 6. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
Set yourself mini-milestones along the pathway to confidence. As you build more and more competency in the area you have chosen, take a moment to celebrate your achievements and accomplishments along the way. This is more important than you may realise, as each time you consciously do this you send a powerful message to your subconscious mind that you are successful and that you are achieving your desired outcome.
STEP 7. CONSISTENCY IS KEY AND MOMENTUM IS A MUST
Be realistic; depending on the skill you are developing, it may take some time. Don’t expect too much too soon, as this is a catalyst for quitting. The key is to be consistent in your approach. Allocate time to practise your new skill and remember to have fun!