Self-confidence - the feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities and judgement - is something you can boost at any time. One of the quickest ways is to simply focus on your assets not your flaws - something many of us forget to do!
In this episode I give you 7 ways to create self-confidence that you can practise right now.
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Hi everyone. My name's Dex Randall, and this is the Burnout To Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello, my friends, this is Dex and it's a really a kind of wild and blustery winter stay here, but it's radiantly sunny with that kind of sharp sunlight we get in the winter. And it's just reminding me of the inherent beauty of nature and the continuing life support that it gives to us. And we do take it for granted, but look, really look outside at a tree or a cloud or a bird and refresh yourself with the wonder that's always available and breathe a big breath and sigh it out, letting your shoulders drop a notch or two. Let's just be here for a moment, me and you, just we two finding hope in our basic goodness, our shared and completely workable human beingness. Because you're fine right now, just to be who you are is okay with me. I accept you. And I'm so glad you could join me because this week's episode is on creating self confidence, and it's such a vital step in moving forward really from burnout towards this powerful, sustainable, productive, and supportive leadership. And I bet that's the kind you really want. I know it was for me. So what I'd like to do today is bring together all the strategies we could adopt that put us back in that power. You know, when we've been hard on ourselves in burnout and forgotten the utter joy and wonder of our human beingness and the unique contribution we can and do make in this world, as we pass through in this brief lifetime. You, my friend unseen are a beautiful person, and you might be disconnected from that. You might have temporarily lost contact, but it remains no less true than before. So let's investigate how we can bring all of that good back into focus, ignoring what we think the world thinks of us and being just right for ourselves, because really that's where the juice is. And I'm gonna offer you today some ways of thinking about you, that you already know, nothing new, just a little reminder, if you like. And I'm gonna begin with a little story. As a youngster, I had an IQ of 140, which I thought back then was pretty special. I was good at maths from a very early age, and I did skip a year of school. But I really did have one special skill. I was extremely talented at failing exams. You know, give me a mock exam to do, and I'd be fine, but the real thing, tanked. And still, I decided at the age of 10, I was gonna study maths at university despite the fact that no one in my family had ever been to university or even spoken about higher education as a possibility. So I didn't tell them my plan. I didn't tell anyone. I knew they wouldn't understand. And in the UK at that time, we graduated school on A levels and you needed to take three subjects of that to get into uni, and I took the ones that I thought I had most chance of passing, which turned out to be maths, French, and geography. No, I never suspected that I also needed physics, for example. Anyway, come the day, I applied to some unis and I got a couple of interviews, most of which, which were pretty derogatory. But anyway, for Nottingham University, bless them, I missed the train. Then I got lost between the station and the uni and I was an hour and a half late. And when they saw my state of utter distress and dejection, as they pushed the math test over the table at me, they told me I only needed to get two E grades to get in, to take the pressure off they said. And, you know, normally at least a couple of A's would get you in. In the end, I recall I got grades B, C, and D, and I think the B was actually in French. Anyhow, I went on to do a degree in pure maths and computer science, which is what they called it back then. And yes, I continued to fail all the exams, since you asked. But I did have a tremendous career that I really loved off the back of that. Now, in your case, you might be totally brilliant at exams, I don't know, but somewhere in your lexicon of achievement, someone marked your card with an E and ever since you've been given yourself that E. Human brains, man, I tell you. So if you would like to upgrade yourself from an E, let's use some purely imaginary reasons to do that, shall we? Because why not? One thought's as good as another. Let's just choose some different thoughts just for kicks. What we're doing today is we're switching to business class where they serve free champagne, because we deserve it. Because we have in ourselves already, the magic skill of creating self confidence, where previously there wasn't any. And self confidence is just a feeling of trust in one's abilities, qualities and judgment. And trust, of course, is an inside job. You can make some. So let's go through a couple of ways we might start, and number one is you're alive. You're taking up perfectly legitimate space on the planet, your unique gifts and your flaws are there by design. They're supposed to be there. They're supposed to be used exactly as they're dealt to you. It's okay to do that. Just be who you are. Number two, confirmation bias, my old friend. Since you are here with me today, you'll probably have a little tendency towards stress and anxiety and other expressions of not good enough ness that kind of accompany burnout. And your brain under stress will show a strong tendency to embrace thoughts of risk, harm, and failure. It's gonna cycle through what I call, my back catalogue of humiliating defeat, and I anticipate you've probably got one too. And if it does that, it's going to be persuading you all the while of your own inadequacy, because that's what your fight or flight directs you to do in anxiety. We're designed to do that. And it's supposed to protect us from treading on snakes and things like that. So if that's what's happening for you in the kind of closed loop of anxiety, I hereby decree that your not good enough thoughts are all fiction. You can discard them whenever you're ready. Number three, knowing. If your brain is enthusiastic in telling you that you can't do a thing, anything, ignore it because it left a word out. You can't do it yet. No one taught you how perhaps, or you've never tried it before. Maybe the manual's hopeless or incomplete. You can't get the expert help you need. It's all fine. Just try, fall flat on your face a few times, or even a hundred times, a thousand times. You'll get it. What, as long as you're not a brain surgeon anyway, you'll be fine. So, in fact, you can use the word yet forever if you need to. Not knowing stuff is mostly not a crime, but shutting yourself down and being harsh to yourself for not knowing something is unreasonably mean and also unproductive and useless. Even if you tried to learn the thing already and didn't get it, just keep trying, keep failing, acquire knowledge by experimentation, that's mostly how knowledge comes to us and trust that you will work it out in the end. You'll become the winner. Number four then, failure. When you fail, it just means you didn't get it right yet. So don't allow it to signify that you lack intelligence or any other attribute, kind of you can learn to love the challenge of improving your intelligence by this experimentation and learning and failure. Failure has no meaning about you. If you are, in fact, the superhero of failure, eventually with dedication, you will accomplish the thing, whatever the thing is, because remember self confidence isn't knowing how to do something, it's knowing you'll work out how to do it. Number five, accompanying that judgment, animals all fear judgment and rejection. We all want to belong and survive. But the tragedy of that is, we judge and reject ourselves and then we don't belong to ourselves, meaning we can't belong to anything else either. So if you're an animal, don't worry about the judgment of others, only worry about self judgment because you can't make everyone approve of you. But you can always 100% approve of yourself. And if you decide not to judge yourself, you'll give yourself the space to be human, perfectly flawed without calling yourself a dud and self rejecting on some spurious criteria that you made up or someone else made up. And when you're kind and compassionate to yourself and your endeavors, self confidence is going to flow. Number six, here's a good one; hearsay. When you get, or when you got your card marked with an E as a youngster, probably, whose opinion was that? If you learn that lesson well, you'll never do that thing again that earned you an E. You're gonna defend yourself against that. But E was always only an opinion coming from somebody else's defense strategy. Who taught them not to do the thing in case they got an E? And because these are kind of handed down, they're hereditary, you can naturally still cut yours loose and break the chain and allow yourself the natural confidence of you as you are meant to be. So number seven, evidence. Our minds do have a tendency to inspect the past, present and future for errors and threats and evidence of errors and threats, which is all well and good. But for anxious people, this means we're predominantly negatively focused. We get stuck in that head space, and then we don't take time. We don't make an opportunity to praise ourselves, to know... Knowledge. To acknowledge or notice the good we've actually done, and to absorb the full generosity of our kind and willing hearts. And, you know, when you say that you might feel a twinge because this is not merely sad, it's a terrible waste of our genuine care for others and our real talents, which then, of course, lie fallow, unused, under explored and under exploited. And when we praise ourself, it's absolutely not self indulgent or vain, our brains notice the reward we feel for having done good. It notices the chemistry of our positive emotions and makes note to create that reward again. It actually stimulates us to recreate that praise by doing more good things and achieving more. And this creates self confidence. The evidence we've acted in ways that we want to and created results that we want. You know, I could say more, but as I said, it's nothing you didn't know already, it's just a reminder. And I would suggest connect with yourself, your heart, your inner goodness. Don't be distracted by the trivial and the external validation that evaporates in the breeze as soon as you receive it. When you awaken your self confidence, the first person to practice generosity towards is you. Remind yourself all the time of all the reasons that you're worthy, all the good things that you do, probably tiny little things each day. And when you're doing that, don't start with your brain, open your heart and let it tell you who and what matter to you, what gives your life meaning. When we connect fully with our hearts, valuing our humanity over individual actions, self confidence can naturally arise. So there it was, your tiny little reminder, and I would impress upon you the need for action now, don't wait. Don't think I'll do this tomorrow. I'll be nice to myself tomorrow, really go for it now. Thank you so much for listening today. I really appreciate you being here. If you are in burnout, you must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably and get back to your best performance leadership, and most of all, enjoyment inside working. If you are in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout To Leadership Program. You can book in to talk with me at burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.