Anytime I take on a new executive coaching client, I have them set a few accomplishable goals for the time we’re working together. These goals help us direct our time and energy toward where we can make the most impact together – and ensures they get exactly the results they need.
Because I help women get more confident, it’s not unusual for one of their stated goals to be “Be more confident at work.”
But here’s the rub – “be more confident at work” isn’t actually a goal at all! It’s a feeling, or as we call it in the coaching space – a state. A state is a way you feel, and all states can be accessed at any time (more on this in a sec!)
A goal, on the other hand, is something you work toward achieving. So a goal version of “be more confident at work,” might look like “speak up in our weekly all hands meetings,” “make all my team members feel supported during their annual review,” or “ask for a pay raise confidently!”
Now – if your current goal list is full of states, don’t panic! We can work on those too. However, accessing a desired state is just about convincing your brain that you’re experiencing it. This is why professional athletes use visualization – they’re imagining themselves winning their race, and with practice and detail, their brain becomes convinced they’re actually winning the race. When that happens, they start to build mental strength and create new neural connections that enable them to access that feeling anytime they’re at the starting line, and step into a winner’s attitude and performance.
If you think about it, waiting until something happens before you let yourself feel good sounds pretty crappy. Learning to feel that way first and THEN show up in the way that feeling demands…is life changing.
3 Ways to Feel More Confident at work in 30 seconds
1. Change your physiology.
Our body stores memories – including how we feel. Moving or rearranging your body can help to break a mood that you feel accustomed to. If you start to doubt your confidence, or just need a boost before your next meeting, stand up. If you’re already standing, sit down. This is enough to allow your brain to reset and refocus.
2. Use an anchor for your brain.
Think of a time you’ve felt really confident in the past. Build out that picture in your mind by addressing all five of your senses – what did you hear in that moment? What did you see? What did you feel? Once you have a clear imagine in your mind, let yourself re-experience that moment of confidence. When you reach peak levels of confidence in the memory, tap and hold on one of your knuckles. When the peak feeling starts to fade, release your knuckle and open your eyes.
You’ve effectively created a confidence button on your knuckle! We call this anchoring in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Lightly tap it repeatedly when you need a confidence boost and it will trigger your subconscious mind to access that memory and the associated feelings.
3. Be an actor.
You’ve heard of faking it until you make it, but this takes it one step further. Imagine yourself as an Academy Award winning actor charged with the role of a confident boss. Imagine stepping into that boss’ shoes – how would you as an actor convey their confidence? How might your voice change, your habits or your posture? It’s often easier to incorporate these behaviors when you’re trying to imitate someone (even if it’s a fictional boss and you’re a fictional actor!) Step in and out of those shoes if you need to access your confidence cues at the drop of a hat!
I offer professional coaching for rising women leaders in the corporate world, with a focus on helping them overcome lack of confidence via professional coaching, virtual coaching, invitation only masterminds and powerful online courses. If your goals for the year include confidence in the workplace, let’s talk! I’d love to help you build an action plan for success. Click here to apply for a free coaching consultation with me directly!