Do you think of yourself as confident? Or does this feel arrogant? Do you think confidence is a learned skill or one we are born with?
I used to think that self-confidence was something you were born with – either you had it or you didn’t. As I gained more experience and felt more confident then I started to think that maybe my confidence came from experiences. During my life coaching certification, we learned a lot about self-confidence and what it means.
My mentor, Brooke Castillo, uses the distinction that self-confidence is “the ability to trust yourself. It’s knowing you can experience any emotion (including failure) without being harmed. And it is your overall opinion of yourself.”
Essentially, self-confidence consists of three things:
- The ability to trust yourself.
- Knowing that you can experience any emotion.
- Your opinion of yourself.
Let’s look at each of these in the context of life and recruiting.
First, the ability to trust yourself. Trusting yourself means knowing that you will do what you say you will do. That you will follow through on your plans and commitments to yourself and others. The ability to trust yourself comes from consistent follow through on your word.
About 24 months ago, I committed to making 50 recruiting prospecting calls per week. At first, my brain kept telling me that I just couldn’t do it and so I kept saying I would do it but wouldn’t follow through. Every time I didn’t do what I said I would do, I was gripped with self-doubt. Once I realized that the worst thing that could happen was a negative emotion I committed to doing the calls no matter what.
Once I committed to making the calls, I blocked my time and I knew that every time I would sit down to make the calls that my brain would tell me it was a bad idea. I learned to feel the fear and do it anyway. I soon became more confident. But guess what? It wasn’t because I was making the calls (the action) it was because I had followed through on my commitment to myself.
Also, I learned that I could experience any emotion and that I could handle it. I spent a lot of time in self-doubt because I didn’t believe that I could handle anything that came my way. When I was willing to experience any emotion and know that was the worst that could happen I became more confident.
Remember, our feelings come from our thoughts. If I feel confident it is because of my thoughts, not my actions.
Let’s review the model quickly:
C = Circumstance. Circumstances are verifiable and neutral.
T = Thought. We have thoughts about our circumstances which produce our feelings:
F = Feeling. Our thoughts produce our feelings.
A = Action. Our feelings produce our action or inaction.
R = Result. Our actions produce our results.
Here it is in an example for recruiting confidence:
C: 50 prospecting calls per week
T: I am willing to experience anything that happens
A: I make the calls consistently.
R: I experience anything that happens while I make the calls
When you embark on a new activity, ask yourself, “What do I want to feel?” Then ask yourself, “What thoughts produce those feelings?” Then your actions and results will follow.
The third part of self-confidence is your opinion of yourself. People are often surprised when I tell them that I am a recovering people-pleaser. When we are concerned with pleasing others we often get stuck worrying about what others think about us. A person who is self-confident is going to think they are good, capable and worthy – regardless of what others think about them.
When I talk about confidence, I am often asked how it is different than arrogance. Aren’t those who are confident just being arrogant? The difference between confidence and arrogance is that arrogance is actually a lack of confidence. When we have self-confidence we understand that all humans are awesome and that we don’t need to compare ourselves to others to feel good. People who are arrogant deny their faults and can’t tolerate any type of rejection.
As per Brooke, “Self-confidence says we are all capable and amazing. I can handle fear or any other negative emoting. It’s an abundant feeling, not one of scarcity.
Why aren’t more of us confident?
If we go back to the three things that create confidence, we find our answer. We aren’t confident because:
- We don’t trust ourselves. We haven’t learned how to manage our minds so we feel out of control with our feelings and actions. We don’t follow through on our commitments and we don’t do what we say we are going to do.
- We don’t want to feel negative emotions. We hide and avoid our negative emotions instead of allowing them. This makes us scared to do anything and risk failure.
- We don’t think we are worthy or that there is something wrong with us. Each of us is inherently worthy so in reality, we don’t need to prove anything to ourselves or others.
How do we become more confident?
There is a simple answer: increasing self-confidence comes from changing your thoughts about yourself. Self-confidence is a practiced self-belief. It is not about relying on your ability it is about your belief that you can handle anything because everything is just a feeling.
One key point to remember is that our brain does not produce confidence naturally – it is designed to produce fear, worry, and doubt. Our brain is wired for our survival and sees everything as a threat to our own existence. This means to have confidence we are working against:
- Our own humanness.
- Our programming.
- Our beliefs and thinking.
Our unwillingness to feel fear is what keeps us from confidence.
Consider this, “What can you do to increase your recruiting confidence?” Hint: It isn’t recruiting more. It is thinking thoughts that help you feel confident so you will take action.
Let’s look at the three factors of confidence one last time and apply them to recruiting:
- The ability to trust yourself. This means doing what you say you are going to do. Write down what you will commit to in terms of recruiting. Will make calls every day? How many? When it is time to prospect pick a thought that will help you take action from confidence knowing that your brain is not going to want to do it.
- Knowing that you can experience any emotion. Be prepared for your brain to tell you whatever you are going to do is not a good idea. What is the worst that can happen? If you call someone and reject you is that the worse? It’s just a negative emotion. What if you decide that you are willing to let people be wrong about you? Think of the growth you will experience from feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
- Your opinion of yourself. You believe in your own worthiness. Even if someone hangs up on you or tells you to go to hell you still believe you are worthy.
And if you are having trouble finding thoughts that can produce confidence in recruiting try one of these:
- What a recruit thinks of me is 100% about them. It has nothing to do with me.
- Fear is no big deal. I will feel the fear and do it anyway.
- I was made to be a recruiter.
- Failure is just one more step to success.
- I am willing to let people be wrong about me.
- I am committed to my results.
- I honor my decisions.
- I don’t need external validation for approval.
- I will be scared and that’s ok.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and identify three thoughts that will help you have more confidence in recruiting. Circle three from the list above if you can’t come up with your own. Write them on a piece of paper and have them available when you start your recruiting activities.
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