Thursday, 5 January 2017

The power of self belief & Dumbo's magic feather

First day back at work after extended holiday with my lovely family and I was musing what to write in my blog. I was watching a fabulous Facebook Live (really worth a watch) with the talented and inspirational Claire Russell and Todd from Spaghetti Agency where they were talking about goals for 2017 and the importance of such things as motivation and self belief. 

The belief thing struck a chord with me and so I decided it should be the focus of my first blog for 2017.

Belief is a funny old thing. Some people just brim with self confidence and belief. Some people have absolutely NO problem in believing in themselves, or their product or their business. It comes as naturally to them as talking. Of course, for some people, it isn't always that simple. Being confident and having belief in yourself and your own abilities doesn't always come easily BUT you can change that and it is something that can be learned if you know how.

Take Dumbo as an example. You remember that loveable, big eared, Disney cartoon elephant. Ridiculed by his friends for his big ears. Didn't fit in anywhere. Sad and alone (brutal film!) . 

But someone believed in him and offered him a 'magic feather'. With this feather Dumbo truly believed he could fly. And he could. And he did. And he was the star of the show. Till one day, mid-flight, he dropped his feather. The belief in himself went floating away to the ground. Would he crash? His mentor told him it wasn't the feather, it was him. 

The feather wasn't real - it was all him. 

And Dumbo flew! Because he believed in himself. You just need to find your own magic feather.

Visualise your success - Imagine you could picture in your mind what you want your business to look like this. Who you would love to work with. What your office might look like. What you have on your walls. How will it feel when you achieve that goal or goals you have set yourself?
The power of visualisation can be really, really powerful. The real thing behind this is; if you can't see yourself or pictures yourself achieving your goals then, chances are, you probably wont. So start visualising!

Be your own mentor - I do this a lot. Give myself a bit of a talking to when i'm feeling less than confident. Personally I do a lot of 'WWXD' Aka What would X do. There are lots of people who inspire me and it quite often helps to put myself in their shoes and think 'What would X do' 
A great example of this is a lady called Vikie Shanks Vikie's story is incredible. As single mum (after her husband committed suicide) of 7 children six of which are Autistic and one Dyslexic and the two youngest also have Cerebral Palsy. Vikie is now an author and a mentor and has the kind of inner strength it is almost hard to believe. If ever i'm having a bit of a crap day I just think 'What would Vikie do?' Trust me - it really works.

Become a Superhero - Remember confidence is a persona. A bit like Spiderman putting on a mask. Even if you don't feel it at the time if you put on that mask and act confident people believe you. Which makes you feel good. Which makes you feel confident. Which gives you belief. You just need to find your alter-ego!

Find the positives every day - Lots of people I know keep a positivity journal. This can really help you to reference on days when you might not be 'feeling it' If you can take the time to find something positive in your day it can help to change you overall mood from negative to positive in an instance. It's only something small but it can make a big difference. 

Let go of your mistakes - This is a big one for me. Letting mistakes fester and affect your mood really can affect your mood and your day. It can affect your self believe. Start to question yourself. Are you really good enough? If you were good enough you wouldnt have made that mistake. STOP.

You have to remember that EVERYONE screws up sometimes. No-one is perfect. Just accept you're human, Be honest. You made a mistake. The important thing here is to learn from it. Mistakes often are a good thing. They help you tweak your processes to make them even better. They help you ensure a higher level of quality simply because you don't want it to happen again.  So, learnt from itm put it behind you and move on.

All the world's a stage - I remember the very first time I was due to give a lecture at Coventry University. I was absolutely terrified. Then I thought about what I used to tell myself before I did a big presentation or pitch at work. Confidence is all about attitude and belief. Putting on that mask. Becoming that character on the stage. You are a brand. People buy from people and people buy from you and your brand so you have to be believable. And you have been ASKED to make that pitch. You've been asked to do that presentation. You've been asked to deliver that talk or lecture. And you've been asked because somebody believes you know what you're doing. THEY believe in you. And the people you are presenting to or talking to are going to be interested in what you have to say. They WANT to hear from you. Remember that. You know more than them. So put on your face, turn on your smile and believe in yourself. Because THEY do and that is powerful.

Embrace your flaws - Again, nobody is perfect and, generally, your version of yourself is actually not what other people see. It is all in your own head. We are all unique in our own way and our flaws are what sets us apart and we are the only ones who can see them. Focusing on the negative just zaps your time and energy. Accept your flaws in whatever form they come and just live your life. Taking the obsessing over what you could perfect away gives you the energy to use elsewhere.

Every day is a school day - I think this is really key. Getting out there and learning new skills, devloping and honing the skills you have and investing yourself is a great thing to do. It can realy help to build confidence. Often you can go along to a course and realise 'hey. I actually know more than I think I do' and this can do wonders for your self belief. 

Find your tribe - It is important to surround yourself with like minded people. Positive people who build each other up and not knock each other down. People who you can take advice from and who you can offer advice to. Having the right people around you can do great things for your confidence and self belief. If the people around you believe in you then you can really start to believe in yourself

Remember YOU have to believe in yourself and it will make a huge difference to you. Think about it. If you don't believe in yourself why would anyone else want to do business with you or buy from you. You are interesting, you are special and you just need to remember that. 

How you get to that point is down to you. Whether you find your proverbial magic feather, decide on your superhero alter-ego or just give yourself a damn good talking to every now and then you just need to get to the point where you can hold your head up high and say;

'I'm glad to be me. I'm good at what I do and my life is actually pretty damn cool'

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