Everyone who has a money bank account knows how difficult it is to keep it balanced. Often we can manage to withdraw more than we put in which obviously isn't a good thing! In the same way our emotions tend to operate like a bank account. If we're constantly taking in negative thoughts and criticisms we're making lump sum withdrawals, which leave us feeling empty inside. On the other hand, compliments, encouragement, affirmations and positive thoughts are like deposits which can BOOST our confidence account.
So how is YOUR confidence bank account doing? Here's a simple exercise to help you evaluate where you're at now and to enable you to regain self confidence in the areas you feel it is lacking.
1. Take a sheet of paper and make two columns. On one side write down all the things you DON'T feel confident about doing. On the other side make a list of all the things that you DO feel positive about.
2. Next on a scale of 1-5 rank each item, with 5 being the BIGGEST impact and 1 being the LEAST. (Impact = how much you care about it/think about it/dwell on it).
What are your scores looking like? From my experience - and I've worked with many people using this exercise - I've often seen that the scores in the negative column outweigh the scores in the positive column. For some reason, we have a tendency to downplay the things we're good at (even though we do them every day) and give much more weight to the things we believe we're NOT good at (whether or not that's actually true - and that's a whole different article altogether!)
For example. In your positive column you may have written down that you feel confident when you interact with your team, or your kids, yet only gave this a ranking of 1, as you feel its no big deal - its just what you do and you don't give it much thought. Therefore, you've minimised the impact of what it is you do.
In your negative column you may have listed down someone who intimidates you when you speak with them - your boss/colleague/significant family member and gave this a ranking of 5. Whenever you have a conversation with this person, it really impacts you and you can dwell on it for a while.
Okay, now let's look at this from another perspective. How many times a week do you play and interact with your kids or your spend time with your team? Now compare that with the amount of physical time you spend speaking with the person you listed in the negative column. My guess is that you interact with your team/kids MUCH more than you have to engage and interact with the person you've got low confidence with.
Can you see how we can down play the important things and elevate others that are less so? In this way we are making larger withdrawals and smaller deposits from our confidence bank account. We need to change that around!Let's go back to the example. Interacting with your team or playing with your kids every day and feeling good about it deserves a ranking of 4 or 5 not 1. Your time spent together is strengthening your relationship with your kids. It's building the strength and trust of the team. What could be more important than that?
Now, building a good relationship with your boss/colleague/person who impacts you negatively is also important, but should it be carrying more weight in your confidence bank account than time spent with your kids? Or the time you invest in your team? Perhaps you should be stressing about it a little less and giving yourself more "credit" to the things you ARE confident about. It's amazing that when your confidence is boosted in one area of your life, it filters to the other areas.
Here are a few ways that you can start to do to top up your confidence bank account:
Every day, make a note of all the things which have given you a boost in your confidence. A compliment from someone. Some positive feedback. Solving a problem. Achieving something difficult. Overcoming a previous fear.
If you can, keep the list in a book you can refer to. Print out emails from people where they have given you positive feedback and include those in the book.Don't overlook the small things that you do for your family, friends or at work, thinking they are unimportant. ANYTHING you do which makes a difference - however small - is valuable.
Over this next week, notice how much weight you give to negative areas of your life and how often you're withdrawing from your confidence bank account, rather than depositing into it. If you constantly focus on the negative you'll eventually start to feel you can't get anything right. Instead, focus on the areas you ARE confident in, even if they are small, and build on those.
So start depositing - and get your Confidence Bank Account in the black!
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