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Career Change Confidence The 5 Minute Career Coach August 2011
August 01, 2011

Helping Career Changers Around The World

August 2011


Welcome to the August 2011 edition of The 5 Minute Career Coach.

What's in this Issue

Joanna MartinI was at Joanna Martin's Presentation Profits Intensive a couple of weekends ago and wow, was she right – a really intensive weekend.

But great fun and packed with amazing content. This lady really knows her stuff, so if you are interested in moving your presentation skills into a different league (and earning some money doing so), do check out her Shift Speaker training.

I met loads of interesting people at the event and got talking to one in particular, Debbie Williams, an NLP trainer & hypnotherapist, about the whole issue of why people don't change career. What is it that makes them stay stuck in a job that is soul destroying? We came to the conclusion, that it is often a lack of confidence that lies at the heart of the matter, so I decided to focus this edition of the 5 Minute Career Coach on that very topic.

Confidence (or lack of it) is an issue that we all have to deal with from time to time. Don't imagine that those people who look supremely confident from the outside don't have their wobbly moments too!

So wherever you place yourself on the confidence scale, scroll on down and learn a bit more. And I will certainly be listening to one of Debbie's confidence CDs before I implement some of the learning from Joey Martin's Presentation Profits Intensive!

With best wishes

Finding the Confidence to Change

Is the one big barrier between you and your new career a sense of doubt in your ability to really achieve it? Is it lack of confidence that stops you from stepping up and making the changes you know you really need to make?

Then it is time to take a closer look at the whole confidence issue and to tackle it head on.

So what is confidence?
The first misconception around confidence to challenge is the notion that it is some kind of inborn quality, something you have either got or have not got. This is absolutely not the case.

It is not something fixed like your height or eye colour, but rather a quality that is shaped over time as a result of the experiences you have in life and the decisions you make about those experiences. What decision did you make?

I am not clever? I never see things through? I need the approval of others? If I get things wrong it is a disaster?

These are typical beliefs that many of us carry round with us, often never actually put into words, but because they are there, they shape our thoughts and actions. The real danger with these hidden core beliefs is that if you don't dig down and expose them, they operate at a subtle level and prevent you from even attempting anything that might prove them wrong.

So the great thing about understanding that your particular level of confidence is something that you have acquired is that it means you don't have to be permanently burdened by it, but instead can work to change it.

Becoming more confident
So what can you do to grow your confidence? Here is a selection of tips you can put into practice quickly and easily to help break unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving.

Stand tall
Something as simple as posture can make a big difference. Try standing up really tall, put your shoulders back and smile broadly. I defy you to feel like a wimp when you stand up like this!

A small stretch every day
If you are in the habit of living small, then you must begin to just stretch yourself a little at a time so you gradually expand your view of what is possible for you to do. So try little things like chatting to the shop assistant when you pick up a magazine or walking to work by a different route. Even tiny changes like this can make a difference over time.

Acknowledge your successes
Keep a record of everything that goes well for you. If you lack confidence you will probably be in the habit of focusing on the difficulties you face and fail to acknowledge that every day many things actually go right.

Learn to laugh at the negative voice
Recognise that the voice telling you that you are no good, that you will never be a success, is just an unhelpful habit. When you hear it clicking in once again, give a wry grin and say something like 'Oh, there he is again! Let's just drop a ton of concrete over his head for now – I'm too busy to take notice of him.' Have fun coming up with playful images of how you will silence the negative voice.

Fall down seven times, get up eight
Fear of failure may well be one of the things that drains your confidence, so learn to see that failure is not a disaster, but just something that we all have to face from time to time. If something goes wrong, treat it as an opportunity to learn something and then move on, rather than dwelling on it.

Slow and steady
Lack of confidence is really just a habit, a way of thinking and behaving that you have adopted and got so comfortable with that it just seems like that is who you are. But your thoughts and actions are not you. You can choose to send your thoughts and behaviours in a new direction. You are the one in charge. Yes, it takes time to break a long standing habit, but if you keep chipping away at it, you will succeed.

If you practise these strategies consistently over a period of time, you will definitely notice a difference.

Something To Think About

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't you are probably right"
~ Henry Ford ~

Recommended Resources

Super Confidence: Simple Steps to Build Self-Assurance
Gael Lindenfield

Super Confidence

This is one of my favourite books on confidence as it is simple, straightforward and practical. Gael Lindenfield is one of the UK's leading personal development trainers and in this little book she offers a range of tips, techniques and exercises to help you to develop your confidence.

The book helps you understand more about the nature of confidence and then goes on to show how understanding yourself better will help to grow your self esteem. It also has particular chapters on assertiveness, communication and dealing with anger and criticism.

So if you prefer to read and do exercises at your own pace, then I strongly recommend this book.

More recommendations
If you would like to see more recommendations for books and similar resources, follow the link to the Career Change Books page of the How To Change Careers website. Do keep popping back to it as I am adding to it all the time.

And if there are books, websites and other resources that have inspired you and that you would like to recommend, there is a place for you to do so on that page.

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