When we let a task get too big it becomes overwhelming and our self- confidence drains to the point of inaction. I know how that feels. When I worked in Securities Financing my team worked closely with another group that provided trade information. They performed a complex procedure that was fast paced and high pressured.
I visited the group often and watched them perform; it was impressive and intimidating. When leaving the desk I would tell myself I could never do what they were doing and made the process bigger than it was.
Then the day came. Management informed me the process I dreaded was now reporting to me. I went home that evening and didn’t sleep all night. The reality of managing the process was overwhelming; I felt my self-confidence leave my body.
The next day I was introduced as the new boss and tried to dive in. I monitored the process real-time as the group performed at break neck speed. I felt sick as my self- confidence depleted. How can I manage a trading process that I know so little about? Every day was brutal as I would receive calls from my new team looking for leadership. I was intimidated. In my head this process was hard and impossible to do. This went on for two weeks.
After a two week stretch of stress, intimidation and a complete shredding of my self-confidence, I had to decide whether the process owned me or I owned the process. I decided that my fear was irrational and getting in my way. For the next month I worked on the desk and sat with everyone on the team. I told myself every day that I would get through this no matter how difficult it was. I reinforced that I had the ability and self-confidence to overcome this challenge. I learned the process through repetition and in the end overcame my fear and owned the process.
When I can’t break through on a project or when I start to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of a task, I think back to those days and think about what I did to get me through. The first step was to eliminate my fear; the second was to rebuild my confidence.
I initially let Fear get in my way of learning a new process. Did you know “what we fear most never happens…”? And “that we destroy our initiative by the fear of defeat…”? That’s what happened to me. I let the process get so big that I created an irrational fear that got in my way of success.
Now when I am confronted with a process or a product that I am not familiar with, instead of running the other way, I research it, ask questions and learn as much as I can. I have developed the habit of wanting to find out more. I found the combination of asking questions and doing research eliminates the fear for me.
If you are not sure about something, don’t let it get too big before it overwhelms you. Develop the habit of learning more about it, tell yourself you can do it and overcome; eliminate the fear.
Developing Self Confidence
In second lesson of Napoleon Hill’s Laws of Success, “Self Confidence”, he states that the development of self-confidence starts with the elimination of…fear. In the above paragraph I touched upon how to eliminate fear. Remember that fear can come in the form of doubt or the lack of self-confidence.
There is no doubt that if we felt a little more confident at times, our outcomes to projects, interviews, or sales would be different. The best tool you can use to boost your self-confidence is the practice of auto suggestion. That is the daily practice of telling yourself that a positive outcome will result if you tell yourself every day that it is possible. To increase your self-confidence, tell yourself every day that you are more confident and that you will become more self-confident. Tell yourself the steps you need to take that you know will boost your confidence. You already know the things that will boost your self-confidence so tell yourself every day that you will take those steps towards success.
When you are having trouble with your self-confidence make sure every day you think about your success and how you will achieve your goals. Do this until it becomes a habit.
Try it and let me know how it works for you.