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Confidence & Courage to Change

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So, who says you’re not confident?

Is it your friends, your family, your classmates, your colleagues?  Unlikely!

I bet they are the ones telling you the exact opposite.  They are the ones that look to you in awe, because of your confidence.  They are the ones who believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to.  They are the ones who know you are the one that will fight at their side through thick and thin!

No, my friend, it’s none of the above – it’s YOU!

It’s that little voice that lives in that short six-inch span between your right ear and your left ear that keeps reminding you of your perceived lack of confidence in yourself.   Believe me, I know the feeling firsthand and as I coach, speak, train and talk to thousands of women globally in both personal, professional and business development the same theme arises over and over again.

No matter where in the world you are, talk with other highly successful women with a hope of finding pure, raw, flourishing female confidence, only to see that the more closely you look, the more you find instead evidence of its shortage.

Look around, in our jobs and our lives we walk among women whom we assume brim in confidence and yet experience suggests self-doubt exudes from each and every one of them.  I so often hear from those who have accomplished so much that ‘they don’t feel like they deserve it’, that they ‘feel like imposters and frauds’ and think it must be ‘pure luck’ that they find themselves in their high-flying roles.  And this is not just my personal finding, many global studies show the same research.

Authors of Womenomics and The Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman confirmed that as they researched and talked with women globally, all accomplished and credentialed, they kept bumping up against a dark spot that they couldn’t quite identify, a force clearly holding these women back – female self-doubt, a lack of firm belief in their abilities. Sheryl Sandberg author of Lean In, and the movement that ensued recalled, “there are still days I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.”

All of us I think would confirm that even among our own circle of friends – on the outside a force to be reckoned with and yet dig a little deeper and instead of finding confidence, courage, and self-belief, we instead find the opposite.

Some say children change our priorities, and I believe there is some truth in this.  Our journey in life does call for changes and our maternal instincts definitely, do contribute to a complicated emotional tug between home and work lives.  Others point to cultural and institutional barriers to female success and therefore confidence.  There’s truth in that, too.  And whatever the reason, one thing rings true universally, no matter what culture we find ourselves in, underneath it all, women, each and every one of us to varying degrees have a tendency to lack confidence in ourselves.

My story confirms this finding, being someone who people would say on the outside portrays strength and self-confidence and yet the truth be known, on the inside, struggles with self-worth.   The song that expressed me well, that became my “theme song” was a Robbie Williams song that rang so true for me “You think that I’m strong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong”!

And after spending thousands of dollars on my own personal development and working with others to build their confidence to take that next big leap in life, I have the unflappable belief that WE ARE ALL STRONG inside and just need a little help to believe in ourselves – hence the creation of our movement – Quantum Leap for Women to build confidence, expand choices and create change.  I have had the wonderful privilege of partnering with strong, successful woman to build their self-esteem and find their true pathway in life.  I am passionate about continued self-development and love the many different roles I claim as mum, wife, coach, trainer, mentor, to help others.

So while many experts now believe there is a “confident gene” to support the fact that self-confidence is genetic; I believe real world evidence supports the fact that self-confidence is a skill that we all have a right to, a skill that all can learn.  Because success correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with skills and competence.  Which means fantastic news!  With work and determination, confidence can be acquired, confidence can be built and the confidence gap can be closed both in our heads and in our hearts.

And how motivating is the fact that each and every one of us has the power to change our own self-confidence, change our own self-beliefs, and ultimately create our path to success!  What we all want is peace of mind and we can only enjoy peace of mind when we feel confident in our ability to deal with our life to the level of success we are striving for. What we all want, more than anything else is to feel good about ourselves, really feel good about ourselves.  So how empowering is it, to know that change is at our fingertips.  We are in the driver’s seat.  We are in control.  We can take action.

So, then, how do you change that little voice in your head telling you every minute of the day that you can’t, that you’re a phony, that you don’t deserve what you have achieved to date, that it’s all just luck?

We challenge it.  We give it the opposite to think about.  We create new habits.  Every Single Day!  Because ultimately there’s nothing wrong with you or me – there’s simply a new way of thinking to be developed.

And what difference will it make in your life, what are the tangible benefits that can come from developing your self-confidence?

1.  Self-confidence leads to empowerment.  By taking chances instead of running away you build up a will to go against all odds and accomplish great things.

2.  Self-confidence enables you to be more aware around when you are lacking in confidence, knowing that you open yourself up more to fear, a lack of motivation, greater procrastination, excuses and inactivity.

3.  Self-confidence equips you with the ability to challenge yourself, beyond the bare minimum and see and create real change in your life.

And that’s exactly what our “7-Day Jumpstart Your Confidence Challenge” seeks to enlighten you to, your thinking.

From Monday 24, I commit to being your guide for 7 days, so you can create the thinking that builds the confidence you need to take your life to wherever you choose to take it.  Because that’s what it’s all about, building your confidence to expand your choices to create the change you desire, in your life, career, business, relationships – any area you choose.  Watch this space!

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Welcome

 

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COMPLIMENTARY

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It’s so easy to get so caught up in our busy daily lives that we neglect to compliment others on their efforts and accomplishments.  Yes, we all know an artificial compliment when we’re given one and when we receive a real compliment, it can make the world of difference to our day, week or even month.

Living in China, I have seen firsthand the difference a simple compliment can make. They don’t have to be huge, just a small honest comment said in the moment. Sometimes I get a very tentative smile in response, usually as they are trying to translate what I am saying and when the penny drops I get a radiant smile in return and see a burst of confidence.

And it totally works both ways.  When we give …. we get.   When we give someone a compliment, that look on their face, that radiant smile and the instant recognition of how we just made them feel, makes us feel even more positive about ourselves.   It is a win-win situation.

Oh the other hand, I am told that I am hopeless at receiving compliments.  So, as I realize the power in not only giving compliments, but also in accepting them, I’m looking to cultivate a new habit to accept and absorb compliments when given and reply with a simple “thank you”.  No more deflecting or rejecting – it’s a turn around (and no I am not finding it particularly easy) to accepting and absorbing, allowing a two-way positive boost to occur, a win-win situation.

So how about this week, make a choice – take the time to thank people, compliment good work and share a smile while at the same time, accepting and acknowledging the ones that come your way.

Go on – just three compliments a day – what have you got to lose?

Notice the difference to your day – notice the difference to your weekend!

Check out our adventure:  Kiwis in China

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Daily Dose

 

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Aside

502 Conformity.619 As much as we like to be our own individual self, we all conform to society in ways we probably don’t even recognize.

The fact is we are tribal creatures who ultimately have an inner drive to fit in. Usually it means simply going with the flow, keeping the peace and just doing what everyone else around us is doing.  But what about when it means we fail to listen to that little voice in our heads? When we become mindless followers and maybe find ourselves in situations when we hesitate or just don’t speak up in the face of a wrong?  When giving up our real selves we find we are becoming bitter and twisted?

It’s an interesting topic as conforming can also be a good thing, as in following the law or keeping our promises.

So what does conforming mean to you? When do you conform, and in what ways? When are you proud to conform, and when do you regret it?

Being here in China definitely provides a different perspective on the topic as conformity is more the norm, than not. And it is always good to remember that some of the most amazing people throughout history did not conform too much, Nelson Mandela always springs to mind on this subject and of course so many others (especially in business – too many to name).

So whatever we are doing, wherever we are always remember we are here to contribute to the world, and we can make a bigger difference when we are passionate and true to ourselves.  This I believe is true in every aspect of our life including business.

Be yourself and stand up for yourself, AND choose your battles wisely.

It’s always your choice.
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CONFORMITY IS A CHOICE

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Welcome

 

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BUZZ BUZZ

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Having a hectic month this month as we get back into the flow of doing business in China.  So much to learn dealing with a different culture.  It is really mind blowing to say the least, frustrating totally and usually at my own incompetence and lack of knowledge (at this stage).   Just the simple things that are so different (e.g. where to sit, polite greetings etc), let alone trying to get your head around how business is done here and what is “normal” and of course the obvious communication differences.

So it was with a smile that I read the article below from Brendon Burchard.  It hit it on the head for me this month, feeling like an all buzzed out buzzy bee.  Sometimes we spread ourselves too thin and when we really stand back and take the time to actually look at what we are doing we see we are expending all our energy on chasing all the “shiny” things or flowers that look so appealing.  We simply get caught up in the buzzing.   Think about it as you read:

“In the nature of business, we are often bees. We go from flower to flower trying to get what we need. We buzz around with great excitement, expending lots of energy and making lots of noise.

Buzz. Buzz. We go.  But there are only so many flowers.  And buzzing bees can only go so far.

The bees try hard anyway because they are bees. They go as far as they can and still frequent their favorite flowers often.

Sometimes there are other bees to compete with. They zip and they zap around them trying to get to the same flowers. Buzz. Buzz.

Soon, though, bees get very very tired always buzzing around looking for new flowers. The zipping and zapping is wearing on their wings. There are just SO many other bees, and only so much nectar to go around.

Soon all the buzzing doesn’t sound so exciting anymore.

In all the buzzing, the flower stays put and laughs at the busy bees.

The flower is smart. It makes such good nectar that it draws the bees in and doesn’t have to go anywhere.

The flower stays grounded and uses all its resources to keep producing newer, sweeter nectars.

The bees can’t resist and come in swarms.

The flower gets pollinated and grows entire fields.

The flower smiles and thinks, “What can I create to bring more bees to me?”

Are you a flower or a buzzy bee?  Food for thought.

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Daily Dose

 

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OUTCOME FOCUS

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Before reacting, ask yourself a single question “what outcome do you want”?

This is a small question that I now live by and have shared with many others.  It has on numerous occasions helped me to take control of my reactions and realize that I myself am accountable for my actions or lack of.  A defining lightbulb moment for me.   In any given situation this one question can have you:

  • Take control.
  • Create your actions.
  • Become accountable for your choices.

We can all relate to reacting to an event because it screams out for us to do just that, REACT and, just because an event is a catalyst to reactions, it doesn’t mean determines our actions.  Instead of reacting to a situation with another, whether it be at work or at home, with a colleague, your partner or your children, focus on the outcome you desire, take control of yourself and your actions and make it happen. Simple?  Yes.  Easy?  No!  Why Because it will ultimately mean giving up on things like:

  1. Your desire to be right (does it really matter)
  2. Your inner urge to argue (some times just for the hell of it)
  3. Your innate feelings of indignation (these can run deep)
  4. Your deep craving for retribution and payback (part of being human).

All seemingly “natural” reactions to events and …. if you want to achieve your desired outcome you will most likely have to let ’em go.  Because in most cases, our desired outcome is not to argue or to prove our point, most of the time, our desired outcome is to create a resolution, to maintain a relationship and come out less scared than when we went in to a situation, still on target to achieve our goals.

This simple shift in focus immediately changes the direction of your thinking and your communication and no matter how the other person reacts it moves you from a state of arguing towards a focused state based on what you actually want to achieve in that moment.  By focusing on the results you are committed to, you will find yourself consistently moving towards the result you are after and it feels good because you know you are taking a step forward and not backwards, or simply going round and round in circles.

A result is the target you are after.  Are you clear on the results you want in your career, your business, your relationships and your life?  Get clear, then in any situation ask yourself:

1) What do I really want?
2) What is the outcome I am after?
3) What is the specific result I’m committed to achieve?

Believe me, you will totally notice the difference.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Daily Dose

 

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BOSSY BRITCHES

Bossy Britches.615Me, bossy???  Never!  Well, maybe.  Definitely, sometimes.  Now I think about it – quite often and I know if my girls were asked, they’d say “totally” probably adding another ‘b’ word to it!  And, I don’t think I have always been bossy, yet when I reflect on the women in my family they are just that, bossy (sorry aunties, and you know it’s true).  

One thing for sure, the older I get, the bossier I have become, although, I think I’ve also learned to shape my bossiness into something that looks more like confidence.  From a professional standpoint, people often tell me that because of my ability to take control of a situation, because of my confident demeanor, because I simply say it as it is, they enjoy working with me. So is bossiness such a negative? And why is it nearly exclusively applied to women and girls?

First off, I don’t believe that bossiness should be seen as such a dirty word.  Think about any natural disaster. Imagine if there was no-one to step up, be boss and take charge.

  • Bossiness gets things done
  • Bossiness is the drive to push and make things happen
  • Bossiness takes control when crap hits the fan.

So when I hear the word bossy, I’m okay with it.  Sometimes you just have to stand up, tell people what’s what, take control and sort things out. Sometimes being bossy is a good thing.  At other times, I substitute it for assertive, confident or bold, all qualities lauded in leadership development.  And sometimes, I just admit, I’ve overstepped the mark and I pull my head in (phew thank goodness that’s not too often), being domineering, aggressive and threatening is never acceptable!  I am glad that I am a confident person (except when I’m not, and that’s a whole other blog).

So, to all those out there who are “bossy britches” – don’t change.  Pick your times carefully, be bossy, step up and take control when needed, remain confident and self assured in the choices that you make.  Never let other’s words detract you from your destiny.

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Posted by on February 7, 2014 in Daily Dose

 

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CHAOS AND COMFORT

425 Chaos comfort.609Making the commitment to pursue major change in most cases, sends seismic waves through our lives. Immediately fears are raised, some real, some imaginary and often before we even take our first real step towards change we respond to the fear and panic.  We interpret the unknown, the fear and the “chaos” that follows as signs that we should stop, retreat or put it on hold.

Think, how often have you heard yourself say things like:

  • “I can’t deal with THAT now”, “I have to finish THIS first.”
  • “Why did this have to happen NOW, just when I was focusing on THAT?”
  • “Maybe THIS is a sign that I’ve made the WRONG choice!”

We begin to beat ourselves up, blaming ourselves up for the “chaos” that begins to occur in our lives, all because we wanted something different!  We start to over-analyze, over-think, bringing on the fear and panic as the “chaos” unbalances our comfort zone and we default to the comfortable, to the known, to the safe.

Over the years I have come to the conclusion I love the chaos caused by change.  Frustrating and confusing – yes!  Challenging – yes!  Exciting – totally!  Do you really think China was in my original life plan, or even in my revised five year strategy?  No way it was London or New York all the way baby!  Yet, here we are, with no real idea of where this path is really going to take us as we journey our way through theunknown.  It’s now hard to imagine what we would be doing and how our lives would be if we had simply kept doing what we did, totally oblivious to this vibrant culture and lifestyle, safe in our comfort zone.

Chaos is the uncertainty sparked by uncharted territory, economic recession and bubbles of opportunity. Chaos balances order and it’s our free will and choice that spark the chaos.  So, it’s up to us to make the choice to be okay with both the chaos and the comfort.  I have learnt, you don’t need to have everything figured out, learning that I can embrace the change, chaos and growth wherever we end up going, whatever we end up doing.

So, what kind of chaos are you in the midst of right now?

Can you see the flicker at the end of the tunnel? The clarity that will come from chaos?

Or will you give in to the fear, panic and uncertainty?

It’s a choice that only you can make.

 

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in Daily Dose

 

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