Self-confidence is critical to absolutely every aspect of a successful life, and is especially critical to effective leadership – and nothing eats away at self confidence more than the sense that time is passing and you’re achieving nothing of value.
It is critical that, at any point in time, you have the sense that you are doing everything you should be doing to assure your success. That means that you MUST have clear, confidence inspiring goals.
Living in the ‘now’
The reality is that all you ever have is the present moment – that’s where you always live; never in the past and never in the future; so all of your efforts should be on ensuring that the present moment is used as productively as possible. You should also seek to make the present moment as habitable and pleasant as possible – and ensure that coming ‘present moments’ (the future) are equally pleasant places to be.
Goals are an essential element of self-confidence because they make you feel strong and confident about the here and now; they give you the faith to take control of the current moment and live it with gusto. Clear compelling goals provide you with a confident clarity as to what you should be doing right now. They make it possible to prioritize so that you invest all of your present moments so that they produce a future return on investment.
Clear challenging goals allow you to forget the future, which doesn’t exist anywhere except in your imagination, and to live fully in the present – investing yourself completely in the best life you can make for yourself. Compelling goals are the motivational fuel that will light you up with self-confidence.
In his famous recording ‘The Strangest Secret’ Earl Nightingale put it perfectly when he said: “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. Goals get that process started.
Making Goals Work for You
Creating a set of confidence-building goals takes a little time and energy – but the payback is enormous.
Here’s a four-step approach to creating great confidence building goals:
1. Have goals for all aspects of your life. To be entirely confident of everything you’re doing now you need to be sure that you have all aspects of your life covered.
Create goals in at least the follow six areas of your life:
- Career & business
- Relationships & family
- Personal development
2. Write them down. While they are in your head they are abstract ideas, but the moment you go to put pen to paper you make them much more concrete – they become much more real to you. Don’t settle for the first draft – write them and rewrite them until they really resonate with you and get you excited. Be sure that they are clear and specific. Research by Gail Matthews of Dominican University demonstrated definitively that those who write their goals down “accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals”.
3. Create a mixture of large, medium, and small goals. There is nothing quite as confidence affirming as achieving a goal. Work it out so that you have a continuous stream of small, medium and large goal victories. Every day should bring the achievement of some goal or other, however small. And every day should bring the satisfaction of moving larger goals closer to achievement.
4. Don’t delude yourself that setting a goal is enough – create milestones. Once you’ve each goal then plan out some of the actions you’ll take to achieve them. Have milestones for each that allows you to nibble away at them all on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
The Acid Test of a Goal
And here’s the acid test when you’ve sketched out a goal: does it really fire you up? Does it make you excited to be alive – filling you with a motivation to take on the world right this very second? If not, then bin it – it’s not for you.
Your goals should make you positively glow with enthusiasm, energy and excitement about your opportunities. Not only will they make your life a much more exciting place to be – but the energy and enthusiasm that they create in you will be instantly perceptible to all others around you. That aura of self-confidence comes from deep inside of you but can be detected by all around you in the way you walk, talk, and behave.
Is your self-confidence as robust as YOU’D like?
If your self-confidence is in any way less that you’d like then focus upon using this simple process to getting a set of compelling goals down on paper (and use Bud Haney’s ‘Success System’ for managing them) – you’ll be stunned at the impact it has upon every aspect of your outlook on life.
How do you keep your self-confidence high?
Share your best ideas in ‘Comments’ below