Photo by Feuillu
"One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self- confidence is preparation." Arthur Ashe
When I came across this quote, I had a bit of an "aha" moment as I remembered what a mentor had told me years ago about time management. He explained that he was not the smartest, nor funniest, nor best looking. His gift, he discovered years earlier, was his ability to prioritize commitments and prepare for each week. Not exactly what everyone strives for but he practiced and practiced until he got it down.
Then he became a true master of time management.
When you can see your weekly review as a skill, you're getting deeper into the game. The preparation-follow up-preparation cycle becomes the backbone of your ability to prioritize commitments. Thankfully, it gets easier with time.
What Arthur Ashe is also reminding us is that confident people are prepared people. The two go hand in hand. What can we prepare for this week?
- Diet & fitness
- Spiritual growth
And we could go on and on. A truly prepared person sees the "edgeless" activities (spiritual growth, fun, relationships, etc.) as projects with action steps. Not that a Valentine's dinner with your better half is merely another project, but it has multiple steps which need be carried out in sequence. Translation: project management.
Looking at the Valentine's dinner as an example- if you are prepared for Feb. 14th, chances are it will go better and you'll feel great about it. Makes sense.
What can you do, besides being a prepared person, to boost your self confidence? Here are some tips:
- Customize your routine. This is an essential component to an organized (and prepared) life. Nail your wake up times and going to bed times. Streamline how you get ready for the day. Simplify your steps in the morning. Then, do it all again.
- Understand your personality type. Use the Myers Briggs personality type indicator as a tool to better understand yourself. Once you accept your level of extrovert-introversion, you'll be much cooler with how you treat your own personality. (oh, and how you treat others)
- Hang with the best and brightest. Network online, via phone or snail mail with those who are confident. Meet them at conferences and find out where they hang. You don't want to be a stalker, just someone who learns how to meet those who are successful. My students get a kick out of who I've met and interviewed over the years.
- Dress for success. What you wear does make a difference. This is not just interview advice. The next time you don't feel well, dress better. The next time the weather is crummy, dress better. The next time you are about to meet someone important, dress better.
- Go where you want to be. If you want to be the boss, check out his/her office the next time you have a meeting. Imagine yourself hosting visitors and facilitating meetings. If your neighborhood isn't what you want it to be, go for a drive and observe how other streets are organized and what types of houses are there. Get the flavor of the dream and then stoke your fire by visiting its origin again and again.
- Find a mentor. A mentoring agency can be a huge help with improving self confidence. A good mentor is like gold and can become a secret weapon in the road to success. My mentor, Gerry, is a trusted advisor, a genuine friend and a sounding board for my ambitions and failures.