Confidence tip - be aware of your state of mind
In this article, I wanted to talk about being aware of your 'state of mind'. We talked about this issue at a talk I did last week, and people found it so useful that I thought I would share it with you!
What do I mean by 'state'? It goes back to asking yourself 'how good are you feeling?'. In your mind (or you can write this down), rate this out of 10 for yourself. This will tell you your current mindset.
Tony Robbins, a US motivational speaker, says "your mental state influences what we are capable of. 80% of success will come from your attitude or psychology and 20% is the mechanics".
So what does this mean? It means that if you believe in yourself, which is your attitude, then you know you can do it. The mechanics are the actual skills you possess for doing something. It is not necessary to have all the skills for doing something - this is something you can learn as you go along. What is more important is your attitude - if you believe you can do something and are confident, then you can train yourself to do anything. Often, we already possess the skills for doing something; what stops us from going ahead and expanding is the limiting belief that we don’t think we can.
Research shows that men are much better at doing this than women. For example, if a guy can do 20% of a job spec, he will say he is qualified for the job, whereas women will need to think they can do 80% to think they are qualified. It is simply a mindset!
There is a famous analysis done after Tiger Woods lost one of the US Open championships - "he lost his state and not his skill".What this means is that he is an amazing golfer, and he didn’t lose because he didn’t have the skills; he lost because his mindset on the day was not right.
The idea is that not only do you want to feel good, but you want to maintain this state as much as possible. When you are feeling grounded, good, and strong in yourself, then you are less likely to be reactive to external situations that are going on outside of you. For example, what if your boss says something negative about your work? When you are feeling strong in yourself, you will not take this so personally and may even be able to say that you don’t agree or realise it's him or her having a bad day. However, when your state is low, you are likely to feel more vulnerable, less sure of yourself, and take it to heart. A lady at the talk said when her state was low, she tends to get more emotional. I also find myself quite indecisive when my state is low.
Therefore, it is really important to keep your state high. There are some quick wins you can use but ideally, you want to routinely keep your state high. For those that are willing, this can involve a deep look to truly accept and understand yourself, so that you find that deep seat within you that doesn’t shift. Finding a passionate hobby outside of work can also help maintain this state and get your head out of the stresses of the day. For example, George Bush used to run and paint (even whilst he was president); Warren Buffet plays the guitar; Meryl Streep knits in between shoots to calm her nerves.
Some quick wins you can use to change your state are music, exercise, taking walks, meditation, laughing, journaling, cooking, watching a good movie, listening to a podcast, or any hobby that makes you feel good. My personal favourites are taking walks and meditation. Taking a walk is so good as it allows to get out of your space and lets nature heal and nurture you with every step you take. You realise you can keep going, however, you're feeling.
Meditation is a much deeper and lasting feeling, as you connect with yourself and reprogram your mind, and it also centres you and grounds you. That’s why meditation apps like headspace and calm are increasing in popularity. There are also several podcasts on Youtube that you can use. More and more rich and successful people swear by meditation as a key to their success, and both meditation and walking have been proven to improve general mental health and reduce stress and anxiety. Once you get into the practice, you will see the benefits. I would recommend both meditation (10 minutes a day) and walking (30 minutes a day) at least five times a week.
Sometimes, hiring a coach can be beneficial to increase your state as well. They will reflect to you your state by asking you the right, all important questions that you may not be asking yourself. They can help you to see your potential and where you might be limiting yourself, along with helping you to re-program your attitude to one of high self-belief and confidence. In coaching, clients often arrive with certain goals. It's useful to take them back to "so do you believe you can achieve this goal?". I find clients normally know what steps to take to achieve the goal, but what is limiting them is the belief that they can do it.
Whatever works for you, I would encourage you to be aware of your state. When you are feeling strong, you should feel calm, grounded, and very sure of yourself. If you are interested in looking at yourself on a deeper level, then hire a coach, get a good book, and listen to some good podcasts.