Pinch of Thought - Crisis of Confidence?

This is the first Pinch of Thought for 2017. That’s shocking! I bang on about the need to create thought leading content once a week. And you do. But I needed a break, a re-set.

It’s so easy to tumble from one year into the next. Yes, there’s a brief pause for Christmas/New Year, a slowing around summer holidays for those ‘down under’. Most of us will go through some kind of planning ritual. 2017 resolutions. Your BIG WORD. 5 new habits for success! Don’t get me wrong, these are all great, but by the time the year is back up to speed, most are fading in the rear view mirror. The pressures of life-as-usual resurface to swamp us.

On the tools

My break was partly forced by some renovations at our house. It was great to put away the keyboard and get on the business end of a hammer for a week or two. I think we have lost much in the unquestioning rush to all things technological. There’s virtue in sweating over a wheelbarrow and a hard-won sense of satisfaction from building stuff. Bob the Builder was onto something! is born

The second reason is that I’ve been working on my new website. It launches today. I hope you like it – but (and please take this with the love intended) – I don’t mind if you don’t. You see I LOVE it. It captures me as I see myself. 100% authentic. Pure Hodgy. It feels right and - for all these reasons - fills me full of confidence.

Gaining clarity

I worked on the site with the brilliant Simon Jordan. He drilled and drilled me. “Mark”, he said, “what do you do?” I gushed about forging leaders, leading change, thought leadership and business transformation. I talked about programmes and mentoring and keynote speaking. Simon kept coming back though ……. “yes, yes, yes, but the people who work with you, what’s the main thing they get?” Finally, the penny dropped. First and foremost I help people build confidence.

How’s your confidence doing?

The process led me to think about confidence. I work almost exclusively with smart, credentialed, accomplished people. Yet the more I think about it, it’s clear that most of us are struggling. We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. Business is more difficult, job security more tenuous and the future of pretty much everything (jobs, kids, politics, world peace, the Wallabies, the planet) up in the air. The rules have changed. We used to know how to get ahead, what to study, where to work and how to make a dollar. Today we feel we know less. That’s uncomfortable for many. It’s not surprising then that our confidence is compromised.

Some ideas to kickstart your confidence

Know you are not alone

I don’t care how people appear in real life or (worse) showcase their fabulousness on Facebook. I’ve been mentoring folk long enough to know that for most of us – including myself – confidence is typically fragile and renewed daily. Just knowing this can relieve some of the pressure.

Start moving

Anthony Robbins tells us to TAKE MASSIVE ACTION. Probably a bit American for many tastes, but I agree with the sentiment. It’s like balancing on a bike – almost impossible when motionless, but easier with momentum. When I work with folk, what we do initially is far less important than the fact we are doing something with purpose and discipline. We get moving first and then adjust direction.

Make yourself accountable

Get a mentor – even if it’s not me! Just don’t spend another year trying to do it yourself. Making sense of all of this is hard. It’s easy to get disheartened or distracted; to consign yourself to another year of stress and disappointment. Most of the people I work with have tried to go it alone and found they could not. That’s not about me being brilliant. It’s about the power of an external other to help us to see what’s going on and to encourage and challenge us. Make no mistake. Creating meaningful shifts in your world ain’t easy. But it IS possible with the right attitude, work ethic and mentor.

Get comfortable with discomfort

You’re looking to break out right? To change it up, have your say, get what you think out into the world and make a difference. That’s excellent, but it requires you to step out. As the late, great David Bowie said,

“Go a little bit out of your depth.When you don’t feel your feet are quite touching the bottom, you are just about in the place to do something exciting”

Have some fun

Always. Be playful. Smile. See the game for what it is – you having a red-hot go at making your mark. Most don’t even try, so you’ve already won.

The erosion of confidence is debilitating. Its absence can impact all aspects of our lives. Rebuilding it is fundamental to our professional performance and our personal happiness. Just admitting to yourself that it’s something you want to work on is a great start.

If you want a hand, just drop me a note. You can find details on my new website. I’m looking for some new clients. I’ve got a reno to pay for!

Work with Mark

Since 2010 Mark Hodgson has been successfully helping executives, coaches and consultants to build confidence, gain clarity in their message and position themselves as influential thought leaders who people want to work with.

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