12 Indicators to raise your Confidence

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I have been a confidence coach for over 9 years now and in that time there have been some common themes and solutions to aid my clients self esteem, self belief and emotional intelligence.

I thought I would share some of the ways in which people who felt affected by confidence have overcome them by working on these areas. This is not a comprehensive list but consists of the main ingredients that can be worked on.

1) Self awareness – For me this is crucial as a starting point. Only you will really know the truth about how you feel inside, what situations you are confident in and what areas need improving. Only you will know if an event has caused a temporary crash in your overall well being or if this is something that has been building up for some time.  by understanding what your best skills and capabilities are and where or with whom you are at your best, you can transfer it into other areas of your life. Acceptance that you will not be perfect is key.

2) Direction – Having written goals that use all our senses, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic is a must for me. what will we see hear and feel when your goals are reached. How do these goals help you get to where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years etc. I have yearly goals which i break down into my action plan.

3) Values – I have written regularly on this and the importance of understanding how your values shape your behaviour. Take a look at my previous posts on my wordpress blog account confidencenac. Being authentic and having integrity is a vital ingredient to self esteem.

4) Motivation – Confident people take some risks to enable them to do the things they love. Motivation will come easily when we feel passionate about something – effortless but full of energy – but to get to that point some changes may be needed beforehand. Your ‘Why’ for your goals must be big enough and should include small incremental steps. Make the change look small by chunking it into smaller parts, take the first step and procrastination will be a thing of the past!

5) A Positive can-do attitude – Use visualisation and affirmations (in the current tense) to feed your sub conscious with some good food. eg ‘I am a confident person who is decisive and focused’. Use positive self talk, not just to yourself, but to others too.

6) Gratitude – See what you do have every day, never lose sight of the things that mean the most and look at what has been achieved before asking the question ‘what still needs to be done?’. Be grateful enough so that helping others is a pleasure, not a duty.

7) A sense of Purpose – My theme in life is to give confidence to people, empower them and encourage them to take responsibility for their lives. I am here to give love and support to my clients, my community as well as my family and friends. Love is all that matters but we must love ourselves first. What’s your theme?

8) Ongoing personal development – Never believe you have learnt everything or have reached your full potential. You are a genius in your own right but have you given your gift to the world yet?. Whatever profession, there is more to learn and we can just keep getting better. Invest in yourself – often.

9) Boldness – Life is not meant to be easy but the easier you try to make it, by avoiding things, the harder it becomes. Tackle things head on – conversations, people, actions etc and life becomes so much more colourful and confidence-enhancing.

10) Health and wellbeing – Eat good food, drink water, breathe deeply, have mindfulness, listen to others, communicate your own feelings, respect your body, exercise if it’s your bag, walk with nature, have joie de vivre and, of course, good wine (sorry that’s my little pleasure!). Use your intuition, listen to it carefully and then understand what it is telling you.

11) Optimism – the most successful people have this in abundance. It doesn’t mean unrealistic but it does mean a ‘knowing’ that whatever challenge manifests itself, it can be dealt with and could even become a blessing. I love the question ‘What’s great about this problem?’ The only time there is failure is when time has run out, otherwise it really is just feedback.

12) Mindfulness – Savour every moment by using all your senses eg hear the music, the words, see the sky, the smiles, feel the emotions.  There is a difference between listening and hearing, looking and seeing. Plan for your future but enjoy the present.

How do you rate on the above? If any areas need improving and you know it will enhance your life, then invest in a coach.  And start with writing down some of the things you know you should already be doing – your goals and your action points.

Or call me to make this year – 2014 – your very best yet! – 01473 682760

Build Your Confidence

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Many brave and important events in our history are not always accomplished by the most confident, outgoing people.

Sometimes we have to overcome things like shyness in order to bring out the very best in ourselves and to help our confidence re-surface in different areas of our lives, not just the bits we’re comfortable with.

The way to do this, is to reconnect with your purpose in life and to make your ‘Why?’ so big that you will step easily over any barriers in order to reach your core aims in life.

Women all over the world are willing to go through the pain of birth even after experiencing it for the first time, because the bundle of joy at the end of it makes it all worth while and we know the pain is short lived. We have no idea what being a parent is like, nor do we fully understand how much our lives will change and yet we go into it without hardly batting an eye lid. Nature gives women this uncontrollable yearning for a baby and I believe there’s a good reason for that – it’s purpose is to help overcome any fear of the unknown and/or the memory of that dreadful pain.

35 years on, I still remember all 56 hours of giving birth!

Anyway, that’s just one example of knowing our ‘why?’ and accepting that we may be fearful but we’ll do it anyway.

Other things in life are much less life-changing than that, for instance presenting to an audience, and yet the majority of people avoid it if they can. We are scared to strike up conversations in a networking situation and yet will think nothing of getting drunk and making complete fools of ourselves (and how many people have a drink in order to ‘feel more confident’?!).

So, one thing I’d like to do in this article is make you think about your strengths, skills and talents.

3 Questions:

When, where and/or with whom are you at your best?

What are you good at and what can you do, to encourage more usage of these skills, talents or knowledge?

Where could you stretch yourself that would make your heart flutter with a mixture of excitement and trepidation?

Our everyday lives must consist of gratitude and positivity in order to lead happy and confident lives.

In order to appreciate our lives, we must see the value in everything we do, in everything that surrounds us and in people we know and spend time with. We must feel alive by trying new things, feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and by  loving others, being loved back.

My favourite thing to do, to ensure positivity, is to reframe the negative or meaningless situation. Apart from grieving the loss of a loved one, this has worked for many.

eg ‘Ok so i didn’t get that job but that’s because a better one is round the corner and this one would’ve been a distraction.’

Ok, so I’ve been made redundant. This is MY time to do what I really love and use my redundancy money to re-train and make it happen’

Ok so my partner has left me. This is a good opportunity to be totally free before I meet my real soul mate’.

More than a silver lining. It’s about self pity being short lived and being used as a way of grabbing a new opportunity. You get the idea!

Our happiness and confidence does not rely on other people,  events or material things – it relies on OURSELVES.

Appreciate your talents, find out what gift you want to give to the world and GO DO IT!

Make the Most of Your Testimonials especially if you’re a start up!

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One of the most important things I ever did, when i started my business nearly a decade ago, was to ask for testimonials from day 1.

And the next best thing I ever did was take on a few clients for free, in which to get those testimonials. Not only do i still get referrals from those pro bono clients but their testimonials are still in my hall of success stories!

Testimonials can come in various forms – letter, e-mail, LinkedIn, verbally and each time I asked my client how they would like their name and business portrayed on my website.

If you’re just starting out then make sure you learn how to ask for them – they are crucial to growing your business. Often at the end of my coaching sessions, my clients will tell me how much it has done for them and I will simply ask either 1) can I write that down now and use it as a testimonial or 2) could you send that to me in an e-mail?

Sometimes you’ll use the entire testimonial, perhaps on your website or posted in store. However, most of the time you’ll need to choose an excerpt that will fit your needs. You can always use a different part later. To identify what part of the testimonial should be used, ask the following questions:

  • What is the most convincing part of the testimonial?
  • Is the person a recognisable name?
  • Is there a specific sentence or paragraph that sums up their experience?
  • Are there several sentences or paragraphs that will be of use?

For example, if you need to group testimonials under a specific category, like “Here’s what our customers had to say about their experience,” you’d only need to pull sentences that speak to customer service. If you’re looking for a killer testimonial that will speak to product quality and service standards, you may want to pull a full paragraph and let it stand alone.

You can use testimonials in your business wherever your customers can see them. Here are some suggestions for placement:

Put them on your website.

  • Create a page of your website dedicated to customer testimonials.
  • Include testimonials on every page of your website – especially the pages that generate the highest traffic.
  • Put your best testimonial in a prominent location on your homepage – in sidebars, call out boxes or above the headline – and put a new one up on a regular basis.
  • Use testimonials to break up long bits of sales copy throughout your website.

Put your best 25 to 50 letters in a waiting room book.

  • Keep a binder or album of testimonial letters, printed on source letterhead, for your prospects and customers to flip through.
  • You can keep this binder in the waiting room, your office, your point of sale, your boardroom, or anywhere else you prospect may have an opportunity to look at it.
  • This strategy allows customers to build trust while-they-wait, and usually results in prospects being more open to what you have to say.

Hang your best testimonials in your store or office.

  • Frame your best testimonial letters (again, printed on letterhead) and hang them up in your business or your office.
  • Even though your prospects may not read each and every one, the presence of testimonials will send the message that you have happy customers. They may even want their company names on the wall too.

Put them in your advertisements.

  • Testimonials are highly effective in advertising. Use short, clear, purpose focused testimonials for the best results.
  • Avoid cluttering up your ad with paragraphs of testimonial copy – save that for your website and brochures.

Put testimonials in your direct mail.

  • Let the words of others speak for you when sending a direct mailing. Attach a page of testimonials to a direct mail letter, or include them on postcards or brochures.
  • Since you can’t physically be there to sell your product, the use of testimonials in direct mail campaigns can boost response rates.

Partner with a complementary company for a joint mailing.

  • Send a joint mailing with a company that offers a product or service that is complementary to yours, and you’ll gather a host of qualified leads.
  • The way it works is you send a letter to your clients on your letterhead introducing and offering the other company’s product or service, and they do the same for you. Since your existing customers already trust your business, and you endorse your partner company, the letter acts as a testimonial.

Use video testimonials on your website, in presentations and in store.

  • Put videos of happy customers on your website for browsers to find when they’re looking at your offering. Videos tend to be more interactive, and may be seen by more people than plain text.
  • If you attend trade shows or sales presentations, keep video testimonials on a CD or DVD to play on a loop or in strategic points of your presentation.
  • Transcribe the audio to written testimonials that can be used in your print collateral, and make the most of your customer’s comments.
  • In your marketing materials, invite customers to visit your website to view videos of other client’s experiences and thoughts after using your product or service. It’s always more interesting to see something live than read it on paper.

When you put some thought into how you use testimonials, they will have a stronger impact on your target audience.

Remember that the key to maximising the power of your testimonials is making sure that your prospects see them when they need to see them.

You want to use testimonials to back you up when you’ve said or claimed something unbelievable, or are trying to build credibility. You want to place them so they’re seen right before you ask for the close, or the call to action. Let others speak for you when it matters the most.

When I tell prospectives that I can make them confident in a matter of weeks, they find that hard to believe but it is true – and my testimonials bear witness to this. Take a look at mine on this blog – they are on a separate page.

Testimonials should be used strategically and to maximise the potential of your business.