7 Steps to Build Confidence & Courage

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I wanted to share with you today 7 steps to help you achieve more, which I recently presented to the EMEA Women of Cisco team on ways to be more confident & courageous.

The steps:

1. Create your vision

People move towards pictures. If you don’t know WHY you want to improve, build your confidence, or widen your comfort zone, eventually you will stop working on it. Close your eyes, and imagine where you want to get to. Whether it’s a professional or personal, it’s up to you – it’s YOUR vision after all!

2. Understand your fears

Fear comes from two areas – physical (fear of death/illness/pain), and psychological (fear of not measuring up, or not being liked/loved). All living creatures experience the first, all humans experience the second. Remember, you are not your fear, it’s a natural reaction – the definition of courage is experiencing fear but acting anyway

3. Use calming techniques

When fear kicks in, help your neocortex get back in charge of your thoughts. Distract yourself (hum a tune, either out loud or in your head), do something physical like rubbing your thumb and finger together. Slow….your….breathing. Use a technique such as box breathing.

4. Beat negative thoughts

Remember – you are not a fortune-teller, or a mind-reader. Try not to take things personally. Banish negative self-talk when you make a mistake (eg. calling yourself stupid or silly). Ask yourself, is this thought 100% true, does it serve me? What advice would I give to a friend with this thought?

5. Understand your strengths

Look back on what you have achieved – what are you good at? What drains your energy and what lights you up? Focus on what you CAN do, not what you cannot – nobody is good at everything. How can you build on what you are good at? At the same time, how can you make sure that you don’t overuse any of your strengths?

6. Journal Daily

6. Journal Daily

My number one tip for success in anything – reflect daily on what has worked well and what learnings you can take from the day. My Daily Journaling template can help you get started.

7. Set SMART goals


What steps do you need to take towards your vision? How will you widen your comfort zone? What strengths do you need to develop? Who can help you?

Hope this helps you.



P.S. If you’d like further help on building your confidence and courage (or public speaking, presentation and general leadership skills), click here to set up some time to discuss options.

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