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Closing The Gap
By Martin Perry
At The Confidence Booster Workout, in Dublin one Saturday, an attendee - let's call him Gary - brought up a pertinent issue. He is a self-employed decorator, plying his trade for thirty years. But he was going to tender for new contracts, in the current economic climate, lacking in self-confidence... Expecting not to get the deal. Having to discount his work, in a way that made him feel devalued. A yawning gap had opened up between his self-view and his well-established skills. And, in this gap, self-doubt had taken a powerful grip, like kudzu. Note: Kudzu is an invasive alien species to the USA, that invades forests, kills off plants, damages power lines and overwhelms homes.
Sometimes, within a group of people, you will find those of similar talent and capability. But the individuals self-view, will determine how big a gap there is between how they think about themselves and their talent. The bigger the gap, the less use is made of that talent. The narrower the gap, the more success the person will have. Confidence is the key to closing this gap.
So, back to the workshop. Gary had forgotten about the good things from the last thirty years.
The pile of word of mouth referrals.
The glowing testimonials from his clients.
The skill and capability, that he had built up in the thirty years.
The excellence of his work.
This approach is perhaps understandable. The current economic climate, creates pressure and anxiety. Anxiety which can cause us to feel unsure, about who we are and what we do. We can easily forget just how good we really are. Doubts prevail,= and it weakens our confidence. It impacts upon our decision making, as we lose the sense of value we have about our work. We become the same as everyone else.
Of course, potential clients are seeking economic value. But that doesn't mean that we have to devalue ourselves in the process. Joining in the race to discount, and undermining our own confidence.
Confidence comes from being able to look at the past, and draw the best from it. The successes, the things that we are proud of, the testimonials and referrals, the good work done.
If you sat down and highlighted all the good things that you have done or achieved in your life so far, you would glow like a thousand-watt light bulb. These moments form a strong foundation of confidence, that can withstand the doubts and uncertainty.
When you draw from the success of the past, you can sit in front of a potential client with a quiet look of confidence in your eye. Your confidence in you, makes them feel confident in you. In the presence of such confidence, there is no need to discount your price.
In times of uncertainty, we don't need more uncertainty. Those who thrive are the ones who radiate a quiet confidence in who they are and what they do. A mindset based on fact, not ego. This can hold true for you, in whatever you do, whether in business or sport.
For example, a sports professional can easily forget how good they are after a series of failures, defeats or misses. Those moments prey on their mind, inviting doubts and uncertainty. That's why its important to remember the good times and treasured memories. They will act as a buffer against uncertainty. Get out the trophies, and polish them up. They will evoke the sense of pride that comes with past accomplishments.
Gary left the workshop on Saturday with his confidence restored. He had remembered the good times, the jobs well done, and the many referrals freely given. And a spring came back to his step, and a sparkle to his eye.
Remember... You are much better than you think you are!