Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand how to ensure they are leading themselves well before leading others in a difficult direction.

What are you brave enough to do that might boost your confidence?

We all know that Confidence and your Leadership skills are contagious! However, both elements, confidence being a key component of leadership also require that you have them yourself or lead yourself well before you really will be effective in leading others. And even if that’s true, it doesn’t make it easy. The truth is it is so much easier to be a negative ned or a negative nellie.

Think about the people and things you hang out with and surround yourself with. Are they more positive or negative in nature? Chances are they are those who watch the news, complain about world events, gas prices and their job, and would likely accuse of needing to be committed if you walked around in a cloud of exuberant optimism with what I call Pom-poms permanently attached to your body. Yep, its true. Negativity takes little or no effort. All you have to do is listen to the average person, turn on the TV or drive down the street and watch the drivers or signs or people in general.

Confidence takes courage.
Persistent effort and confidence that you can achieve your dreams takes courage.
Leading others takes confidence, which takes courage to sometimes make tough decisions that affect others or lead the charge into uncharted territory.

So, how do you boost your own confidence and maintain a sense of courage?

1. Stop watching and focusing on what goes on with the news or the TV

The news is targeted to those who buy from their advertisers and while there may be stuff going on in the world, the news tag line is that if it “bleeds it leads”. Thus, you’re not going to see the happy story about the little Girl Scout who sold a billion boxes of cookies and is taking her mom on the round the world tour as a prize… unless she was hit by a bus. Want an uplift? Find a funny program, read a book, or call a cool friend.

2. Stop asking those that you know will tell you bad stuff… “How are you?”

How are you is a habit and unless you really want to know how someone is, often you are better off simply saying HI and walking away. If you ask an “Eeyore” how he is and then you listen, knowing that it will be bad, you are training that person to store up all their issues, like nuts for the winter, and wait until you ask the magic question to then “spray and pray” all their issues, hoping you’ll agree or give them permission to be a continued victim.

3. Focus on what you like, want, and are grateful for…

Telling you to stop focusing on bad stuff or negative people without giving you something to focus on instead is like saying “don’t think about pink elephants”. Not too effective. Spend your time instead literally thinking about something else: The friends you have, the family you have, the life you want, the job you have or whatever it is that you are grateful for even if it merely the clothes on your back.

The reason confidence takes courage, is that most will tell you to look at reality. Many a time a successful person has changed their reality by ceasing to focus on what everyone else is telling them their “reality” is. Do you have the contagious courage to make your own reality and to lead yourself in the direction you wish to go, live, and play? Something tells me you do and when you find it and use it, it, too, will be contagious in that you will start to find others who share that belief and may even help you get where you want to go that much faster!

What will you do today to exhibit your courage and confidence?

Stay contagious!

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