Pretty much all of my clients come to me wanting more confidence. This is especially the case when they are stepping into a new role within the leadership of their family enterprise. And it’s understandable.
Maybe you were outstanding in your old role when it came to approaching the job with confidence and self-belief, but now you’re in the C-suite, perhaps feeling like an imposter, or at least very aware of everything that you don’t know and you can feel some worry coming to the surface. If this sounds familiar, this is the podcast for you.
Tune in this week to discover what so many people get wrong about creating confidence, and the exercises I use with my clients that you can start using right now to build more confidence. I’m sharing where confidence really comes from, and by the end of the episode, you’ll understand where you can look to for a confidence boost whenever you need it.
If you can’t get aligned or on the same page, don’t give up. Try this simple framework, my Same Page Leadership Framework instead.
What You Will Discover:
- Why there is no person or thing outside of you that can give you confidence.
- Where confidence really comes from.
- Why confidence is always a choice, even if it doesn’t seem possible in this exact moment.
- What is going to change for you when you understand the truth about confidence.
- 4 exercises you can start with right now to build more natural confidence.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- The Family Business Leader Mastermind is now accepting applications.
- The Life Coach School
Full Episode Transcript:
You are listening to episode eight and today I’m talking about confidence.
Welcome to The Family Business Leader Podcast. A podcast for multigenerational family business leaders who want to become the leader they were meant to be. If you’re ready to learn how to develop your own authentic leadership style, successfully lead your family business and create your own lasting legacy while still honoring theirs this is the podcast for you. I’m your host, Ellie Frey Zagel, family business leadership coach and third-generation family business leader. Let’s get to it.
Hello my friends. How are you? I hope you’re having an amazing, amazing day. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode. Today we’re going to talk about one of the things that my clients come to me the most as a leadership coach is because they’re looking for more confidence as they’re stepping, usually as they’re stepping into their new role. So usually they’ve stepped into the president’s position or somewhere in the leadership team. And they are feeling, suddenly feeling uncertain and maybe a bit stuck, maybe a little bit impostery, which is totally a word.
And this is different because in their last job they were really super successful and they had a lot of confidence. And now in this new role there’s just a lot of not knowing what they don’t know. And so perhaps they are looking to others or just trying to do everything themselves. Okay, well, I just need to learn everything. I’ll just do it myself and not allowing their senior leadership teams to do really their job, especially in times of crisis.
So if you can relate to this, if you’re kind of looking inside going, “Gosh, I really could use a little bit more confidence”, this is the right podcast for you. This is exactly what you need to be listening to right now. I’m going to share with you three or four exercises that I do with my clients and of course sharing some examples that you can do starting today. And I encourage you actually to start today. There’s no time like the present.
So the first thing I want to share with you, and this is where I share with all of my clients when they start with me is that confidence actually comes from within. And so many of us think that we have to look outside of ourselves for our confidence and so we only feel confident, and this is sometimes.
Sometimes we only feel confident if people come to us and say, “Way to go.” Or if we see a certain number on our balance sheet or in our bank account, or something outside of us happens and then you’re like, “Okay, I feel good about that. I am confident. I am confident. I can do that again.” And you might feel a little bit uncertain or a little bit insecure even until that happens. So you’re basing your confidence on something outside of you and outside of your control.
So no one can give you confidence. Confidence is an emotion you get from your thoughts and beliefs. Perhaps thoughts like I’ve got this, which is one of my favorite, or no problem. I’ve done this before, or I know how to do this, or easy. You can hear my voice. When I say things like that I have a little bit of a smile, my shoulders are back. And I just believe. I’m displaying and I’m feeling confidence. I’m feeling confident.
Google’s definition of confidence is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities, one’s own appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities. So it doesn’t come from outside of you, it comes from within. Once you realize that your confidence comes from your own thoughts and beliefs you can stop looking to others for approval and validation, which honestly, you may or may not get. And even if somebody does tell you, “Atta girl”, or “Atta boy”, you may or may not even hear it. I don’t know if any of you are like that.
But I often, like some people compliment me and I won’t even hear it because I’ll be so in my brain about what I can do better. So if you realize this comes from within then you can get to work on something you can control which is your own thoughts and beliefs. So at this point in the conversation you can just choose to feel confident. You can just choose to think I’ve got this, no problem, I can step into this president’s role, I can figure this out. I’ve done this before. I’ve got this, easy, or maybe not easy. That might not work. And then you could turn off this podcast.
But if your brain is like no, no, no, that’s not going to work, I need a little bit more proof. I’ve got a couple of additional exercises for you to try. So I’ve just shared with you, confidence comes from within.
Now, an exercise that you can actually try on a piece of paper or a Google Doc or something like that is something that The Life Coach School calls an accomplishment log. This is one of the first exercises I do with my clients. And I have them identify and write down all of their wins, accomplishments, accolades, raises, promotions, awards that they’ve received in their life starting in grade school. They can just write a long list, or they can split it up into personal versus vocational. I’ve actually seen somebody split it up by decade.
And what we’re trying to do is get out everything that you’ve forgotten that you’ve done that you’re proud of, or even if you’re not proud of, you’ve done and gotten recognized for. And this is just a way to kind of start your brain to realize that you’ve done more than you think you have. One of the exercises that I’ve shared in the past that I’ve done personally is I was in Michael Hyatt’s Mastermind and he’s like, “Write down all that you’ve accomplished in 90 days.” I’m like, “Wait. What? I don’t know.” Really my brain had such a hard time doing this exercise.
And so expect that your brain is going to challenge you when you sit down to kind of write, get to work on this in this accomplishment log. But here’s what happened. When I finished that list of everything that I’d accomplished in the past 90 days, I was blown away. I’m like, “Wait a second, wait. Oh my goodness.” I actually accomplished quite a bit.
And when my clients do this exercise starting in grade school if necessary and they write down spelling bees that they won, or honor student that they achieved, or any awards they’ve gotten, track and field medals. All of it, when they start to identify all their wins, accomplishments, accolades etc, the page starts to fill up. And then their brain says, “Wait, I don’t remember anymore.” And then I tell them, “No, keep going.” And you might even get two pages out of this.
My clients are always surprised at how many things they can come up with and how many things they’ve forgotten like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that. I have totally forgot that.” Also if you’re doing this exercise I want you to put, if you’re married, I want you to put that that might be something that you’re proud of, put it down. If you have a child, put it down. You graduated from high school, put it down, graduated from the eighth grade, put it down, college, all of that.
I want you to put it all down because something’s going to happen, especially if you’re feeling stuck, if you’re feeling some uncertainty or insecurity and you’re not able to access your confidence. Oftentimes when clients at that time are feelings stuck, they can’t move forward. And this log is helping you. Just by doing this exercise it’s helping you get unstuck. And this is really the point of this exercise.
Many times we’re faced with a hard task and we forget we have already done something similar and that’s why we’re stuck. We’ve just forgotten and so we’re like, “I haven’t done this before.” And so an example of this is by the time you have reached the president’s role.
So let’s say this is what’s happening, you stepped into a new role and you’re just not feeling your confident self. But you’ve already gotten at least a few promotions before you’ve reached this role. And so you can turn back to those and you can say, “Okay, I’ve already done this and I got through it because now I’m here and I’ve gotten another promotion so obviously I do it well. So how did I get through this? How did I get through my past promotion so I can get through this promotion?” You can see where I’m going here.
If you have a tough conversation with somebody and you’re lacking confidence in your abilities, look back to where you’ve had tough conversations in the past and you obviously got through those. So how did you get through those? What worked in that conversation that you can take into this conversation? So you can see how this accomplishment log just becomes living and breathing.
And it’s like you’re becoming an archeologist of your own life and you’re digging up your past successes and wins and identifying why they were successful. And then replicating the success, perhaps a few tweaks if needed.
So the other activity, after you’ve done your accomplishment log, and honestly, for most of my clients I stop there and work on some other worksheets on confidence. Just by realizing that confidence comes from within, creating this accomplishment log, using it, becoming your own archeologist. For many of my clients that is enough to kind of get them unstuck and move them forward.
If you are going to be the president and CEO, or in some sort of the C-suite of your family business I want you to consider this next activity, what I’m calling it, I haven’t figured out a great name for it. But it’s building the other section of your résumé, the other section, the section at the very bottom. This is the section that I want you to consider building out, at least in, not necessarily on your résumé but on a separate piece of paper. So you have your list of accomplishments, now it’s time to build out that other section at the bottom, the section that tells the interviewer.
If you’re working in your family business you may not have another interviewer. Let’s just suppose if you have your résumé and there was an interviewer looking at your résumé, this is the section that tells the interviewer more about you.
So one of my clients is a second generation CEO and she has created this other section. So in a Google Doc she has listed all of the presentations she’s done ever, media she has been in with the links, boards she has served on, positions she has held, awards she has won. Is all listed in one document and can be updated regularly by you, your assistant, or maybe even HR. And you just never know when you need this information.
If you have big goals for your family business, chances are you’re going to be interviewed by some publications in the future. And they’re going to ask you things that you may not have readily at your fingertips. Or you might have to pitch some media organization about your business. And to have this media résumé behind you will just give you the confidence that you need in order to pitch that magazine, that newspaper.
Or if you’re up for an award oftentimes this other section is really what the organization wants to see to award you that award, 10 most successful people in town or in the state or whatever that award is. This is what we’re building out.
I actually wish I had done something like this. I have forgotten about building up my other section of my résumé and now I have no record of the publications I’ve been in, the presentations that I’ve done. Unless that I kept them on my computer for some reason, but I have new computers, I switched positions when I started my new job. So unless I basically saved it in hardcopy I have no idea. I could create it and that’s what I’ve been starting to do ever since I saw this example from one of my clients, but I just love it so much.
But if you are in your 20s or 30s and kind of starting off early in your career, I would suggest doing this now. If you are a little bit later and you didn’t start early, it’s not too late. You can even give the project to an intern. The internet is a beautiful thing. And the intern I’m sure could come up with many, many examples of where you’ve spoken, where you have been in the papers, where you’ve been mentioned just to even start the other section of your résumé, this media résumé of sorts.
So when you look at this list you will smile and you will think I did that. And even you probably looked at this accomplishment log and you’re like, “Whoa.” Maybe you was a little bit humbling like, “Wow, I’m kind of a big deal.” My husband and I joke about that all the time, literally a joke. But it just makes us smile and laugh. And if you’re feeling stuck, smiling and laughing is definitely a better place to be.
I had one of my clients actually share his accomplishment log with his daughter. And it was a really, it was a bonding experience between him and his daughter. His daughter had no idea that her father had accomplished, had done all of these things. And so she was able to ask questions. They were kind of able to share a moment. She was able to feel proud of him. Anyway, not everybody is able to do that with their kids or their significant other. But if you can it’s just another way to kind of step back into your confidence.
By now you should have quite the list and hopefully an organized document like the media résumé. Even if you can’t get yourself to feeling confident, truly confident like that warm feeling inside you, what you can do right now is get into what I call your CFO brain. And you can look back at the facts. Remember when I was talking about the archeologist? Well, I think of the archeologist is a scientist and they kind of look, they uncover things. And they look at something scientifically.
So if you are feeling stuck or you have something that you are overwhelmed, you’re not feeling confident about, looking back at this list you can ask yourself questions like what have you done in the past that is similar to what you’re facing now? It doesn’t have to be completely the same.
For instance if you’re facing a shortage in a material you need for your business, you may not have the exact situation in the background. But you may remember a time where you had to solve a very hard tough problem, where you had to overcome a very high hurdle or tough obstacle. And how did you do it? Now, here’s the scientific part, how did you do it? And then you can go from there. This exercise alone should also help you get unstuck just by looking back, asking yourself questions, getting to the facts, evaluating, writing down what you learned and hopefully moving forward.
Alright, so hopefully now that you are feeling a little bit less unstuck, especially if you’ve done those exercises, going forward to keep up your confidence you can think I’ve got this and just move forward. After all, confidence comes from within. But if you need more help on a week-to-week basis try an end of the week evaluation. So what have you learned this week?
I ask myself every Thursday evening, and if I don’t get to it on Thursday I do it on Friday afternoon. I ask myself, what did I learn this week? I write it down. And then how can I incorporate this learning going forward? I don’t know about you but sometimes I move so fast that I don’t recognize what I’ve learned. I don’t take it in and then I might even make the mistake again. I’m very stubborn that way. I can make this mistake over, and over, and over again. I’m learning how to not do that. But it takes one to know one.
And so what I’m working on is really identifying what I’ve learned so I don’t make the same mistake again. I also find that if I am in this constant learning mindset I’m good. I can move forward. I have confidence. One of something I tell myself, as long as I’m learning I’m good.
Alright, so I hope that you enjoyed these four exercises. If you’re interested in increasing your confidence as a leader and you would like to explore working with me as your coach, contact me through my website successfulgenerations.com, I would love to talk with you. I work with family business leaders all over the country and starting to explore outside of the country. So let’s, let’s talk. Alright my friends have an amazing week. I will talk to you next time.
Well, there you have it. Thank you so much for listening to The Family Business Leader Podcast. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to share it with someone who needs it. If you’d like more information about family business leadership development, please visit successfulgenerations.com. I can’t wait to connect with you again next week, until then.
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