9 restorative ways to tackle the confidence crisis
Salespeople…heck, any one of us, loses our mojo every now and then.
It’s part of the human condition. While it can signify introspection which is important as we make meaning and hopefully build greater self-awareness it can also signal a more permanent state where that lack of confidence seeps into our language, actions, energy, and relationships. We need to get it back but sometimes we don’t know how to do this for ourselves let alone how we can possibly help our team members to bounce back.
I’ve described it to friends when I’ve lost my mojo as being like looking through a thick pane of glass that is in the way of how and where I want to be: I can see it but I can’t quite reach it. And I have no way of breaking through.
But that’s a lie that keeps us stuck. The truth is that there is always a way through. Even when we don’t know how to even begin.
To be an authentically powerful salesperson, we must possess self-belief and belief in what we’re selling. Customers can smell “fake” a mile away so “faking it ‘til you make it” doesn’t wash. When so many touchstones were removed during lockdowns (customer meetings in offices, team sales meetings, watercooler conversations, being immersed in culture by being in the office), it’s easy to forget that as leaders it’s up to us to show them the way back to themselves first so they can then be of service to others. Especially to our customers who need them.
People in general are aching for interpersonal connection and interaction. Even those who say they prefer remote working surprise themselves by how they feel when they emerge from their bunkers into the world of coffee meetings with people they like, back into shaking hands and even hugging. They remember how incredible it feels. The first one may feel a bit clunky but on walking away they remember why meeting in person makes all the difference. Feeling great isn’t the same as feeling confident though, but it’s a start.
So, how can we help someone to build back their confidence?
A wise person once told me that self-esteem comes from doing “esteem-able” acts. Simple, everyday things that any of us can do that help us to rebuild ourselves from gave me, because they work. Not just for me but for the dozens of others I’ve shared them with as well.
ONE: Focus on each task before moving on to the next. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the “busy-ness” epidemic. We don’t have to tackle everything at once. Remember that even when faced with the toughest conversations, or the most unappealing tasks that we can do something for one day that would appal us if we had to do it for a lifetime!
TWO: Determine to look for things to be happy about. Be deliberate. Seek and ye shall find – it’s neuroscience. Tasking our brains (our Reticular Activating Systems) to go looking for something positive means it will do just that – that will be what we then notice…what gets our attention. As Abraham Lincoln said, “most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
THREE: Change is everywhere. Uncertainty and disruption will remain the status quo for some while yet. Instead of becoming paralysed by it or complaining about how difficult it makes our lives/job/relationships, how about instead we simply adjust ourselves to what is, instead of attempting to adjust other people/places/things the way we would prefer them to be.
FOUR: Do something to strengthen our minds. Watch something with curiosity. Listen to an uplifting podcast by someone whose view of the world is different to our own with an open mind. Seek out a book that will offer something useful. Let’s not be mental loafers or passive in what we watch or listen to. Seek out content that requires effort, thought and concentration. Just for the practice of it.
FIVE: Do something good for someone else without seeking recognition. In fact make it so that if anybody knows of it, it doesn’t count. Do at least 2 things you don’t want to do just for exercise.
SIX: For one day, make it a practice to be agreeable. This may include making an extra effort to look as good as you can, not seek to be the centre of attention in conversations. Be courteous. For one day, make an extra effort not to criticize, find fault with anything, or try to improve or regulate anybody but ourselves.
SEVEN: Take your time. Think before acting. Be decisive. If your decision is not the right one, make another one. But decide…be deliberate with your actions.
EIGHT: Set aside time for yourself that is quiet time for reflection and relaxation. During that time think about what you’re grateful for.
NINE: Act as if the universe has your back. Enjoy what is beautiful and believe that as you give to the world, so the world will give to you.
Try to do these and not feel more confident. Remember it’s an inside job that comes from taking right action consistently.