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Use The “Bridge Hack” To Master Self-Confidence — Here’s How

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Use The “Bridge Hack” To Master Self-Confidence — Here’s How

We all want to become more confident in ourselves. Sometimes, this can seem like a stretch.

With that in mind, I’ve learned about a technique called the Bridge Hack, which is actually used to understand how people come to trust you. I’ve tweaked it so that it can also be used to help you gain more self-confidence. Read on to find out how this works.

The reason why we can’t become self-confident is because we don’t believe in ourselves. The Bridge Hack is a technique that I’ve adapted from a book that I’ve read multiple times, The Business of Belief by Tom Asacker.

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His book is all about trying to get people to trust you and choose what you have to offer. Everyone wants to be someone else. They have an ideal image of this person they want to become. It’s just difficult to get there. There’s a huge gap in between that they can’t make the leap across to.

It’s exactly the same as if you were talking about yourself. You are one person and you want to become someone else. The only difference is that instead of trying to persuade someone to choose what you have to offer, you’re only offering yourself something: the choice to be someone — in this case, someone who’s self-confident.

I’ll go through this strategy now so you have a clearer idea how to use it.

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Where Are You Now?

You need to know yourself. Who are you? What’s contained in your “cloud of comforting convictions?” This is the phrase Tom gives to the beliefs you have about yourself that you use to define yourself. If you’re trying to become more self-confident, you could have the following convictions:

  • “I’m shy, but I’m getting better at talking to the opposite gender.”
  • “I’m not as bad as some people who stammer.”
  • “I don’t need alcohol to talk to people, I just struggle to find things to talk about.”

They’re basically just ideas that you feed off to make you feel better about your problems. Identify what these are as the first step.

Where Do You Want To Go?

If your cloud of comforting convictions is the first step, the second step is to identify where you want to go. These are also things you believe, but instead of believing them about yourself, you’re believing that if you do or become these things, you can become someone better than who you currently are.

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Just like your thoughts about where you are now, it’s as simple as listing them down. For example:

  • “It would be great to walk into a room and know everyone in there, simply because I haven’t been afraid to talk to anyone!”
  • “Having more meaningful relationships is important to me. If I can be that friend who people confide in, I’ll be happier.”
  • “To be comfortable in my own skin all the time and not have to pretend to be someone else… that would make me so happy.”

Building The Bridge

The last step is building the bridge or “hacking” it together, as per the strategy. If you know on one side who you are and on the other side who you want to become, you just have to take steps to go in the right direction.

The “bridge” itself is just action and affirmation. It’s believing every step of the way that you can become the person you see yourself being. While it sounds simple, it’s harder to be consistent about. That’s because people fall off this bridge. Either the steps are too weak and you fall through, the bridge is too narrow and you lose balance, or conditions are too “windy” and you fall off.

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There are many reasons why you cannot make it to the other side, and people fall off all the time. That’s the important thing to note. The next most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s normal to fall off. You have to take baby steps, inch by inch — this sort of bridge is one you can’t simply run across on. You have to take it slow.

Build the bridge by reminding yourself of the destination on the other side. Take steps day by day that will get you closer. Hold on when conditions challenge you, like when people publicly embarrass you or when there are days you want to throw in the towel. Those inches add up and become feet, which become miles.

One day, you’ll get to the other side. Then, you’ll look back and realize that the journey was half the fun.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via hd.unsplash.com

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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