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How to Be More Self Assured and Get More Done During the Week

How to Be More Self Assured and Get More Done During the Week

Time is a great leveller isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

But why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, whilst others struggle to achieve anything apart from a feeling of being time crunched and overwhelmed?

Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self assured, happier, and work less–all while growing in their career.

How effectively we use our time–and how we actually work in our business–can make a huge difference to the amount of success we achieve in our workday. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

1. Create an Exciting Vision

If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

You want to be more productive. You want to spend more time getting the right stuff done. Then you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there? If in this future, you aren’t a lot better off than you are in your current situation, then why bother to change anything?

Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, and see something bigger ahead.

Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

2. Build a Strategic Plan

Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

The magic number for me and my clients is to create and stick to five annual goals.

These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one, little by little, will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

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3. Get on Goal Planning

Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: Column A, Column B, and Column C and Column D.

Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

Now let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

Finally let’s move to Column D.

This column is for your biggest opportunities. Could your marketing be better? Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

You now have your goals and you’ll feel confident and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel confident and motivated.

But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

Managing and juggling day to day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow and handling day to day stuff can move your ship off course.

You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day to day runs smoothly.

One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days and you know that you typically ‘convert’ 50% of opportunities.

Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

It’s smart to overshoot so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear productive plan to work through because with every ‘win’ your confidence will grow.

5. Completely Commit to Your Success

If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

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Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

If your motivation begins to drop when you’re working towards less important goals or those get in the way.

Think back to a time when you were really committed. When you are committed to something, then you are–in a way–forced into action. Your mind-set is focused and your body follows; you want to get it done.

And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

6. Focus on Your Strengths

To build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals we need to focus on our strengths.

What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value.They often bring you the biggest amount of joy and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

If you think there is a specific capability to need to learn or be better at spend more focused time in that area. To get to this point can often take a lot of courage.

Having coached many entrepreneurs, I find there is often a period of fear, worry and uncertainty when they take a step back and identity and focus on the things they do best.

Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services.

But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

7. Embrace The Present

Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment.

Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

We all have the opportunity to create rather than react–to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. Who do you want to have a conversation with? What new project do you want to work on?

There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them.

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Take that step towards your ideal future today. Start making a difference in people’s lives today. Embrace the present and start where you are and let the idea of perfection fly out the window.

8. Calm The Whirlwind

The day to day life in business and life can be hard.

Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline.The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time out.

Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

In the next 90 Days if you could delegate or outsource more day to day tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

9. Take More Time Off

This may seem counterintuitive but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

You may feel exhausted, unmotivated and overwhelmed with everything on your plate. If you feel this way you know it’s difficult to find any real thinking or creative time if you are just doing.

The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

Just Imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

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Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

I find that when people take time off every month, they can often achieve far more in that single day than they may in a week of actively doing. They also come back more creative and more focused.

10. Celebrate Wins

Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if at the end of each day you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

Celebrating success keeps you motivated and builds your confidence. It is not just another day. It is a day that included things that should be celebrated.

If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

Then do the same thing for seven days. As you continue celebrating those small wins, it will become a habit. You may then want to push yourself further and focus on achieving bigger wins.

Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

11. Give Yourself More Space

When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

Within the hustle and bustle of everyday it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think.

Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting on our business.

In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

A new idea for a product could form or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and have it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

Confidence is Key to Productivity

Ultimately, confidence is built up when you are clear of your direction.

This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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Mark Pettit

Mark Pettit is a Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs and business owners who want to achieve more by working less.

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Last Updated on September 12, 2019

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

Have you ever heard the phrase “He had so much potential, it’s a shame he wasted it.” In our culture, not living up to your full potential is frowned upon, but why?

In this article, we will look into the factors that influence a person’s potential and the ways to help you live up to your full potential for a successful life.

What Determines a Person’s Potential?

A person’s potential is determined by several factors: Physical Security, Emotional Security, Environment and Mindset.

Physical Security

Before we can even strive to fulfill our potential, our basic physical needs must be met. Without adequate food, water and shelter, our days must be spent acquiring these basic needs in order to survive.

You can think of it this way, the person with the potential to become the most brilliant computer programmer ever could be living right now with a nomadic tribe in sub-Saharan Africa. But because they must spend their days meeting these basic physical needs, that potential will remain untapped.

Emotional Security

Humans are social animals, we don’t do well in isolation. Studies have shown that forming intimate bonds with others is incredibly important for our mental health. These bonds start to develop in infancy, babies rely on this bond with a parent or caretaker to fulfill their needs, and if the bond is missing for some reason it can have lifelong psychological consequences.

Environment

Your environment is another important factor that shapes how you achieve your full potential.

Just like the computer programmer in the previous example. You could have the potential to be the greatest composer since Beethoven, but if you had no access to music or you came from a family that didn’t value that skill set, it’s unlikely that you would fulfill your potential in that area.

Mindset

For most of us, we don’t have to worry about getting enough food, water or shelter. Both our physical and emotional needs have been met (to a large extent anyway). And any limits that our environment has imposed are minimal (especially with the availability of the internet).

So for most of us, the main thing that is limiting us from reaching our full potential is our mindset. Our mindset is the story we carry around with us in our head. It starts to develop in childhood and can be with us our entire life.

The Key to Reaching Your Full Potential: Your Mindset

The problem with most people’s mindset is that it’s negative and limiting. The good news is that you can change your mindset. Author Carol Dweck in her best selling book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success points out that there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth.

A Fixed Mindset

A fixed mindset is one where you have concrete beliefs about yourself. Someone with a fixed mindset came up with “their story” in childhood and it hasn’t changes much over the years. They may believe that they aren’t good at public speaking, math or writing just because they struggled with those subjects in school.

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So when something goes wrong, a common thought for someone with a fixed mindset is “What an idiot, I knew I wasn’t any good at that.” Or “Well that just confirmed what I already knew, I won’t be doing that again”. Having a fixed mindset just reinforces negative thoughts and attitudes, making it harder to reach your full potential.

A Growth Mindset

A growth mindset, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. With a growth mindset, you believe anything is possible (but don’t confuse this with being delusional! As a 5’10” 54 year old I’m not going to play in the NBA!). It’s more of the way you think about and approach problems.

Let’s go back to the issue of not being good at public speaking, when things go wrong, instead of telling yourself that you have never been good at public speaking and never will be. A person with a growth mindset will analyze what went wrong and come up with solutions to make it better next time.

For instance, they may take a class on public speaking at their local community college, or join the Toastmaster’s organization. Whatever it is, they don’t look at failure as an insurmountable roadblock, rather a minor detour on the road to their destination.

You can learn more about how to develop a growth mindset in this article: 5 Ways to Cultivate a Growth Mindset for Self Improvement

How to Live up to Your Full Potential and Succeed in Life

1. Develop a Goal

When setting goals, it’s important to keep in mind three things:

First, they should be specific and not vague. So instead of saying “I want to live up to my full potential in life”, a more specific goal would be “I want to become the best (salesman, artist, internet marketer) that I can be.” This is a much more specific goal.

Second, your goal should be measurable. In other words, you should be able to measure your progress towards the goal. Again, it’s much easier to measure your progress to becoming the best artist you can be than it is trying to measure your progress at living up to your “full potential”.

Finally, a goal must be written down. This takes the goal out of the realm of wishful thinking and makes it more real. It also can serve as motivation if you post your goal where you will see it. Put it on your desk, or next to your computer just to remind yourself to keep moving forward. In short, a goal that isn’t written down is just a wish.

This article can help you about setting personal goals to become a great achiever: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

2. Understand That Achieving Your Goal Is Often Times a By-Product of What You Are Doing

Let’s say that your goal is to become the best writer you can be. You may want to measure your success by your ability to get published or in the case of blogging, how widely read your articles are.

Instead of constantly worrying about reaching your goal to be the best, your time is much better spent just writing. As with anything, the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

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It’s the same with any goal, it’s important to set them, but achieving your goal of becoming the best salesperson is really just the by-product of you getting out there and selling!

3. Don’t Let Popular Opinion Dissuade You

Have you ever heard of the Bannister Effect? For years, it was considered a law of nature that the human body was incapable of running a mile in less than 4 minutes. That was until May 6, 1954 when Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. He did what was long considered impossible, but it turned out that it was only impossible because people believed it was impossible.

Roger Bannister didn’t let popular opinion stand in his way, and after he proved that the 4 minute mile was only a psychological barrier, others have continued to break records. Today the current record holder is Hicham El Guerrouj with a time of 3 minutes 43.13 seconds!

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Push the Envelope

Almost by definition, living up to your full potential requires you to step outside your comfort zone and expand your boundaries.

Average people do average things, get average results and live average lives. Extraordinary people do extraordinary things, get extraordinary results and live extraordinary lives.

You’ll only live your best life once you step out. Here’s how.

5. Practice Discipline

Admittedly, this comes easier for some people than others, but it’s a skill that you can develop and will serve you well in all aspects of your life.

Another way of thinking about discipline is just delayed gratification. How many times have you been on a diet, but there’s a piece of cheese cake in the refrigerator calling out your name!

Having discipline is not a matter of not wanting the cheese cake, discipline is acknowledging your desire for the cheese cake but realizing that this craving is only temporary, and once it passes, you will be much happier that we didn’t succumb to a temporary urge.

The bottom line here is that while you may want to stop working at 5pm sharp, or watch the game on Saturday, but by developing the discipline to delay satisfaction you will be pushing your boundaries and reaping the rewards that come from that extra effort.

6. Be Confident

Have you ever dealt with someone who was new at their job and lacked confidence? Maybe it was a salesperson who couldn’t answer basic questions about a product or just gave you flat out wrong information. Did you end up buying from that salesperson?

My guess is no, I sure wouldn’t.

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Confidence comes with knowledge, discipline and experience. But how do you develop confidence if you are just starting out like our intrepid salesperson? While experience comes with time, knowledge can be acquired fairly quickly, especially if you have already mastered the art of self discipline!

A good rule of thumb is to always start with knowledge. Learn as much as you can, take classes, get a mentor or just do research. If you are disciplined enough to develop the knowledge it will make getting the experience much easier.

Want more tips on boosting confidence? Take a look at this guide: How to Be More Confident: 10 Powerful Ways to Boost Confidence

7. Accept That You Will Fail

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Failure is a part of life and it happens to everyone. In fact, there is a whole body of thinking that failure is actually better than success: 6 Reasons It’s Okay To Fail

While most of us would agree that success is better than failure, when it does happen, here are some thing to keep in mind:

Don’t take it personally. A failure in a job, career, business or marriage is just that. It is not reflection on you as a person. I had a friend who lost his entire fortune (over 20 million dollars) in a business deal. I called him shortly after and as expected he was very depressed. My only advice to him was to:

“Never confuse your self worth with your net worth”.

Move on, failures can be heartbreaking, embarrassing and demoralizing. Take the time needed to go through those feelings and process the emotions. Then, let it go, holding on to negative emotions keeps you stuck in a fixed mindset. Remember that your goal here is to live up to your full potential and succeed in life. Dwelling on past mistakes and failures is the surest way to derail your progress.

Let failure be a learning opportunity. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason, it’s true! When I first started internet marketing, I started using Facebook ads for practically everything I did. Pretty soon I found that I was spending about $1,000 on ads that were generating about $200 in income, not a very good business model! I took that failure and redesigned my marketing efforts. I was able to both reduced my costs and increased my sales so that now for every $1,000 in advertising I am generating around $5,000 in income.

8. Learn to Embrace Uncomfortable Situations

Succeeding in life by living up to your full potential means embracing uncomfortable situations. Chris and Heidi Powell, well known personal trainers and hosts of the show Extreme Weight Loss use this technique with their clients. It works like this:

They set a goal for their client that the client thinks is just out of reach. Then through encouragement and motivation, they help the client work though the uncomfortableness and pain to achieve the goal.

This technique works for both physical and psychological challenges. Both our bodies and minds are capable of much more that we think they are.

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9. Set Small Goals to Achieve Big Results

When you are first setting goals, don’t be afraid to make them big! “I want to be the #1 salesperson in the company” or “I want to be a successful artist”. But once you have those goals set, you then need an action plan to get there. It’s in this action plan that you should set many small, easily attainable goals.

For the salesperson, it might be to increase the number of sales they make by one a week in the next quarter, two a week for the 2nd quarter etc… For the artist, it might be to master a technique before the next art show, or produce X number of works to sell at the art show.

Whatever the goals are, they need to get you closer to your ultimate goal while at the same time be attainable. Success builds on success, so achieving these small goals helps to motivate you to continue on to your bigger goals.

10. Take Time to Recharge

Everyone needs “down time”, trying to do everything yourself, all at once is a recipe for disaster.

We talked a lot about being motivated and disciplined in this article; while they are essential to living up to your full potential and succeeding in life, having adequate down time is just as important.

Any personal trainer will tell you that to get the most out of your workouts, you need to take 1 to 2 days off a week. This gives your body a chance to recover and actually get stronger.

The same is true when we are trying to expand our boundaries and fulfill our potential. Making sure we have adequate down time prevents fatigue anxiety and poor decision making.

Final Thoughts

The success you’ll find from living life to your full potential is its own reward. One day, we all will look back on our lives and and think “I wish I would have done …”, “I had a chance to to be a … but I was to scared”, “I could have been a great … if I had put the time in.”

I hope that in this article, we have given you both the motivation and tools to push yourself to your full potential in life, so that when you look back one day your regrets will be few.

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Featured photo credit: Robson Hatsukami Morgan via unsplash.com

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