Challenge: Confidence Hack: Eat That Frog

In yesterday’s post I shared some tough love with you and explained why complaining about things isn’t a good long-term strategy. In today’s confidence hack we’re going to piggyback on that idea by eating the frog. Often the thing we complain about is something we don’t want to do. It’s the thing we dread and keep putting off. We spent more time worrying and complaining about it than is good for ourselves. Worst of all it makes us feel less confident and less competent. Instead of pushing it back and putting it off, we should get in the habit of tackling it head on, first thing in the morning.

What do frogs have to do with it you ask? Good question. It’s an expression from Brian Tracey who wrote a book called “Eat that Frog”. Pick up a copy when you get the chance. The reasoning behind it is this. What if I asked you to eat a frog? Unless you’re into French cuisine, that does not sound like an appetizing endeavor. Instead it’s one of those things you really don’t want to do and you keep putting it off. If you just went ahead and ate that frog first thing in the morning, you wouldn’t spend all day worrying and agonizing about having to eat it. Instead of dampening your self-esteem and confidence, getting it done right away will boost your self-confidence and increase your courage.

While you probably haven’t been asked to eat a frog, you’ve been in plenty of similar situations. Maybe it’s the tough homework assignment in school, decluttering your closet at home, or doing your taxes. We all have tasks we want to put off, sometimes indefinitely. But doing this holds us back. We know we’ll have to get that homework assignment turned in eventually and that taxes will be due April 15th. We also know that getting ready in the morning will be much easier with a closet filled only with outfits we’d actually wear.

We also know that doing this work that has to be done early in the day when we have the mental and physical energy to do it will be much easier than trying to rush through it and pull an all-nighter at the last minute.

Going forward I challenge you to “eat that frog” and do the most difficult or most dreaded task first. Not only will you do a much better job with it and waste less energy and worrying about it, it’s also a great way to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Challenge: Stop Complaining and Start to Focus on Solutions

I have some tough words to share with you today and for some of you, it will not be the easiest thing to read and come to grips with. Believe me when I say that I’m sharing this because it’s important to me to see you succeed and make a real positive change in your life and your level of self-confidence.

Complaining Does You No Good

I get it. It feels good to complain and let off a little steam from time to time. I’m not saying you should never complain and I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and a place when you should launch a legitimate complaint. What I’m trying to tell you is that it’s often a waste of time to whine and complain about your situation. Complaining without action and a desire to bring about change does you no good and actually hurts your self-confidence. When you focus on complaining, you’re embracing the role of a victim and that’s not a powerful role at all. It’s a passive, accepting what’s dealt to you kind of role.

Here’s What I Want You To Focus On Instead

The good thing when you stop complaining is that you have a lot of time and energy for more productive things. Instead complaining, I want you to channel that energy into taking action and making a difference. For example, instead of complaining that your kids never clean their room, get in there with them and create a system. Take the time to teach them how to clean their room. Going forward, make them responsible for keeping it tidy and make sure there are consequences when it doesn’t happen.

Taking action and doing something about the circumstances or things you don’t like is very empowering. Think back on a time when you’ve taken a stand or done something to change your situation instead of complaining about it. I bet your confidence went through the roof once you started talking action.

From here on out, I want you to think of complaining as a clue to take action. When you hear yourself complain about something, or when you start thinking about complaining, stop and ask yourself what you can do about it. What can you do to change and improve the situation? Not only is it a much more productive use of your time and energy than whining and complaining, it is also a great way to build your courage and self-confidence.

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Challenge: Confidence Hack: Start Volunteering

In yesterday’s blog post we talked about how doing random acts of kindness can boost your self-esteem. I hope you took the time yesterday to give it a try and are starting to make performing random acts of kindness part of your day as often as possible. In today’s confidence hack we’re going to take it to the next level. My tip for you today to boost your confidence and your self-esteem is to start volunteering.

Volunteering Is Random Acts of Kindness On Steroids

Just like random acts of kindness, volunteering for a good cause makes you feel proud and good about yourself. It makes you feel like you matter and that you’re making a difference. Unlike doing something for a random stranger, you can actually see the positive impact you’re having for yourself when you’re volunteering somewhere regularly. That’s why I’m considering volunteering RAK on steroids. Yes, it takes more time and it’s a bigger commitment. In return though, you also get better results and your confidence gets an even bigger boost.

Volunteering Is Scheduled And Harder To Skip

It’s easy to say that you’re going to be kinder to others and do more for those around you. Actually doing it day in and day out is another story. It’s too easy to let a day go by without performing a random act of kindness and before you know it a month has passed and you’re right where you started.

Since volunteering is a bit more of a commitment, and usually a scheduled activity, you’ll be a lot more likely to actually do it regularly. It also helps to be part of a volunteering community and knowing that others are counting on you to be there and do your part.

Volunteering Forces You To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Last but not least, volunteering forces you to step out of your comfort zone. You have to put yourself out there and meet new people, learn new skills and do things you’ve never done before. At the same time the organization you’re volunteering for will have the tools, resources, training, and support to help you succeed. It’s a great way to set yourself up for a big win and big boost in confidence.

Go out there and start volunteering. You’ll be glad you did. It’s a rewarding experience that also helps build your courage and your self-confidence.

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Challenge: Let’s Talk about Random Acts of Kindness

Have you heard of random acts of kindness? It’s the idea to do something nice and kind for someone else without a lot of advanced planning or expecting anything in return. I’m sure you’re already doing random acts of kindness here and there. Think about the last time you’ve done something nice for a neighbor, friend, or even a total stranger. How did you feel after you did something kind? You felt pretty good about yourself didn’t you? You’ve felt proud and accomplished. And most importantly, you started to feel better about yourself.

Doing random acts of kindness is a great way to boost your self-confidence. It makes you feel important. It makes you feel like you’re part of the community, no matter what that community may look like or consist of. We are social creatures who benefit from cooperation and working together for the common good. Feeling good about showing someone else a kindness is programmed into our DNA. Take advantage of this fact by being kinder and doing random things that benefit others. It’s a nice way to boost your self-esteem and benefit your community at large.

Start by keeping your eyes and ears open. Pay attention to the people around you and your environment. Offer to help bag and carry out the groceries for the elderly shopper in line with you at the grocery store. Help the young boy in your neighborhood study for his big math test. Offer to run an errand for a sick neighbor or stop by with some pre-made meals. Pick up the trash you come across on your daily walk. Offer to babysit for your friends with little kids who haven’t been out on a date in months.

When you start to pay attention to “kindness opportunities” throughout your day, you will start to notice them everywhere. They don’t have to be anything big. Something as simple as holding the door open for someone else, or handing a glass of iced tea to the mailman on a hot day won’t take you more than a minute, but they brighten the other person’s day and make you feel good about yourself.

My challenge for you today is to start paying attention to the random acts of kindness you can perform. Do your best to do something nice for someone else every single day. Send an email or text to a friend letting them know you’re thinking of them. Make a phone call to check on a friend or family member. Send out a fun card, or buy a coffee for a random stranger who looks like he could use it. Give it a try and see for yourself how good these kind acts make you feel and how they boost your self-esteem.

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Challenge: Confidence Hack: Sometimes You’ve Got to Fake It

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Fake It ‘Till You Make It”. It’s most often used in the context of entrepreneurship and entertainment. The idea is to act like you’re a big deal and great success until you actually are. While it may sound odd at first, it turns out that faking it actually works. It makes you pay attention to what the people that have already made it in your chosen business or career, do on a daily basis. How do they act, talk, dress, and what are their habits? You have to first start to pay attention and figure those things out, and then you start to model or copy them. In the end, you start to develop some of the same habits successful people have and as a result you yourself will hopefully become more successful. Of course being perceived as a big deal by those around you doesn’t hurt either.

Here’s where things get interesting for us. It turns out that faking confidence works to make us actually feel more confident. Let me repeat that. Faking confidence makes you more confident. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? That’s why it’s today’s confidence hack. Here are a few ideas on how we can tap into this idea and use it to our advantage.

The basic idea is to simply start acting confident. Stand up tall, and go for it. Keep pretending to be self-confident until you start to feel it for real. Ask yourself what the confident and courageous version of yourself would do and then do it.

If you don’t feel very confident at the beginning stop and ask yourself what you would do if you were more confident. Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you’re at a social gathering where you don’t know anyone but you should be mingling and meeting new people. The shy version of yourself wants to go hide in the corner and fade into the background. What would a confident person do? He or she would walk in there tall with a big smile and start making small talk. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing. Pretend you’re confident. If this seems hard, or intimidating, make yourself fake confidence for five minutes. You can do this. After those five minutes, you’ve talked to at least one person. That may be just what you need to get comfortable in this new situation and no matter what happens, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and confident after this little exercise.

The surprising thing is that once you get in the habit of faking confidence, you will start to feel more self-confident for real. I encourage you to give it a try and to start implementing today’s confidence hack of faking it until you make it. Before long you’ll be more self-confident and courageous in anything you decide to tackle and that’s a great thing.

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Catch up on any posts you miss during the challenge. Here’s the link: confidence and courage challenge posts.