I’m a big proponent of storytelling. I can hear it now, gasps of shock and awe.
So when Susanna and I were chatting about how much of an impact the right mindset can have in overcoming adversity in the workplace, especially for us women, and she said ‘tell yourself a different story’ I knew I had to elaborate.
Seriously, I spend a lot of time teaching, speaking and coaching on how to use storytelling in sales but what about the stories we tell ourselves? I’ve talked before about ‘have to’ vs. ‘get to’ and how just changing up the verbiage you use to address your day-to-day activities and opportunities (notice how I didn’t use ‘projects’ or ‘obligations’) can drastically impact your outlook.
“I have to deliver a price increase to a client today’ (womp womp womp.)
Or “I get to demonstrate how valuable I am and the enormous positive impact I’ve had today!’
“I have to chauffeur my kid from school to golf lessons today.’ (blech.)
Or “I get to spend some quality time with my baby while helping him enjoy doing activities he loves.’
You totally got all warm and fuzzy there, didn’t you? And that’s just the start!
I’m a sales coach, we know that. But you want to know what area a majority of my clients need help in and why they often seek me out specifically? Confidence! I’ve kind of owned being the star of my own show and they always want to know ‘what’s my secret?’ Well first, I had a super supportive dad. Layer that with years of stage performance experience and eventually I was standing tall and proud regardless if I was in the spotlight or not. But if you’re lacking in either of those departments, you can use the following tips:
Make a Motivational Playlist
I’m sure this sounds a little elementary to some but it’s really quite the simplest way to tap into the you that’s super self-assured. Music makes us feel and it has been proven to lower anxiety, depression and stress. Music has also been a major catalyst for societal change; certainly you’ve heard ‘Strange Fruit’ by Billie Holiday or Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ (hint: it’s not the patriotic anthem you think it is). But if Top 40 hits can impact culture as we know it, just imagine what a single song can do for your emotional and mental wellbeing. Want to take this theory out for a test spin before committing to tailoring tunes? Listen to ‘Run the World’ by Beyonce or my personal favorite ‘Confident’ by Demi Lovato and take note of how you feel. If you don’t feel like runway-walking into all of your sales meetings, you might just need to tweak your tunes.
Compose a Few Refuting Statements
If you’re here reading tips on confidence I’m going to guess that you suffer from negative self talk – you know those nasty thoughts ‘I’ll never get this right’, ‘It’s too difficult for me’, ‘everyone else is better than me’, etc. Refuting statements take those negative statements and put a positive spin on it; for example ‘I’ll never get this right’ turns into ‘I’m going to get this right’ or ‘I don’t have the skills to close this deal’ becomes “I’m going to acquire the skills so I can close this deal and all the deals to come.” You might be thinking that this sounds an awful like positive affirmations and it is, kind of, but refuting statements have the power to rewrite actual thoughts rather than adopting random quotes on Pinterest that don’t have real staying power. I have to give my therapist credit for this one. As a psychologist, I think it’s safe to assume that her life’s work is consumed with helping people achieve the most optimal psyche, so just know that this practice is backed by someone with an actual education in mental health.
Wear Red Lipstick
Maybe you don’t even wear mascara so this one fell flat but what I’m trying to say here is wear the blazer that makes you feel like a disguised sexy superhero, or get a professional blowout because nothing makes a woman feel like a million dollars more than a trip to the salon. Your red lipstick could be your favorite pair of heels or a shirt you know won’t show off your pit stains or it could be literal red lipstick. In short, if you look good, you feel good and people who feel good are confident. And my pro tip for red lipstick – not all reds are created equal and finding the right shade is a bit like dating. You have to find the one that best compliments you and that might be trying out 14 different shades but it’s so worth it when you look in the mirror and feel like Marilyn Monroe.
Are all three of these tips cheap tricks that offer temporary bouts of surface level confidence? Why yes they are! But dear reader, you have to walk before you run and establishing confidence comes before embracing confidence. So start small and when you’re strutting into sales meetings to the tune of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ wearing a powersuit and the perfect shade of red lipstick like you were born to do this, we should chat about taking it to the next level with personalized coaching. Message me HERE.