This is one phrase that I hate, primarily if it is used as an answer to or a response to a conversation. It is a phrase that has made me doubt myself so many times that I am now learning how to be confident.
When I turned 30, a shock wave hit me. This is the age where I asked myself some dire questions whose answers I was embarrassed to answer.
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What have I accomplished for the past 10 years?
This one hit me hard. Let me explain. I love my family. No doubt about that. But, and this a huge BUT, what have I accomplished? I tend to think that people tell you to look at your kids and your family so that you have something to look at while in reality, they are saying that to make you feel better.
In the world we live in, whether you want to admit it or not, your contribution to the economy of your family, and the country at large has nothing to do with being material. Heck, the input has nothing to do with being money minded or loving cash or whatever else you want to call it.
According to Tonny Robbins, every human being has six basic needs.
- Uncertainty or variety
- Loveland connection
Needs of the Spirit
Growth and contribution are the needs of the spirit. A person’s happiness and fulfillment structure majorly rely on these two needs. For example, ever helped a person who was in real need of something? How did it feel? Imagine what the flip side would be? Or, do you remember a time you felt dormant? Like you are not moving no matter what you do, or don’t do?
So when you hit 30, and you feel out of balance, like you have nothing to show, the needs of the spirit are likely not being met in one or more areas of your life. For me, it is in my career, and connection with people other than my family.
Just before you think we have deviated to an entirely different topic, let’s go back to how to be confident and the phrase I hate so much.
Some time back, during the time I was employed, I had all these great ideas and execution plans that would see my employer profit. During the pitching, I was super excited to share the solution to what I thought was the answer to our marketing department’s needs. Then came the reply.
“Hmmm” and that was it. ????
So here I was, not sure if I should go ahead with the implementation or throw away three weeks work and forget I even did it. The result, I threw everything away after making numerous follow-ups with minimal feedback and non-comment to implementation. No commitment is also a commitment.
This is not the only time this phrase has made me doubt my self. During my online MLM days, I learned a lot of things about online marketing. How to do proper keywords research, how to use the keywords, how to write engaging content, SEO basics, a little google analytics, how to run Facebook ads among other skills.
When I was finally done with MLM, I approached a couple of people about running blogs for them. I even got a job and proposed it to my employer at one time. But none of these people believes that the future is online, or rather in the power of content marketing. None! More often than not, my proposal was met with that doubtful “hmmm”. So like habit usually does, I went back to the comfort zone of self-doubt.
Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about. Perhaps this has not caught up in my country. Perhaps I need to hire a coach for this to be sure that I know what I am talking about. All forms of self-doubt, low self-esteem and lack of trust.
I then said I would do it the other way round. I would build a website and market it and make money with it. Then people would believe me because I had evidence. At the first challenge, however, I quickly crawled back to my comfort zone of self-doubt. Crippling the plan, even though it is a solid plan.
How to Be Confident habit loop and its cure
Habit: Share an idea, start a project, etc
Routine: Quite and doubt me at the first challenge or opposition
Reward: I tried. I would have made it happen if…
A habit is a disease, but a disease can be cured. The cure for this habit is a little complex I have to admit. Relearning something like this will definitely take some time. Like learning how to make friends.
First I have to learn how to trust myself and my intelligence before I learn how to be confident. So whenever someone answers me with a “hmmm” I will not cower away. Instead, I will support my idea with research and facts.
Secondly, I will stop overthinking stuff. Life is not as complicated as I think it is. The more you simplify it, the better. Over complicating things make it overwhelming, which in turn makes it hard to move, so you end up procrastination. So when I am tempted to complicate simple issues, I will merely tell myself “Sherry, it’s never that serious. It’s not as complicated as you think.”
Third, I will form the habit of writing down the pros and cons of a situation before I start worrying about it. This technique I have learned from the book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. Once a problem is broken down, it does not seem like a mountain anymore. It becomes manageable.
Where am I going? Is this going to be my life?
The lack of direction is a harsh and unfriendly place to be. As I have explained before, I have jumped from one career to the next for so long that settling down becomes an unfamiliar territory. However, this year I have settled on a plan. Before I tell you what it is, let me take you back a little bit to how I arrived here.
At the end of 2018, I called one of my lecturers to make an inquiry about a master’s program in the course I studied in college. As we spoke, she asked me a question, “What are you doing now?”. I hesitated before answering “nothing.” Her response “hmmm.” Do you see why I don’t like this phrase?
When the call was disconnected, it got me thinking. For how long will I drift without a plan? Even the Bible says that “the wicked are chaff which the wind drives away” Psalm 1:4. This had to change. And that is how I found myself in a meeting with myself. I wrote down every career I thought I could do outstandingly well in and what I enjoy about it.
Then I wrote what I did not like about the career and how it would affect my time with my family. If you have learned anything about me so far, it should be that the idea of a boss does not settle down well with me. Also, I sincerely do enjoy the time I spend with my kids and having the freedom to do what I want. This is something I would like to keep intact.
When I was in college, there was a club dabbed internetpreneurs. This is where I first came into contact with content writing. Back then, AUWs were the best places to start. You would be paid $0.8 to write three hundred word article that you would then re-write twice. In the same club, I joined my first online MLM for $5. I forget the name of the program, but it does not matter.
Since I started exploring the internet and discovering the many riches hidden in plain sight. That is where my love for content writing and affiliate marketing was born. At least something I don’t have to learn how to be confident about.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is my plan. Am I still applying for jobs, yes, for now! If by April I will not have a job, I will stop asking and consider that ship sailed. No hard feelings, no regrets. I prefer a position that will give me time with my family.
Now that I have a plan on how to be confident and stop doubting myself, and a plan for my future, I am set for 2019. A lot is riding on this year, but so far I like how things are going. Yay for me!