Monday, October 10, 2011

Confidence booster: keeping track of your successes

Today I was reading Rich Schefren's Strategic Profits blog (I highly recommend it), and came across an excellent article about 3 ways to boost your confidence.  Here's the article.

While I enjoyed all three tips, I particularly liked the first technique, Start a Victory Journal.

At first glance, that doesn't seem like anything new or innovative.  I mean, most of us can pull up a mental list of at least some our top achievements, if given a few minutes (or hours) to think about it.

But when you read Rich's suggestion, you see that he goes deeper than that.

First of all, write it down.  Don't just rely on your memory. We should all be doing this. If you are employed by someone else, it makes performance appraisal time so much easier. And if you work for yourself, well, it's nice to be able to look back at your successes.

Next, what should you write? Here's the fun part! There are three things you should be noting in your journal:

1. Any time you do something particularly well, write it down. Notice I didn't say perfect? Yeah, that's right, time to chuck the perfectionism. Strive for "well done." And if you procrastinate (yeah, this one is aimed at me), then note any progress you're making on anything you've been putting off.  I have a few things I could list here...

2. Any time you do something for the first time, write it down.  Wait, is that a victory?  Yes, it is, and you'll see why in a bit. 

3. Any time you step outside of your comfort zone, write it down. For me, this closely relates back to trying new things. Both of these activities are hard to do, and you deserve to get a mental pat on the back for them.

Okay, now, why are we doing this?  I'm going to quote Rich here, because he said it so well:

"Anytime you do any of these you should record it and congratulate yourself for it in your journal. The longer you do that, the more confidence you will build because you’re constantly reminding yourself that you actually are better than you’re giving yourself credit for."

I love that - reminding yourself that you are better than you're giving yourself credit for. I don't know about you, but I can be very hard on myself. This exercise should help me learn to keep things in perspective. By keeping a Victory Journal, when I'm having a bad day, I can easily remind myself that not only do I not suck, but I'm actually quite good at a lot of things. I'll know because I have it written down.

And the first thing I'm going to write in my Victory Journal is that I stopped procrastinating on my writing and updated my blog.

What will you be writing in your Victory Journal today?