PA Branding Part 4.3 – Your confidence needs to be build on 3 basic needs
Quiet and radiant self-confidence has two main ingredients. One is the art of self-mastery. I mentioned a few ways on how to get you going on that journey in my previous post. This post is all about the second ingredient. Whereas the first one is mostly focused on self-care as the magical, but way underused, nourishment for your ironclad confidence, the second ingredient is mostly focused on external elements!
I promised you that you will love being an Assistant (of any sort) when you read this, so hold tight to your socks…
The second part of being profoundly confident has to do with SELF-DETERMINATION!
Now, if you are anything like me, this word won’t mean a lot to you. At least, I didn’t know what to do with it or how to cook it. So, a little context and some explanation was required. I thought it sounded anonymous to ‘self-care’ but, boy, was I wrong. Actually, it turned out to be even more controllable, and we Assistants love anything that we can get our grip on.
The perfectly understandable explanation of this phenomenon is found in the theory by two US psychologists who simply described this fancy term as a compilation of 3 universal basic needs of humanity in order for us to truly experience fulfillment.
Apparently, we all crave Autonomy, Connection, and Competence. The fulfillment of these 3 areas determines how happy we are, regardless of our race, religion, continent, gender or occupation.
This basically means your freedom to choose your own direction. Whether it’s life as a whole, dinner options at home, or your task list at work. The second we experience freedom of choice, to unconditionally vote for an option, and the freedom to go ahead and fulfill it… we build on the foundation of confidence. In return, this act gives you (in a form of your made decision) a ground for future confident actions and they don’t have to be connected to the previous ones at all.
It’s the realization itself that strengthens your belief that you are important, that your decisions matter. See it as a mini workout that, over time, will result in quick and confident decision making that actually corresponds with your values, goals and intentions on a bigger scheme.
The bad news is that the ratio of you doing things according to your decisions must be way greater than NOT following through on something you desire to undertake. The problem with us humans is that we want too many things, too big and too fast. And so we fail, and then fail some more. This failure process undermines your confidence at pace that no positive decision making can keep up with. That’s why – the secret to win this battle lies in the accomplishment of many little things. The well-known ‘baby steps’. Get yourself accomplished on tons of little things that YOU decide on, as fast as you can and on as many as you can, and you will build up a major ‘jumping board’ of confidence for the moments that really matter.
Here is the good part of Autonomy. You can magnify your confidence by consciously noticing the process of small decisions that lead to certain actions that have a certain result. Your psyche will get used to that after a while and you will move to bigger decisions with similar authority. Please note, that this process needs to be backed up by genuine Character Ethics (I will dig into that one in the upcoming posts). Stay loyal to yourself and own your decisions, no matter big or small.
This is an obvious one. We need to feel connected to others. For one, others confirm our existence. But they also have a lot of other functions… they complete us, challenge us, care for us, guide us, provide for us, nurture us, motivate us or teach us, and I can go on like this for a while. You get the picture.
The thing to remember is that there needs to be a connection of some sort. Just being around people doesn’t cut it.
The way to measure if there is a connection present is by asking yourself this question: What’s in it for me? I know, I know, it sounds very selfish. But do realize that we usually give easily, while asking is tough and outside of our comfort zone.
That’s why I’m not so much concerned with the giving part (although that is surely the key to successful relationships). It’s the TAKING part that establishes a connection. Why? Because when you get something that is beneficial for you (even if it’s a lesson to learn) you automatically say THANK YOU! It might just happen in the safety of your own mind, but that little phrase magically binds and confirms a connection.
Now, I don’t need to make a big case about this one. We all want to be good at something… That capacity determines our future. Our result-driven society is thriving and feeding on this very element.
The unfortunate result of this trend is that it’s got to levels that when you don’t fit IN – you’re OUT! And the worst part is, society gives us the feeling that we need to start all over again. I hate that! This superficial behavior is what drives people to burnouts and depressions, making us neglect our private lives, and letting our children being raised by strangers.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I admit to be a workaholic and I absolutely love what I do. But I also love being with my loved ones and enjoying the fruits of my labor NOW… I don’t want to postpone this privilege until my retirement. And believe me, too many times in the past have I been brutally disturbed during my private time off with a harsh demand to get something done. The sad part – I obeyed. Why? Lack of confidence!
My inability to stand my ground and say NO once in a while was a heavy burden. We’ll get to that part later, as this seems to be a universal problem. For now, you can start by realizing that it’s important to know HOW to be able to say NO politely but confidently. AND, exactly this can be your main reason for wanting to have strong confidence. If you can say NO, all the other aspects of this Fulfillment Trinity will become possible and doable. And so, theoretically, you will be able to experience a fulfillment in your life!
Let me take a little detour here…
Why do most of our attempts fail while we set on a personal development journey? Because we see it as something airy-fairy and think we can just engage in it when we feel like it or when we need a change. Truth is… personal development is a die-hard business skill! And in business, if you don’t set goals and carefully defined deliverables – you won’t succeed. The same goes for personal development… no question about it!
A change in that perspective is crucial, if you want to succeed in life as a whole. Successful people know this to be true and they confidently set aside time, money and effort to work on their personal development. It’s not an option, it’s a prerequisite!
And so, back on track, one of my reasons for building a stealth self-confidence was gaining the ability to say NO! Of course you need to dress it up nicely, professionally and politely… but it all starts with the intention to say NO in the first place.
As a closing assignment…
Decide for yourself WHY you want to have strong confidence to begin with.. Here is the role of Autonomy. Look for clues in the area of self-mastery or within the Fulfillment Trinity elements of self-determination. Make a list of 3 goals, but choose only one to start with. Achieve your master’s degree in that one and only then move to the next one.
Being good and effective in goalsetting is very important for an accomplished and empowered professional. Want to be good at that, but also in getting it done? That is pure Competence.
And how do you know that you got it? Usually, people around you will say or confirm that about you. And that is the Connection part that makes us better with every step we take.
Now, this Self-Determination Theory says that you need to have all 3 elements in fulfillment to feel happy and good about yourself and your life. Let’s be honest here, this is an ongoing process. You will always find new levels to get to, new people to connect to, and new skills to get good at. Don’t see those achievements as an end station, it’s not even a finish line. That’s the beauty of self-mastery. Once you get to the corner there is a new crossing in sight. Countless possibilities ahead and many new adventures to explore. Equipped with strong and supportive confidence… I bet you will be in for a treat. Know it’s a journey, master your life, you are the creator… even if it doesn’t seem anything like it right now. You are just at a crossroads. Which direction do you want to turn into?
And, last but not least…
Let’s examine why our profession of being Assisting Professionals is the perfect place to become fulfilled and truly happy, according to this Self-Determination Theory:
First of all, usually Assistants have a certain freedom to do what we think needs to be done first. We even manage lives of many others… How cool is it to recognize the pure power of Autonomy in this perspective!
Secondly, the quality of our social Connections is the essence and the driving force of our excellence and added value. We work with people all day long, either in person or virtually. That is the single quality that unites every Assistant on the planet! Defining which connections are important to us and which ones to cherish is a game of mix & match.
And the last check point is easy-peasy! Every Assistant is a master of many trades. We simply need to be good at many things, preferably simultaneously and in an outstanding fashion. Competence is our second nature and a loyal companion.
So just imagine… that just by doing your daily work will get you closer to your Fulfillment Wonderland. I can hear you protesting this fact, because the situation you are in right now might not have any resemblance of a happy place. Well, you know now what human beings need to create their place of ultimate fulfillment. Set your goals and get cracking! Just remember – you are fundamentally OK right now… as you ARE!
And check out our W.A.N.T.E.D. events and JOIN us LIVE or ONLINE
on December 12th 2015 at for the ‘Ultimate Distress Jam Session’
in our efforts to elevate and thrive our ASSISTANT ‘STATE OF MIND’
This is the ultimate, practical and possibly life-changing experience.
eXplore. eXperience. eXpress.
Let’s celebrate your Personal Awesomeness!