By Servane Mouazan
“Lack of confidence” is the mantra that drags us down and defines us in times of uncertainty, like the crash from a bad synthetic drug.
Confidence issues pop up when you start-up, when contracts are refused, when you can’t measure your impact in ways that you would have liked. Confidence is shattered when someone else does it better than you, or when your health is breaking you apart.
Confidence questions also touch you when you are growing, when you are in front of investors, when your business expands, or when you no longer know if you are fit for purpose.
Our goal at Ogunte is to work with women so that they recognise themselves as genuine agents of change, exercising power and influence to change people’s worlds for the better.
We’ve found out that confidence is a volatile currency. When it is damaged, we must look deep inside ourselves to assess what is really going on and rebuild it.
One big mistake though is too believe that you are “someone who lacks confidence”.
The truth is most of you, your brain, your body is confident about something. What may drag you down is one area (or two) in your life, and that makes you feel… maybe not at your best. But it is not definitive. And it certainly shouldn’t define you.
This is why in our sessions with women in social enterprises, we include exercises that enable you to explore your personal foundations and grow that confidence.
Step One: When You Are in Transition – and in Doubt - Map Your Life Story
Sofia Bustamante once shared with us a “Life CV” she had designed using 5 year increments - annotating it with descriptions of her key challenges and achievements on one hand, and her specific roles, on the other hand.
Completing this exercise for themselves has enabled many of our coachees to map and identify patterns of success and situations that give rise to depression or self-sabotage.
This tool is valid at work and in life too and you can also use it to map and analyse organizational stories.
If you do the Life CV exercise, it is important to step back and acknowledge the:
Step Two: Reality Scanning
Once you have travelled into your past, have a look at your present and step back. Take a bird’s eye view – or a fly on the wall’s view! What can you see?
See if patterns emerge.
Step Three: Mapping the Possibilities
When you have learned all you can about the present, it is time to look to the future. Having a 5-year plan doesn’t work for everyone. But just having a sketch on the back of an envelope can help you get your “stuff” together and feel more confident.
One way to project yourself into the future on paper is by using circles to plot different possible scenarios.
Start with a set of 4 future “what
if” scenarios; a positive scenario, a negative scenario, a scenario where the
context stays the same as now, and a scenario where the context is, well… “weirder”.
An essential key is to play along with the tone of the scenarios in
order to let insights about your present choices grow. Don’t try to “fix” a situation that has better or worse outlooks, instead, understand how you behave, and the decisions you make, and what you learn from your character, in these new variable contexts. Where do your strengths come from? What is your support system?
Step Four: Moving on to Action
The process you’ve just been through of raising your awareness is essential - but far from sufficient. The next step is to mobilize yourself and get organized. Then act.
Then sketch 3 actionable strategies to “sell” the results of your thinking - to yourself first - but also to the people who matter.
Based on your results, surround yourself with new
professionals, friends, peers and organisations to reinforce your confidence
and credentials. Beware of picking people from the same old bubble! And add 1 person at a time… it is not a race for volume.
For more support, follow our series on 5 pillars of support to equip social entrepreneurs for tough time.
You can also contact us for a trial Thinking Booster or team coaching session that could help you shape a plan around confidence building.
You can also use the Beesmap Toolkit to help yourself off line!