Before we start, let’s please just get one thing clear. Success and great achievements DO NOT occur overnight. There is no magic book, pill, potion or secret. You need patience, persistence, self belief and HARD WORK.
A big reason why some people fail to realise their true potential is largely a matter of confidence. Some look at their big goals and doubt their ability to achieve them. Others spend too much time in the planning and researching stage, struggling to muster up the courage to make a start. For those who do start on their journey towards their goals and make initial progress, confidence can also be affected when things stop going according to plan, leading to self-doubt and ending in them quitting prematurely.
Confidence was never my strong point, and far too often I let negative self-talk, the doubts of others and minor setbacks keep me from persisting in the pursuit of my goals. If you find yourself in the same situation, there is a great way to overcome self doubt and it works wonders.
Darren Hardy, public speaker and editor of Success Magazine, calls this phenomenon The Compound Effect and his book on the subject is well with a read. The Compound Effect is about how small actions all add up, and over time lead to huge success. In other words, over time small victories can lead you to fulfilling your potential.
Life is all about learning and growing, and that won’t happen if you play it safe. You don’t need to have it all figured out to before you get started on the journey towards your goals. You just need to have;
- Reflection. Before starting, it is important to have reflected enough that you are aware of your strengths and weakness, and what resources you have at your disposal.
- Goals. As well as that, it helps to know what you ultimately hope to achieve and set yourself small, achievable goals which will help you to get there.
Reflection and goal-setting alone won’t help too much with any confidence issues. You need to pair them with action. With small, defined and achievable goals to aim for, you will find that your confidence grows and momentum builds as you reach those goals. Make sure to celebrate, briefly, as you meet each on. After all, each goal met, no matter how small, is an achievement and progress in the right direction. For example, if your ultimate goal is a new job or a career change, your small goals may involve applying for jobs, reaching out to recruiters and attending careers fairs, each of which can be ticked off and rewarded on your journey and will provide a confidence boost.
There is a snowball effect, or compound effect, at work here and the more small goals you achieve and celebrate, the more your confidence will grow and spur you on. Even when disaster strikes, the confidence gained from achieving your goals so far will help you to pick yourself up and keep going. In short, to take advantage of the confidence boosting effects of meeting your goals;
- Break your big goals down into small, achievable goals which will get you there.
- Take action, and enjoy the confidence boost as you meet your small goals
- If you hit a roadblock, look for lessons to be learned before picking up where you left off.
- Keep going.