So you are experiencing a divorce and the loss of your family structure you once knew. How do you start over after losing your career and family? Fear has and is setting in, your self-esteem is low, and you’ve lost confidence in yourself, your hard-earned skills, and your tenured abilities.
You may not be aware of how confidence and productivity go hand-in-hand. Confidence doesn’t work well without productivity, and vice versa. Just think about it in your own life: the times when you are most productive and checking items off your to-do list, how confident do you feel? Or, on the other hand, when you have that confident “GO-GETTER” attitude, how much easier is it to get things done?
Here’s something, subconsciously, you already know, “Confidence and productivity are inherently interconnected” (DA April 2017). If you start mastering one, then the other falls into place.
Your fear turns into procrastination and loss of confidence causing you the inability to move forward in life. Unaware, you are focused on you a single parent recently experiencing divorce, who might also be suffering from the loss of a promising career, or some other tragedy. You will need to regain your awareness and search for the thing(s) that are smothering your God-given skills and true purpose in life. You have to put your mark in the sand and decide to stay or move forward.
Here are 4 simple techniques to both boost your confidence while also seeing an increase in your productivity:
Include others you need a coach or mentor
One way we gain confidence is by getting confirmation that we are doing a good job. It’s hard to get that kind of appreciation working all on your own. Being a part of a team or having a team is very healthy. It’s healthy to be able to synchronize your ideas and thoughts and receive feedback from others who are on the journey with you. With some projects, flying solo also can decrease productivity, but it does depend on the project. Even a one-man job, though, like writing a blog post, for instance, can still use some team help. Bouncing ideas off each other, or having someone read over your work is a great way to making an independent job one where you can include others.
Seems like a brief moment ago, I had a friend fold upon his knees at my desk because he was just so bottled up inside and he decided that he wasn’t going another inch nor a mile further without facing his fears ever again. It was quite a humbling experience.
Finally, after he was satisfied with the oral review and research sessions he had been informally conducting with me, he was convinced that he wanted to “Always Progress!”. I thought about that moment, how he saw the lack “of” and he was directed to speak with me. He’s got it! I realized the 8 weeks that I’ve been there for him, my brand had been established. He learned to recognize potential opportunities while leaning towards success. I learned a lot from him about me and how I’m perceived.
I’m a former Marine and an Army Logistics Officer and Commander. I’ve been in your current situation, so this isn’t hearsay, it’s the gospel of “Von”. I have been stricken with Acute Asthma attacks with my latest attack in January 2020 resulting in me dying in my living room but, an EMS specialist would not give up on me until she got a heartbeat. Why was my life restored, I asked? What am I here to do? I learned that people respect and trust my leadership that, to me, was still in the developing stages from the beginning of my dream until I became an officer in the Army. Look, like you, I still had skills and abilities and I just needed someone to encourage me, to be a listening ear, to tell me what I needed to hear, and who cared about my further development and success.
Realizing that self-awareness presents a visual picture, does help to talk to someone who has blazed that trail. Being transparent while sharing, strategizing, and brainstorming through a vision, setting goals for the possible first steps toward success was what was needed in this situation. I remembered when I was young the older people always shared stories about life, painting visual pictures to help lead and direct me in a better life.
What do you see yourself doing in the next year? Notice, I didn’t say next five years? This isn’t a business, but it’s your life business so be realistic, true to yourself, and take baby steps before you leap. You crawled for a while before you walked right? Getting your confidence back is no different. Understand that there are going to be days when you can’t walk worth a damn and there will be days when you run like a gazelle! The bottom line is there will be good and bad days so prepare for them.
Take criticism, don’t back away from it
In a similar situation, many people have shied away from team involvement because the criticism they received was too much to handle. They didn’t gain confidence, they lost it. That negative energy didn’t help them create or produce more either.
Hey, this is where excuses are made and now you are procrastinating due to fear. However, when you learn to see criticism as a benefit, a chance to improve your work, not as a heated stab at you, then you begin to see that these criticizing colleagues respect you enough to want to help. It doesn’t always feel that way, but try to see it as your friends challenging you to do your best. Having confidence that you can succeed with some slight adjustments is your new path to success. Those small or large changes may be what you need to be more productive as well.
Things always look worse when you’re tired, so do yourself a favor and take a nap.
Not 3-hour naps every time you yawn or get distracted, but a short 20 or 30-minute nap here and there actually helps you feel more alert. By taking out a short amount of break time, you’ll actually find yourself being more productive with the time that you do have and feel more accomplished and confident in the process.
Focus on finishing one task at a time
When your to-do list is overwhelming, follow writer Anne Lamott’s advice: “Just take it bird by bird.” She recounts a time when her brother had to finish a 3-month assignment writing a report on birds, an assignment he saved until the night before it was due.
We’ve all felt that impending doom when a task seems too large to finish in such a short amount of time. Rather than try to be productive, we curl up under our desks or find some other way to avoid what we need to get done. Lamott’s father would not let his son stay “immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead…[He] put his arm around [Lamott’s] brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”
As you face similar dilemmas, just take it piece by piece. Find tasks that need to be done first and pick 3 or 4 to work on that day while blocking out time frames to accomplish them. Don’t move on to another task until you finish the task you are working on, and don’t let yourself go over those time blocks unless necessary. Discipline is a key to be productive, but you’ll see how that discipline also makes your confidence soar.
These are only the beginning building blocks to increase your productivity and confidence. Comment below with some ideas that you’ve thought about implementing but lacked the confidence to move forward. Sometimes all you need is one good idea to get you going.
If you’re interested in discussing some other techniques to help regain your confidence to grow your business while increasing your productivity, let’s discuss how to “Always Progress!”