Always Appreciate The Small Things — The Power Of Self Confidence

On my previous blog, we’ve talked about how even breathing can really help you out and overcome stress. On today’s blog we’ll be discussing the other factors that affects your self confidence and we’ll be taking one step closer to unveiling the power of self confidence.

How Much Deliberate Practice?

First, to get this ball rolling, let’s determine how much time you’re going to study and practice for each of your passion interests. I recommend 1 hour per day, 5 days a week, minimum. If you can do more, great, but this would be the minimum to start working towards real results and feeling high on confidence.  

When to Practice

Do you know what hours are best for practicing? Again, the same studies on deliberate practice show that the most productive hours to practice are from waking hours to nap hours. In other words, you can’t practice the things you suck at when you’re tired, you’ll just give up.  

You’ll need energy to engage in deliberate practice, so make sure you stay away from times that are close to sleeping hours, like in the afternoon around 3 pm to 6 pm and 10 pm to 7 am. This will obviously vary from person to person but as a general rule of thumb the best times to practice would be somewhere in the range of 7 am – 3 pm and 6 pm – 10 pm.  

Time For Action

Go ahead and schedule time for deliberate practice in your electronic calendar now. For example, practice guitar Mon-Fri 7 – 9 pm.

Commitment Devices

Remember at the beginning of this book we talked about the #1 reason why people don’t get what they want? Since lack of action is usually the biggest confidence crusher we’re going to take this one step further and make absolutely sure you take action when that calendar item pops up; otherwise, this is all just a waste of time.  

To do this we’re going to use a couple of powerful strategies to help you take action. Psychologists refer to these strategies as “commitment devices,” which can be used for taking action on just about anything you struggle with.   

Smart Focus

The first commitment device I call “Smart Focus” because it helps you curb your distractions while honing your focus towards knocking down that one big domino.

For example, when famous Author Victor Hugo, procrastinated for over a year on delivering a book to his publisher, he was given a six-month deadline. To break the procrastination and commit to the deadline he collected all of his clothes and asked an assistant to lock them away in a large chest. 

Leaving himself with only a large shawl unsuitable for an outdoor or public appearance, he remained in his study and finished The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was published two weeks early and became a best seller. 

The only limitation to commitment devices is your imagination. For instance, if you tend to procrastinate by eating food you could stop buying snack foods like potato chips, nuts, granola or anything that is easily accessible.   

Or you could do what I do: Instead of reaching for food and constantly overburdening my digestive system, which kills my motivation, I got rid of all snacks and bought a cool porcelain tea kettle on Amazon for $35. To keep things interesting, once a month I buy an assortment of fruity and savory herbal teas like Lemon Ginger and Vanilla Nut Crème as well as green teas like Matcha and Yerba Mate, which don’t have the overload of caffeine that coffee does.  

Now, any time I have the urge to distract myself with food, I just pour some tea, which not only keeps me motivated and focused on knocking down my most important domino but makes me light on my feet without the constant craving for food and snacks.

Make A Promise

The second commitment device to help you take action is to simply make a promise to both yourself and someone else. Can you remember the last time you promised yourself or someone you loved you would do something? Did you follow through?  

Whether or not you followed through, I can guarantee you thought about that promise and it motivated you to take some form of action even if it was just thinking about it. 

In one study aimed at curbing the over prescription of antibiotics in Los Angeles, researchers found that by asking doctors to sign a letter that detailed their promise to stop prescribing unneeded antibiotics they were able to make real behavioral changes.

To get accountability the researchers made this promise letter the size of a poster, included their photo and had the doctors sign and display it where they and their patients could see it every day. At the end of the study test subjects prescribed 20% fewer antibiotics compared with a control group who had not signed the poster. 

While we’ll talk more about the “why” you keep a promise in the 2nd Level of The triad, just know that the very act of making a promise to yourself and someone else will motivate you to take action and keep you accountable.  

So right now go ahead and make a promise to both yourself and someone else. This other person could be your accountability partner or group we talked about in “Step 3” but will need to be someone you see fairly regularly and can ask you: “Hey how is that passion project coming along?”  

What I recommend is that you get accountability from both your partner or group from “Step 3” as well as a family member or close friend. While the accountability partner from Step 3 may take some time to find, you can make a promise to yourself and a friend or family member right now.  

Take a moment to call, text or email someone right now and let them know you’ve made a promise to take action towards a new passion and name your passion. For example, “Hey Dad I’m learning a new skill by taking guitar lessons and have made a promise to myself to be able to play my first song within 30 days. Feel free to ask me about it from time to time.” 

While you could write your promise on a poster size piece of paper, a simple 8.5 x 11 will do just fine. I recommend putting this in an acrylic display like this $14 frame from Amazon, which will allow you to display it in your bathroom or on your desk where you’ll see it every day.     

Bonus Download

Since daily focus is so important and to make this even easier, I’ve created a special Bonus Download where all you need to do is fill in the blanks, sign your name, print and insert into an 8.5 x 11 frame. Here is the download link:

Acknowledge & Reward Your Progress

Now that you’re stacking victories and feeling really high on confidence you’ll want to capitalize on all that hard work by rewarding yourself for your progress. Basically, by doing this, not only will the act of completion give you a hit of that dopamine but rewarding yourself will give you an additional hit and reinforce the habit of taking more action.

Essentially, when you have a victory of any size its time to acknowledge that victory as a “win” and celebrate yourself. This will keep you motivated over the long term and build those muscles of self-love, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  

To track your progress and acknowledge these wins I recommend downloading a free app like “Tally Counter” which allows you to input the name of your passion and track your wins.  

For example, as a songwriter, I enter a category like “Songwriting” and click +1 every time I stack a victory or take an action towards deliberately practicing my passion. Then, after I stack 50 victories, I celebrate my win with some healthy treat, entertainment or outdoor adventure.  

Again, each time you stack a small victory you get a hit of dopamine, which will automatically reinforce this behavior and push you to take more action.

In one study that demonstrates this benefit, researchers turned to customer rewards programs like coffee cards and frequent flyer benefits and found that customers in a rewards program tend to buy products more frequently or make larger purchases as they get closer to a reward.  

Essentially, by stacking small victories you’ll exert more effort as you get closer to that 50 level mark and the more blocks of 50 you complete, the closer you will be to knocking over that one most important domino.

Make absolutely sure you do not skip this one, as you’ll need to add some fun into the confidence building formula in order to motivate you to take action long-term.

That’s it for today, folks! If you’d like to learn more, check out the top-selling book Get High On Confidence by Chad Scott here. Also, don’t forget to appreciate the small things.

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