Raise Self Esteem By Stacking Small Victories

In the Domino Strategy, as mentioned in my previous blog, we can see how a very small amount of energy can be converted into something 1,000 times or even a billion times larger. Now, let’s raise self esteem by stacking victories.

Stacking Small Victories
(5 Simple Steps)

We now know that in order to knock over those important dominoes we need to stack some small victories, which are sequenced in a specific order. To identify your “One Thing” and take advantage of the multiplying power of the domino effect, we’re going to use five simple steps to start stacking small victories. 

Of course, similar to chunking, knocking over dominoes also gives you a hit of that feel good neurotransmitter dopamine and motivates you to take more action. So let’s go ahead and tackle these five steps one by one.

Step 1 – Pick Your Passion 

To start you’ll need to identify something you’re really passionate about and expand your expertise in that field. In a landmark study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, researchers noted that finding meaning in one’s work has been shown to “increase motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance, and personal fulfillment, and to decrease absenteeism and stress.”

Let’s stop and think about that for a second. When you “Increase Performance,” you get good at something and when you’re good at something you are certain that you are good at it. And when you are certain, according to our definition of confidence, you are “Confident!”  

Sadly, according to the State of the American Workplace, a report by Gallup Inc., only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged and passionate about their work. The remaining 70 percent of American workers are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work.

To be clear, based on the study above, it’s important to consider your current job and whether or not you fall into that 70% disengaged gap. If this is you, don’t worry, you don’t have to immediately jump ship and quit.  

Whether or not you are passionate and engaged in your current job, you can start working on a passion that is unrelated and immediately gain more confidence. And who knows, if you stack enough victories in this new passion, it could end up being your full time job. Accordingly, you’ll need to make sure what you pick here is something you’re really passionate about.

For example, you could pick a musical instrument to learn or a new adventure hobby, like biking, hiking or scuba diving.  You could learn a craft like furniture building, painting or pottery. Or you could start a part-time business and possibly build it to full time. Keep in mind; this confidence building exercise isn’t just for a startup passion.

Sarah, a previous client of mine was an amazingly accomplished chef. Her dinner parties were the talk of the town, notorious for exotic spices and wholesome goodness, which left people feeling energized and euphoric. Weeks before her dinner parties, her friends would be dreaming of the raw chocolate soufflé which made her famous, even among local restaurant critics.

Regardless of her local success and the encouragement of her friends to write a cookbook or open a restaurant, she lacked the confidence to get feedback and release her delicious recipes to the world. Fortunately, by following this guide, Sarah was able to develop the confidence and release a successful cookbook where thousands of people now get to enjoy her recipes.

To see how this process can work for you, let’s first take the example of starting a new business or perhaps expanding an existing one. But first, I need to address a potential white elephant in the confidence formula – Money!

Money And Confidence

If you’re wondering how making money fits into the confidence formula, let me first defer to the famous lead singer of Van Halen, David Lee Roth, who once wrote the lyrics: “All my bills are paid I got it made in the shade.”  

Let’s face it, when your bills are paid you are certain that you won’t have to fear the bill collector hunting you down. And again, since we know that confidence is a feeling of certainty and represents the opposite feeling of fear, we can conclude that making money is definitely part of the confidence formula.

So let’s say you want to start a new business. The first step in starting a business should be remarkably simple, like brainstorming what the actual business will be.

While picking a passion like sports, arts or crafts may not have money as its main objective, a new business will definitely need to consider profitability, which means you’ll need to add one additional step.

This additional step will involve finding a few potential customers to test out whether or not your idea actually has potential. While you may not be able to serve your best friends chocolate soufflé, you can accomplish this by posting a question or creating an ad on Facebook to an audience who may be interested in what you’d like to sell.  

Let’s say you wanted to get started selling photography services for local artists.  To get valuable feedback you could craft a simple question like: “If you saw an ad for unique and stunning photography for artists that was really affordable would you be interested?  Please comment.”

Next, you could add this question to a Facebook ad targeted to artists in your surrounding communities and spend $5 per day for 7 days. With a meager $35 you could find out with relative certainty whether or not your idea’s got wings or not.

Once you have confirmation that a good amount of people are interested in your business, the next step is to learn how to get one purchasing customer, then scale up from there, which we’ll address shortly in the following steps.

Regardless of what you choose, you’ll need to pick a passion that excites you, something that urges you to jump out of bed in the morning, even when you feel lifeless or depressed. This is the most crucial part of the 5 steps and unsurprisingly, the one domino that makes everything else easier, so let’s get really clear.   

Essentially, if you are not passionate about what you’re doing, somewhere down the road, I can guarantee you’ll stop stacking victories and your life will quickly start to descend down into that dark hole we call the graveyard of broken dreams.

Not convinced? Just pick up a newspaper and look at the local obituary section. If you’re in a big city, chances are you’ll find at least one or two sad cases of suicide. And while not all suicide is attributable to poor job satisfaction, several studies have linked suicide to emotional stress on the job.

The good news is… it’s not too late for you to dive headfirst into what you’re most passionate about. So get excited! And if you’re at all unsure of what passion you’d like to pursue, below are some more examples. Just make sure you identify at least one specific area of interest that you’re going to focus on. Or if you are already pursuing one of these, consider taking it to the next level.

  • Arts – Music, Acting, Songwriting, Video, Photography, etc.
  • Crafts – Furniture building, Car Building, Pottery, Painting, etc.
  • A New Business Venture – Online website, Blog, MLM, New product, Writing books, Consulting, Coaching, etc.
  • Sports & Adventure – Rock Climbing, Cycling, Running, Surfing, Skiing, Fishing, Dancing, Yoga, Slacklining, etc.
  • Community – Start a group or club to support disadvantaged people, Volunteer for a non-profit, etc.

To be clear, the goal of this task is not about becoming an instant expert in a field or having some amazing talent overnight (Remember All or None). Although this would be awesome and could make you more attractive, wealthy and confident, in the beginning, the most important thing here is to just tackle the most important domino.

By taking action and advancing in your area of interest you will by default feel more confident about yourself and in the process get closer to your buried treasure.

Time For Action

To knock over your first big domino you’ll need to pick a passion to either start or take to the next level. Give yourself a deadline to make a decision on this within 10 days or less. Go ahead and schedule this deadline in your electronic calendar now. For example, research passion pursuit Monday through Friday 8 pm to 9 pm for the next 10 days.

I’ll leave you with the first step for now. If you’d like to skip the wait, you can check out the top-selling book Get High On Confidence by Chad Scott here.

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