How to Believe in Yourself in Order to Lead

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“Without self-belief, there is no leadership.”

In season 26 episode 4, John Eades covers the important topic of developing your self-belief. 


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Your self-belief is one of the most critical factors in determining how successful you will be in life. But don’t just take it from me. Some of the all-time greats in business and sports have shed some light on the importance of belief and confidence.

Quotes to Remember About Self-Belief

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

Arthur Ashe

“To excel at the highest level—or any level, really—you need to believe in yourself, and hands down, one of the biggest contributors to my self-confidence has been private coaching.”

Stephen Curry

Confidence is the most important single factor in this game.

Jack Nicklaus

What is Belief?

Researchers have had a difficult time agreeing on a common definition of belief. To ensure we are on the same page, here is my favorite: A belief is nothing more than a reinforced pattern in your brain.

This is important because it shows that we aren’t born with beliefs; they are developed when certain things are reinforced and become a pattern in our brain. The reason this is such a big deal is that you can reprogram your brain to reinforce new patterns.

Bandura’s Theory

There has been some incredible work done in the last 50 years about self-belief and why it’s so important. Positivepsycology.com has been leading the way. In a recent article, they detail the work of Dr. Albert Bandura and what came to be known as Bandura’s Theory.

Bandura’s theory states that self-efficacy is built on one’s beliefs in the likelihood of future success; those who believe they have the ability to influence the events of their lives have high self-efficacy, while those who feel they are not in control and have little to no impact on what will happen to them in the future have low self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977).”

The key here is you must own your beliefs.

How to Improve Your Self-Belief

Recognize Negative Thoughts.

We all have negative thoughts that pass through our heads. Instead of trying to ensure we never have them, the key is not to give them oxygen.   Simply recognize the thoughts for what they are and replace them with something better. This will allow positive beliefs to become a reinforced pattern in our brain instead of the negative ones.   

Challenge Yourself to Do Something You Have Never Done.

A coaching client I was working with is one of the highest achievers I have ever met, but she was struggling with belief during the pandemic. Instead of allowing this struggle to continue, I reminded her, nothing will grow belief more than achievement.  She loved this idea, so she challenged herself to do something outside of her comfort zone. 

Now only did she sign up for the Ultimate Leadership Academy, but she committed to making ten prospecting calls a day with a new attitude and a new script. It wasn’t until her fifth day that the challenge paid off. She closed one of her most significant accounts to date all because she challenged herself to achieve.

Embrace the Failure.

Since achievement improves belief, challenging yourself to do things you have never done will inevitably result in some degree of failure. While those failures hurt at the moment, “Failure is not final, failure is feedback.” 

Show you courage and determination to not allow those failures to make you quit. Instead turn them into to fuel to keep you learning and growing. Winston Churchhill famously said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Closing

Beliefs are nothing more than a reinforced pattern in your brain. To lead yourself and others, it requires a pattern of good thoughts being reinforced on an ongoing basis. One of my favorite strategies to help with this is a simple phrase you can say to yourself every morning, “I am built for this.” Give it a try each day, so it becomes a new pattern in your brain.

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About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company making virtual training easy and effective. He was named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Management & Workplace. John is also the author of  Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success and host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

One Key Leadership Question You Must Answer in 2020

If you could share one life lesson with future generations, what would it be? This was the question asked of me on a recent episode of the One Last Thought Podcast. In an effort to get your 2020 started out on the right foot, I wanted to share my answer with you in the form of a question.

“What do you need to put down in your life to get ready for what matters most?”

As you think about this answer, also start thinking about what one word captures the essence of what you’re seeing for yourself in 2020. Listen to the whole episode below and share your answers with me in the comments section.


In the latest episode of the Follow My Lead podcast John get’s your ready for 2020 by covering two essential topics:

What’s your “One Word” for 2020?

What do you need to put down in 2020 to make this year your best?

Get the #1 Best New Management Book to Read in 2019 by Book AuthorityBuilding the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success is published by McGraw-Hill. Learn the stories, principles, and tools to help elevate the way you lead others.

Ultimate Leadership Academy: Join the 8-week virtual leadership development academy to elevate the way you lead. Learn more here.

About the Author: John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company that exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. He is currently booking events and speaking engagements for 2020. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.

5 Essential Strategies to Boost Your Confidence

Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” 

Ford was talking about confidence. As his quote suggests, confidence is crucial for any type of success, especially in business. If confidence is so important, why do so many people struggle with it?

If you are going to build confidence, it starts with understanding exactly what confidence is and what it isn’t. It’s best described as the belief in one’s self and one’s ability to succeed. It comes from a Latin word meaning, “to have full trust.” 

Confidence is not cockiness or arrogance. It is not masking a hole inside by portraying something else on the outside. As I covered in a recent episode of the Follow My Lead Podcast, confidence is a genuine belief in yourself that comes from within, and it’s more crucial than ever.  

If you want to build your confidence each day, start by using these five strategies.

Visualize yourself at the top.

The mind is a powerful thing. Everything that has been achieved started as an idea in someone’s mind.

How you think will determine your future

The Journal of Consulting Psychology outlined an experimental study of visualization techniques and the results were pretty amazing. They studied two groups of job seekers. Both groups were exposed to the same career counseling and interview coaching, but the second group also learned visualization techniques. 

Within two months of training, there was a 45 percent increase in the second group getting employment versus the first group. Leaving no doubt about the power of visualization. 

If you want to grow your confidence, you have to visualize yourself at the top. Close your eyes and see it like it’s happening to you well before it actually does.  

Leverage specific kinds of affirmations. 

Confidence starts with the words you tell yourself every day. Affirmations are a great place to start. An affirmation is a formal declaration of emotional support or encouragement. 

While this is so important, any old affirmation isn’t good enough. Instead of telling yourself, “I am good enough” or “I am worthy enough,” add to the statement WHY you are good enough or WHY you are worthy. It would sound like this, “I am good enough because I have already hit rock bottom.” or “I am worthy of being a great leader because I care more about others’ success than my own.” 

Strengthen your words. 

While adding words of affirmation is a great place to start, you also must eliminate the words that protect you from failure (they’re setting you for it). Most people are afraid of failure. To cope, they try to soften the blow of failing by setting themselves up for the fall. 

They’ll say things like, “I am going to try…” or “I might be able to…”. Instead, replace those words with, courageous words like, “I am going to…” or “I will…” or “I can…”  

Always look for a positive.

If you look hard enough at anything you do, you can find something you could have done better. If that wasn’t enough, you could always find someone else who has achieved more, has more or won more. The opportunity to be negative and look for flaws is plentiful.  

There is nothing wrong with striving for more. But if you are working on building your confidence, you must always look for as many positives in each situation as possible. This reinforces to your mind that you are doing things well and moving in the correct direction even if the macro result isn’t what you want.  

Filter The Words of Others. 

As Lou Holtz said, “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.” If you are reliant on gaining confidence from the words others say to you, you are in a dangerous spot.

Since you can’t control what others say, it’s important to take others’ words with a grain of salt. Remember, confidence comes from within so allowing others words to dictate how you feel isn’t real confidence.  

Confidence is crucial for both short-term and long-term success. Stop hoping or pretending you have it and put these fives moves into play starting today. 

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About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on instagram @johngeades.

How the Best Leaders Create More Leaders

“I am the leader, get in line behind me.” 

This is a dumb rule that spread like wildfire and developed an inaccurate representation of leadership to six-year-olds across the country.

I started my own leadership journey thinking I was playing line leader. It caused me to fail miserably, but then I realized the Tom Peter quote was true, “the best leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders.” I am sure if Peters had created six-year-old line leaders, he would have had the leader in the back making sure everyone was courageous enough to go into music class.

Now, I work daily to help other leaders do the same, and I’ve learned one very important lesson for creating more leaders successfully:

You can’t get caught up in the outcome 

Each person chooses to apply what they learn or not. In other words, all you can do is lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Adopting this mindset allows ownership to lay with the person who ultimately has to choose and live out their own leadership journey. No longer will you feel the need to force or control the outcome.

The very best leaders embody these characteristics that in turn, help them effectively create more leaders: 

They are good leaders themselves

No one wants to learn from someone who doesn’t live out what it means to be a leader. I define leadership as someone whose actions inspire, empower, and serve in order to elevate others over an extended period of time.  

When I asked Dustin Kaehr on the Follow My Lead Podcast what the most important characteristic for a leader to embody today he said, “There are many things, but humility is at the top.”

You have to walk the walk and talk the talk. It means you aren’t just teaching them why it’s important to have humility, but you’re also showing your team how to be a humble leader on a daily basis.

They are persistent and consistent on their leadership journey

Becoming a leader takes time and it doesn’t have an end date on it. Just because you get to some level of proficiency as a leader, you will always be learning new and trying new things to continue your development.

A mentor of mine told me, “People need to be reminded more than they need to be taught.” It’s true. Building up other leaders requires a love of learning and professional development. Be an example for your people.

They are constantly teaching and coaching

Elevating others to become their best takes a lot of work and patience. A random lesson here or there isn’t going to get the job done. You have to have your teaching and coaching hat on all the time because any given moment could expose an opportunity to teach an important lesson or use a question to coach someone to come up with answers themselves. 

They admit they don’t have all the answers

There will be moments where you learn something you have been teaching is proven wrong. In moments like this, reject your natural tendencies and say the words so many people struggle to say, “I was wrong, here is a better way to do it.”

There is no doubt the best leaders are learners, which means it’s completely okay if you don’t have all the answers. 

They give away ownership and responsibility

Power is a funny thing for leaders because often with the title comes a power they have never had. Unfortunately some like the sensation so much they hold onto and take advantage of it. Abraham Lincoln famously said, “nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  

The best leaders give away the power and responsibility to others so they can take ownership of their decision making and behaviors. This is easy to write but difficult to put into practice.  

Whether you are currently embodying these five characteristics or not, don’t beat yourself up. One of the most important things you can do as a professional is helping others become a leader, so take this as a sign it’s time to make some changes. 

What’s Your Leadership Style? Join over 40k leaders and discover how well you are leveraging love and discipline as a leader and find out your current leadership style for free.

Ultimate Leadership Academy Do you lead a team and want to elevate the way you lead? Apply to join the Ultimate Leadership Academy. A virtual leadership development program which includes the EO 360° Assessment and Report, 4 Live Instructor-Led Training Webinars and One-On-One Coaching. Learn more here.

About the Author John Eades is the CEO of LearnLoft, a leadership development company which exists to turn professionals into leaders and create healthier places to work. John was named one of LinkedIn’s 2017 Top Voices in Management & Workplace and was awarded the 2017 Readership Award by Training Industry.com. John is also the author the upcoming book Building the Best: 8 Proven Leadership Principles to Elevate Others to Success and host of the “Follow My Lead” Podcast, a show that transfers stories and best practices from today’s leaders to the leaders of tomorrow. You follow him on Instagram @johngeades.