We’ve all had days when we feel on top of the world. Days when you feel super smart or super funny. The last time I really felt this way was in January, when I had to give my final presentation to my client, marking the completion of my master’s program.
The presentation was only 30 minutes. I have presented many times before and for longer periods of time, so I didn’t expect to be nervous this time. But this time I was presenting my marketing plan to someone who might actually use it! A complete 50-page strategic plan for a small business, which I had worked on for over a year to construct. A plan I worked my ass off to create…something I really believed in. I was shaking like a leaf! I was so nervous and scared. I was afraid I’d forget everything I had practiced and worked so hard for…or worse, I’d get through it only to find out it was a terrible marketing plan! Naturally, I was doubting myself and feeling dull, but I presented the plan and it all paid off!
I owned that presentation! I kicked some serious ass…and the second I finished speaking, before anyone even responded, I knew I had it in the bag. I was already smiling and on top of the world! When the Q&A portion of my presentation began, I rocked every answer. I had research to support my statements and confidence to stand behind my work and my ideas. I felt AMAZING and my audience knew it. I walked out of that conference room and literally did a Mary Tyler Moore jump into the air, followed by several fist pumps…followed by celebratory beers and “woohoos” with my classmates!
Then there’s those days when you realize you’ve been spelling one word wrong all your life. Or the day you find out you’ve completely misunderstood something everyone else understands. How can I be a kick-ass marketing professional/rock star presenter one day, and not know that the phrase “for all intents and purposes” is not said, “for all intensive purposes” the next!?? Intensive purposes? Really Holly? It doesn’t even make sense, how could I not know this?! Ugh.
It’s dull days like these that really kill my confidence, but I always manage to pick myself up. Here are few things that help me forget how completely stupid and boring I can be:
1. Join Pinterest. If you aren’t on Pinterest, I highly recommend it. Pinterest is a virtual pin-board where you pin up pictures and ideas you love and share them with friends. You can pin things you’ve tried, things you’d like to do, places you want to go, how you wish you looked, funny jokes, cute shoes to buy and what your dream home will look like. It’s just a fantastic house of thoughts and ideas. At first, it takes a while to fill up your pin-boards, but over time it becomes a collage of dreams! It may be depressing for some to look at a bunch of stuff they may never have or see places they may never go, but personally, I think it’s inspiring. It makes me want to make my dreams a reality and reminds me how cool I can be. Plus, it’s super easy, fun to use and totally free!
2. Update your resume. I know, I know…it feels like work. It is. I usually dread it…but I also dreaded that presentation and look how that ended up! How often do you really take a look at your skills and education and brag about your accomplishments? When you complete a resume, it feels good. I may not have found out about “all intents and purposes” until a few years ago, but I look pretty darn good on paper! If you focus on all your best qualities and think about all the things you can do, you’ll probably surprise yourself.
3. Create a memory box. Now don’t go all hoarder on me or anything, but take all the weird stuff you save (ticket stubs, wristbands, menus, event passes, etc.) and put them all in one decorative place. About a year ago I was cleaning my room and found a nice picture frame I had never used. While cleaning up, I started to compile all of these mementos and put them in the frame (I really just wanted to use the frame for something and couldn’t bring myself to just throw all those tickets away). My memory box grew and grew. Now it’s my favorite piece of art and whenever I’m feeling dull or stupid, I can look at it and think of all the cool and smart things I’ve done. Sounds a little hokey, but it really does help! How many people can say they’ve been to a Star Wars convention, honestly?
4. Give yourself some credit! Give yourself a silent pat on the back. Think of all those times you showed someone else how to do something or made your friends laugh. You can’t be a complete moron when your seasoned coworker still can’t even figure out the copy machine. You’ve been working here 30 years and you still haven’t gotten it down!? Yikes.
What do you do to boost your confidence?