How to Develop the Confidence to Ask For What You Need
Confidence: Is it really what you need? That's my question. Here's a quote from Debbie Millman, quoting Dani Shapiro. Basically, she says, "Confidence is overrated. "What we really need is courage." And I really believe this is true. So, let's talk about the workplace. Because sometimes, it seems amazing to me that we actually get something done in the workplace, right? Because there are meetings galore, and lots of interruptions. There's chaos, there's politics, there's miscommunication, there are mistakes that we all make, and we are all going to make mistakes kind of constantly, so you just have to be ready for that, and then how do you recover from mistakes? There's laziness, there's people making assumptions because of that laziness, and there are lots of really narcissistic, self-absorbed people who are totally focused on me, me, me, and it's not malicious, it's just thoughtless. So one of the big ideas that I am trying to bring here is this idea of being more and more mindful in...
what's going on with you in your head, and then with your behaviors and your actions. And mindful about what other people are doing. So you can put that all together and hopefully improve. So how do you thrive in this kind of chaotic, interrupt-driven environment as an introvert? And the big idea is that you, obviously, need the job that you have, but what's more important, actually, is your sanity, and so your priority is to yourself. You have to make sure that you are getting what you need so that you can do the best job that you can, and constantly learning and constantly improving. So, instead of being at the mercy of the workplace, you really do, and can, I believe, control much more than you think you can control. You can control yourself, you can control your reactions to things, your responses to people, and how you behave. And that's what, again, we're gonna focus on. You can also influence other people, right? You can't control other people, but you can influence other people, and there's kind of a fine line there that, as you're experimenting with new behaviors, you're going to find for yourself, and again, I wanna emphasize, you're going to make mistakes. Just count on that and be ready for it, alright? If you're feeling pushed around at work, there is something you can do about it, and the only way to find out how not to be pushed around is to try some of these experiments. So it is your duty to yourself to do this, and I also think a lot of people who consider themselves shy, or consider themselves quiet, are maybe passive. There's a difference between quiet and passive. Quiet is listening, observing, and then choosing the right moment to say the right thing. Passive is sitting back, waiting for something to happen, waiting for someone else to fix something, someone else to do something, and hoping it goes your way, which it hardly ever does. So, in a way, the goal here is to, even if you are quiet, even if you are shy, to find the times when it makes the most sense for you to say something and do something, and then figure out what to do. And, in a way, there's a very simple solution, actually, to all of this, which is about taking time. Because everything is going so fast, what's so important is to take time to think and to reflect before you actually respond, and that's what, when I say what you need at work, maybe the most important thing you need is to just take time to think. So think about that. And each of you will need to find your own way, because there's no right answer to any of this. There's no right way, and that's why I'm going to be able to give you lots of different suggestions and ideas, and you're gonna choose which ones make the most sense for you. By the way, we're not talking here about you changing yourself. In fact, more than anything, it might be about playing a different role in a different situation. I'm gonna talk a little later about doing shy, as opposed to being shy. Think about when you do shy, and when you may be able to do something different. And hopefully, by the end of it all, you will have lots of new tools in your toolbox, and you'll be able to pull them out and practice with them whenever you want to so that you get better. Because, again, the whole point here is to improve every single time so that you're learning and getting better. Make sense? Okay, good. Now's when we get into the interactive part. So, I do believe that confidence, and we're talking about confidence here in this lesson, it starts with what happens in your head, what you say to yourself. So, for example, even if you say, "I am an introvert." How many people in the room, and let's see if we can find out how many people out there online, say to themselves or someone else, "I'm an introvert." Raise your hand. You, Kenna?
So that's one thing that's kind of interesting, is that, first of all, we define these words very differently. What's an introvert to me might not be an introvert to you, and vice-versa. And my perception is different of you than your perception of yourself. So you may feel like an introvert, but everyone else in the world says, "Oh my god, are you kidding? "How could you, as the host "of these CreativeLive sessions, "speaking live, broadcasting live, "how scary is that? "How could you possibly be an introvert?" Answer.
Well, I guess it goes back to what is the definition of being an introvert? And my understanding is that it's how you get rejuvenated, so maybe you can talk more to that.
Yes, I will give some definitions. But my point here, actually, is that you may feel like an introvert and nobody else thinks you are, because it has to do with perceptions, and it also has to do with what it actually means to be an introvert. Alright, so, the alternative, another way of thinking about this, is, I can learn to connect with others. Because being an introvert sometimes means isolation, sometimes mean holding back, stepping back. So one of the alternatives is connecting with others, and learning, and giving yourself the time and the space to do that. Or, how many people have said about anything, "I just can't get this right"? Raise your hand. Be honest. (laughs) Very common, right? But the self-talk is what will get you down, it will bring you down. So can you control what goes on in your head, and perhaps, I suggest, instead say something like, How can I get better at this? And the point here, actually, is that I'm just no good at this or I can't get this right, is a statement, and How can I get better at this is a question that you can ask yourself. And I do like to say that questions are the answer to everything. When in doubt, see if you can come up with a question about something. And in this case, this is a question to yourself. How can I get better at this? And then you give yourself time, and you experiment, and you learn. Here's another one. I have to give them what they're asking for. How many people have felt that way, especially at work? I just have to give them what they're asking for. Now, without being a renegade or a radical, I suggest that, instead, you can give yourself what you need. And so, I can be generous with myself and I can take the time I need, and maybe I can push back and speak up and maybe change things for the better. And, at the very least, I can do better for myself. More important, really, to not necessarily not give them, we're not saying say no, say yes, but is another language trick. How about this one? I have to do what they tell me to do. A lot of people, especially in a work environment, feel like, well, my boss told me to do this, I've gotta do it. And maybe that is the case sometimes, but how about I'm resourceful and I may come up with a better idea? That doesn't necessarily mean you have to tell that better idea to someone else, but you know within yourself that you have a better way of doing it, so you're resourceful, and then, maybe you think about who needs to hear this better idea? Who could I tell it to who could actually do something about it? And then you make the connection with that person, as opposed to nobody wants to hear what I have to say, which is, I think, part of the self-talk. And then how many people say I don't like talking about money? Everybody, thank you. How about, instead, I can ask for, and get paid, what I need, what I deserve, what I'm worth? You can ask for and get paid what you need. You can learn to negotiate. This is a skill that takes time to learn, and, if you need to, you find a better environment where they do value what you bring to the table.