A simple and powerful confidence enhancing project is to build a Fabulous File.
What is it? It’s a physical file that examples of your fabulosity, big and small – client feedback, goals achieved, screenshots of comments and feedback on social media, cards received, photographs at events, anything that makes you smile and feel good about what you’ve achieved. The key is, it needs to be physical, not digital
I’ve kept one for 8 years now and it’s something I insist all of my clients create too. We all go through ups and downs in our business confidence, and my Fabulous File has proven to be a very handy tool (alongside a clear purpose, vision and mission) when I feel that nothing is turning out how it should and I’m not making the progress or having the impact I want.
Enter the Fab File.
I’d like to share three reasons why it works so well and how to get started with creating yours.
How does a Fabulous File help build your confidence?
1. It helps to combat your Negativity Bias
As humans, we tend to:
- Remember traumatic experiences better than positive ones
- Recall insults better than praise
- React more strongly to negative stimuli
- Think about negative things more frequently than positive ones
- Respond more strongly to negative events than to equally positive ones
Have you ever had feedback forms – let’s say 20 of them, 19 of which are glowing and one not quite so good…. yet you focus on that ONE negative ounce of feedback and berate yourself for not doing better?
It’s certainly happened to me. I hosted a significant live event a few years ago and received a tonne of fabulously positive feedback from the attendees. But, as can reasonably be expected in a large event, there were 2 pieces of feedback that were not quite as positive.
And that’s ALL I could see. I chose to focus on these and spent the next 2 days in something close to despair, giving myself such a hard time, feeling I’d failed and even felt I should never run it again. Helga (my Inner Critic) was having a field day with me and I was miserable. Today, I can recognise this tendency to be rather hard on myself, and wind it back. My Fabulous File has been a huge help here.
Thus, keeping track of positive experiences and feedback, times when things did turn out well, helps tip the scales back in balance.
It helps you to confidently Reverse Gap yourself
We have forgetteries rather than memories! And this has us focusing on how far we have to go to achieve all of our goals, rather than looking back and appreciating how far we have come. This reverse gapping process provides what I call “Future Fuel” – the burst of energy, resilience and inspiration to continue taking the consistent action that moves us towards our vision.
Keeping evidence of your progress and achievements is a vital part of successful reverse gapping, so you’re not relying on that forgettery. We tend to overestimate what we can achieve in a year and underestimate what we can achieve in 3 – reverse gapping keeps us connected to steady progress and bursts of brilliance.
It also encourages you to celebrate yourself and your achievements.
It provides evidence of your capabilities
By far the biggest discourager you’ll have to deal with in business is your own Inner Dialogue – the voice of your Inner Critic (that’s my Helga!)
Your Inner Critic tends to be repetitive and discouraging and she can say many less than supportive things that basically all boil down to the same basic message;
NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Especially if you compare yourself to others, which is so easy to do in today’s social media-driven environment.
I have a whole system for escaping the Comparison Trap, of which your Fab File is just one piece. But for now, know that having tangible evidence examples of when you HAVE achieved – even when it is not strictly business, is very effective at quietening this voice. It also helps enormously with combating Imposter Syndrome too. My own Fabulous File has a great many business achievements, but it also holds cards from my kids and husband, photos of holidays and more.
Self-worth is the key to your success
I believe self-worth underpins self-belief and confidence. It’s your foundation. It means having a favourable opinion or estimate of yourself. It means having unshakable faith in yourself and in your ability to follow through and get things done.
In essence, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.
The great news is that we ALL have examples of setting goals and making things happen in our life – even if not yet in the business arena. Achievement is transferable.
So, get started today. Gather that evidence (this in and of itself is inspiring and uplifting!). Print out the feedback and emails. Pull the cards and photos out of the drawer. Collect it all and keep it in the one spot.
At first, my Fab File was just in a manilla folder. Today I’ve filled a great, big box to the brim and whenever Helga tries to discourage me, whenever I’m feeling doubt, whenever I need to remind myself why I do what I do, I roll around in my Fabulous File for awhile, build my confidence again, and invariably feel a whole lot better.
And I know you will too.