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Managing Between the Ears
Episode 1418th January 2024 • The Talent Trade • Southwestern Family of Podcasts
00:00:00 00:16:38

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Hear about the 5 areas to look for when building your confidence up in an uncertain market, the unexpected role of physical fitness and spirituality in recruiting, and more, all designed to get you out of your own head at work.

Discover what sets ThinkingAhead apart, hear stories from recruiters, and browse opportunities by clicking here.

Transcripts

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Hi, this is Stephanie Maas.

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Partner with ThinkingAhead Search.

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Welcome to The Talent Trade.

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Today, I want to talk on the softer, but equally as important side of running a search desk.

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We talk about the four pillars of search are recruiting, marketing, planning, and managing The head game for us to have a truly, I'm not going to say stress free, but stress less career and a hundred percent commission sales.

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While you absolutely have to put things into action, like recruiting and marketing and planning.

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A big part of what else we do is managing what's between the ears, managing our heads.

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A couple of months ago, I had an opportunity to sit through some training where it talked about confidence and when you feel under confident, how do you Build your confidence.

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And I've been doing this for a long time.

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In fact, it's been over 20 years going on almost 25 years.

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And you know what?

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It doesn't happen as much as it used to, but I still get under confident when the market softens and I'm not as successful.

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In searches, as I have been in the past, I'm not going to tell you that my mind doesn't think, oh, crap.

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Have I lost my edge now?

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Again?

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I've been here a long time.

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It doesn't happen as much as it used to.

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And I share that to give you hope that if you're new in your career.

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And you feel very underconfident and you're thinking, Oh my gosh, I'm always going to feel like this.

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You're not.

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If you do these things, you absolutely will not.

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But there are times no matter what that you're going to lose your confidence.

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And when you do what's critically important.

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Is that first and foremost, you just acknowledge it.

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Second of all, is that you put into action things that help you gain your confidence back regardless of your production.

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Production will come with time.

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It always does.

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If you're doing the right things consistently over time.

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But it doesn't often happen on a dime, especially not in a complex, sophisticated sales cycle like executive search.

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So here's what I learned about confidence.

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There are typically several areas in our life where we can garner confidence.

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Work productivity is absolutely one.

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We can garner it from our spiritual life if you have one.

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We can garner it from our physical life, how we take care of ourselves.

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We can garner it from our mental health, how we take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally, and we can garner it through how we spend time with others.

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So I want to touch on each of those just to give some thoughts and ideas.

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But the biggest encouragement is to take those five areas.

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And really spend some time getting to know yourself, figure out what do I do to make myself feel good when I am feeling physically good.

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So we're going to break down all five of these in that way.

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First and foremost, we are going to start with work productivity.

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So in executive search, there's a lot we cannot control.

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We can't control other people.

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We can't control if someone's going to take a job or not.

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We can't control if we're going to get engaged on a search.

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We can't.

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There's so much people change their mind.

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Situations change.

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Companies go on hiring freezes.

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There's layoffs.

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I mean, if somebody shows up as an internal referral halfway through our search, I mean, there's a million and one things that we cannot control.

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So to try and put our confidence in something that we can't control is not going to help our situation.

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I have found that there are two things that from a work productivity perspective, we can control and that's it.

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And here they are.

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Super simple.

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First and foremost is our work habits.

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Now for a lot of us, and recruiters are really good at this.

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We can convince ourselves that we are working very hard.

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We work so hard.

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I'm up first thing in the morning.

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I work after the kids go to bed.

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I mean, I work so hard.

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What we forget to account for, if we're not careful, is the hour we spent mindlessly scrolling on LinkedIn under the guise of doing research, the 30 minutes we bantered with a colleague on, you know, teams, uh, Instagram, TikTok, whatever, whatever your distraction of choice is.

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So while it might appear you're working tremendously hard, you've got so many other things that you're doing that when we really boil it down, you're working, but you're also doing a lot of other things.

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And when you know that, even if your conscious mind doesn't recognize it, your subconscious And that will pull at our confidence.

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So what I encourage you to do is to build in as much objectivity to your quote unquote work effort as possible.

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We here at thinking ahead, we track things like phone calls, phone time.

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We track our marketing.

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Calls are marketing connections.

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We track our submittals, our sendouts, our followups, our monthly search assignments.

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We try, you know, all these numbers, which again, I hear a lot of people say, well, I'm not really a numbers person.

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Hey man, I get it.

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I'm not either, but I know.

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From a work effort perspective, if I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing, when I'm supposed to be doing it, it will pull at my confidence.

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I keep it super simple.

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For me, my confidence comes from, I make 10 calls by 10 a.

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m.

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Because to me, the most important part of my job is getting on the phone.

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So when I come into work, that's the most important thing I can do is get on the phone ASAP.

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For me?

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And again, these are my numbers.

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You figure out yours.

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I want two search assignments a month, a minimum of six send outs a month.

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I also am hoping in working hard to find one NPC a month, and that's it.

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And I look at this every single day and I know exactly how I'm tracking every single day.

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This is what gives me confidence that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing when I'm supposed to be doing it.

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The other thing I do every day is I plan for me.

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I need to know.

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Before I can go to bed at night, what my day looks like the next day, otherwise I'm mental mushroom all night.

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I get stressed.

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I don't sleep well and that's a whole nother issue.

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So planning is a big part of what I do every day to feel good about my work effort.

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Second part of that is your attitude.

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Now I don't care where you, what you choose your attitude to be.

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In fact, I know some of the most negatively positive people.

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In the world, man, you talk to them, everything is off.

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Something hurts.

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The world's not right.

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This and this and that.

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But if you talk to them long enough, ultimately they still have hope.

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And that is their attitude of, yes, all of these things may be going wrong.

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But they can still find something good to hope for.

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That works for them.

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For some people, it's the, you know, Tony Robbins, you know, rah, rah, affirmations, you know, whatever the case may be, if that works for you, that is incredible.

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Keep it up.

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For me, it's simply having an attitude of gratitude, being able to find something thankful regardless of whatever is happening.

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Yes, sometimes I have to fake it.

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Yes, sometimes I have to say things like, I can't believe I ate those two cookies.

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I literally feel sick.

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I don't like the way it feels.

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I wish I hadn't had all those calories.

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But you know what?

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I'm grateful that I've learned this and tomorrow.

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When it comes time to choosing if I'm going to eat another cookie or not, I'm going to think twice about whether or not I'm going to have one or two cookies, or I might even get crazy and have zero cookies.

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Think about that.

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That works for me.

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It is super simple, but if I can find something to be thankful for in every or in any negative part of my day, that helps me keep an attitude of gratitude.

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So there's a couple of thoughts on your work effort, um, physicality.

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I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about this.

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The next couple are super personal, but I think we just need to bring some consciousness and awareness to our physicality.

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What are we putting in our bodies?

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How are we moving our bodies?

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How are we sleeping?

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Just bring an awareness to it.

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Obviously y'all know I eat cookies cause I just told you I did.

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And sometimes I eat too many cookies in one sitting.

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It's not actually my biggest vice.

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My biggest vice is cake, but I'm working on that.

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So I don't really want to talk about that.

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Anyway, but are you aware of what you're putting in your body and how it makes you feel?

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Are you aware of how you're moving your body or if you're even moving your body?

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And how do you feel?

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Are you getting sleep at night?

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That's huge.

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And how are you feeling about your sleep?

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Are you sleeping?

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Are you resting?

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Or are you laying there in an anxious ball of stress?

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But when you bring awareness to it, you might eventually lead to things that may have you make different or better decisions that again.

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Bring you confidence.

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That's the whole point.

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It is about bringing you confidence.

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When I'm having a really rough, crappy day, sometimes there's this part of me that wants to just grind it out.

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I read a book called, I think it was called softer, not harder or something like that.

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And the whole idea behind the book is stop white knuckling your way through life.

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In fact, learn to relax your hands.

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And you will find that things often come a little bit easier.

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So for me with a physicality, if things are really stressing me out, if I can go outside and get some sunshine or just move my body, get up from my desk, and this is something we encourage new hires at thinking ahead at some point during your day.

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Get up from your desk, walk away, go engage another part of your brain so that you can come back in 30 minutes to an hour Refreshed and not so white knuckled.

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This will help tremendously.

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Spirituality.

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Again, super personal.

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I don't care what works for you.

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But whatever it is, again, let's bring some awareness to it.

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What am I doing for the health of my spirituality?

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Again, whatever that looks like.

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Um, I know folks that are devoted yogis and for them, that's where they find their center, that's where they find they're calm.

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Um, I have a business colleague that I really respect and he has practiced Tai Chi for years on end, and that's what brings him.

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Peace.

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So again, the idea is what is your spirituality?

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Bring awareness to it and be aware if there's any changes around that that can bring you confidence My sister and I talk all the time about our faith and that we know for us we are becoming Misaligned when we can't find peace When we're struggling and we're having a hard time finding peace, we know we're trying to be in control of something that's not ours to be in control of, and we need to give it up.

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That works for us.

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You use whatever works for you.

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Again, the idea is building in confidence.

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In multiple ways through your life, both at work and not that when you are feeling under confident, you can go and say, Hey, I'm feeling under confident.

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Let me look at all the things that make me well rounded and see where if I'm feeling really under confident work, what can I do somewhere else to pull confidence from until that changes?

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Or if I'm feeling really under, under confident in this way, where can I pull from another way?

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etc.

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This is also something if anyone struggles from imposter syndrome, something that can really help with that.

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The other thing is the people you surround yourself with.

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So I think that's critically important is to bring a lot of awareness to who you're spending time with.

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When, when you're really confident and on your game, do you have the same influences from relationships?

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As to when you're not, sometimes when we're off our game, we like to hang out with the negative Nancy's.

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I don't feel good.

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I'm gonna go be around other people that don't feel good because misery loves company.

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For some of us, it's when we feel under confident, we go hang out with other people that are under confident so we can try and hide.

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My challenge is bring awareness.

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And my hope is that you build around you relationships and people that no matter where your confidence is at, they make you feel better in a truly healthy way by being around them versus not.

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It's a lot.

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To try and absorb, especially if any of this is new to you, so don't try and absorb it all at once.

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Just start bringing awareness to the different areas.

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And then when you start to feel under confident, say, okay, where's my under confidence coming from?

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Where else can I pull strength and confidence from until I get back to being my normal, healthy, confident self?

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The other one I didn't talk a whole lot about is your mental health.

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One of the things I'm super grateful for right now is that we are at a time in our society where folks are talking about mental health more than I think we have ever talked about it.

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Things like therapy is more accepted than it has ever been accepted in our entire life.

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Again, It's a whole topic on itself that quite frankly, I'm not educated enough to speak to, but I encourage you to start bringing awareness to your mental health and how it affects your confidence.

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One of the things that I'm always super incredibly inspired and surprised by are some of my favorite.

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People in the world, both the ones I know really well, and the ones I know through books they've written or lectures they've given or TED talks is you just think they have it all figured out.

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But once you get to know them, you really start to see the mental health issues that they've struggled with.

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And it makes me awestruck, like what?

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They seem like they have it all together.

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But then they become inspiring because you start to learn what they've done to give them confidence to get through times when they weren't as confident.

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Or you just simply learned that they're not always confident, but they have a system, they have programs, they have things that they do to help bolster their confidence when they need it.

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And that's what this is about.

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It's so much about managing our head game.

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And all the things that make us confident when we don't feel confident and when we don't feel confident, even if we're rocking at work, we won't be able to appreciate our success.

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And let's be honest, this job is tremendously difficult, tremendously rewarding.

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I wouldn't have chosen any other one.

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I absolutely love it, but anything that we can do to help us feel better.

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And I mean, in a deeply satisfying, joyful way is going to help us at work and help us manage the incredibly difficult head game of working in a highly complex.

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Sophisticated sales cycle, but it's also 100 percent commission.

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