How recognition of your achievements by others can build your confidence.

I got some fabulous news this week when I heard that Ice Cool Confidence is a finalist in the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards in the Best Enterprising Business category. I was thrilled. And last year too, when I won International NLP Coach of the Year it was a really great moment for me.

It’s that external recognition. This isn’t your mum or your best friend telling you you’re great (let’s face it, they will tend to say that anyway because they want you to feel good). In my case this was people who’d never even met me, looking at what I do and how I do it and coming to the decision that I do it rather well. Extraordinarily well in fact. Because they were looking for someone who did things a little extra to the ordinary. And their opinion mattered mahooosively to me.

In NLP when we work on motivation, we often work with people’s ‘Metaprograms’ – that’s kind of what makes people tick in a nutshell! And one of the things we look at is how people feel valued. Some people really get a buzz from external validation – from other people saying they’ve done well. Whereas other people are just happy knowing in themselves that they’ve done well (internal validation).  And some people need to hear it from three or four other people before they’ll even start to believe it!

When I work one-to-one with skaters we naturally work out a plan of what they want to achieve by the time we finish working together. A goal. And many of them are surprised to find they are achieving their goal very quickly indeed. Sometimes after only one or two sessions in fact and we dig a little deeper to stretch them a bit more – firstly to ensure their newfound confidence stays with them, and secondly to really put some meat on that goal and make it worth fighting for.

And then the magic happens. You see results. Mum sees results. The coach sees results and best of all, the other onlookers in the rink start noticing changes – they might be changes in levels of confidence, or a change in the attitude towards training, or simply being able to land a jump which they couldn’t for a long time. People notice, and they tell your mum or you and you feel really, really proud.

That’s the bit of my job which I love best. Hearing that someone else, quite unconnected, has noticed a change for the better, and seeing the impact of that on the lovely skater I’m coaching.

So today’s message is really for all those of you hanging around the rink, waiting for your lesson to start, or watching your child on the ice. If you notice someone doing well after a bit of a ‘dry’ spell, someone starting to blossom in their confidence after a period of demotivation, tell them what you’ve noticed. Your words of encouragement will really make their day.