I’ve been saying this all week, but the best way to build confidence is to set goals! By setting (and achieving) your goals, you’ll become more confident.
If I want to be a confident speaker, then I have to get out there and practice. I might start by speaking to a small group–even if it’s scary! I might speak to a few small groups, getting better every time I go (even if there are some spectacular failures along the way). Pretty soon, the nervous feeling starts to go away. I’m ready to speak to a larger group and/or to tackle a more challenging topic.
Setting goals is like creating a road map to help you get to your “destination.” If I don’t set a goal with specific action steps, then I likely won’t even start–especially for something as scary as speaking! Instead of going to a speaking event, I’ll choose to sleep in or watch Netflix.
The focus of this post is what to do once you have your goals. As SLPs, we are pros when it comes to writing SMART goals; however, sticking with the goals is a whole other story!
Here are my top five tips when it comes to sticking with goals:
1. Schedule Time
Break your goal down. Determine action steps and schedule time to make it happen! Yes, actually write it in your planner/calendar!
2. Review Your Goals
I set time to check in every week. I monitor my progress (just like we do for our students!) and make sure I’m doing what I need to do to keep moving forward.
3. Embrace Failure
As Thomas Edison said, “Every failure is a lesson.” It is a stepping stone to something better. If you’re trying to implement curriculum-based therapy at your school, the first teacher you reach out to may completely shut you down. Instead of completely giving up on the goal, look at it as a learning opportunity. What can you do better next time?
If you do this every single time you fail, then you’ll be amazed at how much progress you make!
4. Stay Positive
Even though you may do some things that are uncomfortable in pursuit of your goals, you’re going to stick with it. You care about your students. You want the best for them. You’re willing to get outside your comfort zone to give your students what they need.
Focus on what you will achieve and remember to celebrate failure as a learning opportunity. (You can’t get any more positive than that, can you?!)
5. Don’t Wait for External Validation
Remember your why and don’t let other people–especially those who are negative–take away your confidence and motivation to achieve your goals. You set this goal for a reason, and you’re on your way to achieving it.
Have a tip to share! Let us know in the comments!