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Create Boundaries How much access do people have to your time and your life? Are you living the life you want, or are you living other people’s lives? Can you say, “No”, without feeling guilty? Do you feel that you need to detail reasons for your answer? Do you say “No” and then change your mind and say “Yes”, so as not to offend? Do your family, friends and colleagues feel entitled to you and your time, unfairly pushing work and responsibilities to you, or do they respect your boundaries? If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions, it’s time to draw the line and begin creating boundaries. This may be daunting at first and meet with anger and resistance, but your confidence will grow as people begin respecting your boundaries. Identify Key Improvement Areas Of In addition to the areas identified above, how else can you boost your confidence? Do you need to improve your image? What about your planning and personal effectiveness? Do you diligently meet deadlines, or do you struggle? Identify three to five areas to work on and think about the impact they will have in your life. This will help you develop commitment to follow through on them. Make A Plan And Take Action Once you know what you want to work on, list specific actions you will take. For instance a simple action towards speaking up at meetings could be deciding to speak up at least once at every meeting for the next 3 months. To improve your public speaking and communication skills you could sign up for a Presentation Skills course or join a local Toastmasters club. To increase interaction with your colleagues, you may offer to organize a team event or work on a special project. Pick something you are passionate about or naturally good at and become an expert in it. Diligently track your progress on your plan, celebrate your successes and make plans for further improvement. Don’t Give Up Building your confidence is a process. Awareness of where you are is the first step. Don’t get discouraged if your confidence levels are currently low. With hope and commitment, work on your plan persistently, despite any setbacks. Confident people love and accept themselves and work to improve themselves daily. Like and be kind to yourself. Learn and grow from your mistakes and failures. Share what you have learnt with others and support them in their journeys. Your confidence will grow. You will begin soaring, enjoy better relationships and accomplish more. Then one day you will look back on how far you’ve come and realize to your amazement, that you are indeed confident, and you will love yourself and others all the more. Caroline Mwazi is Chief Change Catalyst at Huru Consult Limited, a Nairobi based management and training consulting company focusing on Strategy & Organizational Development, Financial Management, Sales & Client Retention, Leadership & Personal Development. She can be reached at: CMwazi@huruconsult. com or Twitter @cmwazi AN ASSOCIATE OF: +254 (0) 711 272 672 | 702 606 632 DIGITAL