Small changes equal big differences. What if I told you that you don’t need to overhaul your life, find extra hours in the day or get up at the crack of dawn to make those changes? What if I told you that by consciously committing 60 seconds out of the 86,400 seconds available to you daily, that you could grow in confidence? What if you could do this by making small subtle changes? Like pausing Netflix for one minute before a binge session? Or putting down your phone before scrolling your social media feed? Here at A Career to Love HQ, we believe in the power of 60 seconds. You don’t have to do each one every day. Choose one or two of the following ideas to work on and see your confidence build.
By spending 60 seconds per day writing about the good, the bad and the ugly you learn to own your feelings and emotions. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, sloppiness or even making sense. Instead focus on getting your words, thoughts and feelings down on paper. Then ask yourself ‘What did I learn today?’, and use phrases like ‘The reason I did that was’, ‘I now realise’, ‘Next time I will’, ‘Today it struck me’.
At the end of the week take your musings and tear them up, put them in the shredder, add them to your fire or the BBQ, start a blog, keep them for yourself or share them with your mentor. The point of this exercise is to move from thinking to understanding and learning rather than brooding or worrying.
When you find yourself flustered, panicked, upset, frustrated, aggravated or irritated, switch your focus. Take your shoes off, if you can, sit up straight and place your hands on your knees. Focus on your breath for 60 seconds. Breathe in and as you count to four. Breathe out and repeat. Focus only on your breathing. It’s harder than it sounds and your mind will wander. When it does refocus. At the end of the 60 seconds ask yourself ‘What options do I have?’ ‘Who can I ask for help?’ ‘What are 3 alternatives solutions to the problem?’. Focused breathing helps you to recalibrate your emotions.
Learning something new supercharges your confidence. Pick a topic, skill or area of personal interest and indulge it. Want to improve your vocabulary? Sign up to Merriman Webster Dictionary App. Curious by nature? Find out about any topic imaginable through Curiosity. Read 10 pages of that book sitting unread on your bedside locker. Want to learn a new language? Download Duolingo. Make a start, take 60 seconds to open your mind, explore an idea and build your knowledge.
Listen to music. Turns out that music has the power to stir emotions that improve well-being. Studies show that people who listen to music have an increased ability to fight depression, have healthier immune systems and the resilience to reduce anxiety. Pop in your headphones and listen to music that you love, that makes you smile, that lifts your heart or that stills your mind.
The value of exercise is well known. And we all understand that we need more. What we don’t all realise is the difference between exercise and movement. Sitting at your desk for 8 hours per day is so bad for you that it was recently described as the new smoking. So, every hour, on the hour, move. Walk while on the phone, take a stroll outside or climb the stairs. By moving for just 60 seconds every hour you increase your productivity, boost your heart rate and reduce your chances of long-term health problems.
Say ‘Thank You’, ‘Hello’ or ‘How are you?’ to a friend, a colleague or a family member. Organise a coffee, arrange to meet for lunch or dinner or make a date to catch up. Buy beautiful cards and a few stamps. Take 60 seconds to pen a short note to somebody who has been kind to you, helped you or inspired you in some way. Not alone will you feel great for doing it, the recipient will be elated. Gratitude, from a psychology perspective, is considered one of the most important factors in both happiness and success.
Remember, to design your own version of success or somebody else will and you might not like it. Take control of your career, you will not regret it.
By Sinead Brady