What I’ve Learned from Coaching

Sandra Dillon: May 27, 2018


humanity.jpgPeople sometimes ask me what I’ve learned from my coaching practice. Although the list is long, what has most surprised me most through my professional journey is how each of my clients has drawn me closer in seeing the spirit of humanity—the fullness of what it means to be human.

I was called into this profession after decades of achieving my own personal success in Corporate America, and now I’ve entered an era where I’m purposeful helping others be successful in their relationships, work, and purpose. I’ve had the thrill of directly impacting the bottom line and now have the opportunity to affect not only my client’s lives but those of their colleagues, families, and generations to come.

Coaching helps me suspend judgment, see different worldviews, and understand the breadth of human struggles. Coaching helps me see the full definition of what it means to be human. I’m honored to see the struggle, not the facade the client may present to the world.

My clients help each other without ever having met. I sit in the middle of humanity and see lives unfold, strategies implemented, and the feedback from the world build my own database. Without revealing names or circumstances, I have perspectives that challenge faulty thinking and can share successful client strategies that may help the next client.

People tell me my coaching has been a priceless gift. They’ve been able to be authentic, known, encouraged, challenged, inspired, and see their lives change for the better. What my clients may not realize is that I too have received a priceless gift in return. My clients learn from me, and I also learn from them.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, business, and life coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

How Can Coaching Help You?

Sandra Dillon: May 25, 2018


GreatnessFrequently I’m asked what I coach on. The simple answer is quite a lot, although that’s probably not a useful answer. Most coaches focus on a niche market and clientele, and as a former business executive, who specialized in business development, marketing, and sales, I fully agree with this strategy. However, I’ve taken the road less traveled by offering a diverse range of coaching services based on my unique skill set and passion to see people grow across all dimensions of their lives. I’ve coached people in:

  1. Leadership
    • Improve ability to influence colleagues’ performance at all levels and across generational cohorts
    • Develop managerial coaching skills for coaching direct reports and teams
    • Identify and overcome personal barriers to performance
    • Cultivate stronger relationships
    • Improve communication and conflict resolution skills
    • Manage through a crisis
    • Build teams with the right skills sets and behaviors to succeed
  2. Career/Job
    • Select a job or profession aligned with preferences and strengths
    • Create a powerful resume and LinkedIn profile
    • Prepare for a job interview
    • Lead effective meetings and projects that delivers results
  3. Life
    • Create a personal, value-driven vision and mission
    • Identify core values and strengths and use for purpose and success
    • Establish and drive on meaningful goals
    • Balance work and family
    • Handle difficult situations
    • Navigate through different seasons of life (young adulthood, empty-nester)
  4. Business
    • Create a compelling vision and mission
    • Develop strategy and winning execution plans
    • Build and lead teams that deliver results
    • Identify and expand brand awareness
    • Prioritize and manage time to focus on the right things
    • Enhance productivity with limited resources
    • Develop sales and negotiation skills
  5. Financial
    • Create short-, mid-, and long-term financial goals
    • Learn budgeting and financial skills
    • Understand money mindset and how it influences decisions
    • Build a personal budget, develop execution strategies, and be accountable
    • Plan for retirement
  6. Marriage/Premarital
    • Learn effective tools to communicate and solve conflicts
    • Understand how different spousal personalities mesh and work together
    • Define and meet marriage needs
    • Blend families successfully

When clients engage me as a coach, they learn and practice new skills, competencies, and behaviors that translate into other life areas as well. Many of my clients see a holistic life improvement, even though they may have initially focused their efforts in one specific area. For example, relationship strategies in how to lead people at work are transferable to family life.

My clients have said I’ve changed their life for the better. What can I help you with? I welcome a conversation, so you can share an area you want to change. We can talk about an approach and how to get from here to there. Although I live in Houston, my clients live across the country. Skype is a wonderful tool for coaching. Don’t let distance between us stop you from getting the coaching you want.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com or engage her as your coach by reaching out for a conversation at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com

How Can Coaching Help Your Small Business?

Sandra Dillon: May 18, 2018


At times people reference business and executive coaching interchangeably without realizing they are quite different. Each contributes its own value, and when pursued together, these two types of coaching can accelerate performance. Sometimes small business owners have difficulty understanding how their leadership styles and certain competencies limit their business’s success, because they are too involved in the daily operations of the company. For this reason, executive coaching for the leader and business coaching for the team can be a powerful investment.

What is Business Coaching?

A business coach works with the leadership and their teams to define vision, mission, and/or goals that the company wants to achieve—more commonly thought of as the coaching objectives. Business coaching is typically lead by coach who has a firm understanding of the various moving parts of business (i.e. finance, operations, marketing, customer service, and sales) and how they come together to deliver a product or service that attracts target customers. A business coach doesn’t necessarily have to be an expert in the industry but should have a working knowledge of how successful businesses operate.

The coach works with the team to gather data and help evaluate the company’s operations, systems, people structures, and communications, looking for obstacles to remove, more effective methods to deploy, and resources required to improve the organization’s effectiveness.  The coach may help the team:

  • paint an accurate picture of the internal and competitive landscapes
  • help leadership perform a gap analysis from where the company stands to where it wants to go
  • develop or modify processes and systems that enhance the business operations
  • brainstorm and select a strategy
  • create a plan with a schedule of critical milestones
  • provide facilitation and accountability

Leadership decides what they do, how fast, and how involved they want the coach during the different phases of execution.

In many cases, hiring a coach to help identify the root causes of underperformance is worth the cost. You’ve likely heard the expression that sometimes it’s lonely at the top. As leaders rise in the ranks, they typically don’t receive all or accurate information of what needs to be addressed within their company. A business coach can help uncover the facts, so a company has a firm understanding with what they are dealing.

What is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching deals with the worldview, thoughts, and behaviors of a leader and how these impact his team and ultimately business performance. Executive coaching focuses on what the leader needs to acquire, shed, or change in order to achieve a personal goal, move the company in a specific direction, or prepare him for another role. Leaders will usually be coached in one or more of the following areas:

  • Identifying and developing personal strengths
  • Minimizing overuse of a strength where it may become detrimental
  • Understanding leadership style and enhancing leadership skills
  • Developing a professional presence
  • Improving collaboration and communication
  • Driving successful team behaviors

In many cases, success is proven by how people respond to the executive. Although executive coaching implies a high-ranking individual in a large organization, executive coaching is very appropriate for a small business owner. I prefer the label “professional” as opposed to “executive” coaching, because everyone can benefit from individual coaching.

What Impact Can Coaching Have?

Leaders influence work processes, cultures, and how employees feel about themselves, their work, and their employer. How employees feel is reflected in how they treat their colleagues, vendors, and customers as well as how they speak about their employer. Leaders who embrace the coaching process can realize higher self-fulfillment, see their business thrive, and have greater impact on their employees and community.

Coaching can help with:

  1. Focusing on structure/boundaries/performance issues to increase productivity while creating a positive working environment
  2. Reducing or creating processes that make doing business more efficient
  3. Empowering employees to deliver a more positive customer experience
  4. Changing leadership behaviors to reduce organizational anxiety and increase focus on what’s most important
  5. Increasing collaboration and communication to build alignment and drive faster execution
  6. Creating a more positive working culture that draws in talented employees, customers, and strategic partnerships

Executive coaching is for leaders who want to lead their businesses well. Sometimes the most effective approach is for small business owners to commit to an executive coach and then move into business coaching with their team.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in business and leadership. She coaches individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people and be the best versions of themselves and see businesses thrive. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Improve How You Communicate at Work

Sandra Dillon: May 13, 2018


CommunicationMen and women generally have different styles of communication, and when one appreciates and works with these language differentiators, they can help lead their teams to higher performance levels. Across all relationships, men tend to use their words to work through and solve problems; whereas, women are more likely than men to share their feelings to feel better about their problems and build connection. Women tend to talk out their process, while men think out their process before sharing with a group. Not surprisingly, studies show women use about 3 times more words than men do in a given day—20,000 versus 7,000. Statistics may highlight how differently men and women communicate, but they don’t capture how these differences can result in biased judgment. Sometimes judgment can lead to unintentional discrimination in the forms of exclusion from teams and projects as well as subjective performance evaluations based on behaviors that don’t resonate with the evaluator.

Hedging Language Undermines the Message

Did you know that women are interrupted 3 times more than men? Why is that? Ideally everyone should be respectful in allowing others to finish sharing their thoughts, but this isn’t always the case. I believe women tend to undermine their own success in the workplace, when they use hedging language—setups that do not offend or words that soften their position. People who use hedging language find themselves routinely starting their sentences with:

  • I think, but I’m not sure…
  • I hope you can see my point of….
  • I could be wrong, but…

Some men also use this type of language and suffer the same consequences. However, women tend use hedging language more, because they have been culturalized since childhood to be relationship builders. Another expression of the hedger is saying “I’m sorry” when “excuse me” is more appropriate for the situation. These “starters” and “phrases” don’t set people up for success in the work environment, because they discount the idea that follows.

Who Needs to Change?

Most people prefer that others communicate in the style they do; however, I propose that every employee has an obligation to communicate in a way that honors the company’s culture and colleagues without violating their own values. Employees should assess the work landscape and intentionally adjust their natural communication style to support the success of the company, business, or team. So how can men and women adjust to accommodate their differences?

I suggest that women minimize using those undermining prefaces, assert their ideas and opinions, and chose not to get offended. Men should share more about how they arrived at their ideas. They should also be more patient and not interrupt a woman until she has has completed her thoughts. Focus on generating white space—the pause between speakers. While women and men try to bridge their communication styles, both should suspend judgment in how the other communicates.

A Mentor Can Help

I’m an advocate for mentoring and coaching because of the benefits I see mentorees and coachees achieve. Sometimes even the most experienced and successful people need a coach to help them see and navigate the blind spots they’ve developed over time. Understandably, many people are more comfortable seeking mentors of the same sex. If you have the opportunity to have two mentors, or a coach and mentor, I would encourage you to seek one of each gender. I believe there will be at least a few instances where you will get a different perspective that proves invaluable.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Increase Your ROI with These Trust Behaviors

Sandra Dillon: April 17, 2018


Trust 1


The Composition of Trust

Trust: Do You Have It and How to Build It described how our intimacy level is correlated to the amount of trust operating in our personal relationships. In his study of workplace relationships, Covey (2006) asserts that trust is built by employees operating with integrity and ability. Subsequently, a high level of workplace trust favorably impacts the bottom-line.

Trust is a function of character and competency working together. Have you worked with people with whom you could share your life stories, but who couldn’t get the job done right? What about those co-workers who always deliver a flawless product or proposal but trash-talk people behind their backs? How would you rate these colleagues on the continuum of trust? You may classify each as untrustworthy, but prefer to work with one over the other based on whether you place more value on character or competency.

The Impact of Trust

When you hire and cultivate people who embody both character and competency, you have a winning formula to beat the competition, because your organization has trust flowing through its culture. Covey (2006) proposes that when trust is high, speed is high, and cost is low, with mistrust doubling the cost of doing business.  The trust formula:

(Strategy x Execution) Trust = Results

Trust becomes the multiplier for strategy and execution and reflects what we see, speak, and behave in the workplace. Increasing profits to the bottom line doesn’t have to involve another product launch or acquisition. Just increasing trust delivers increased profits. When employees trust one another, they don’t have to recover from missed deliverables, double check work for mistakes, and waste time with cover-your-ass tactics.

The two questions every employee from the C-Suite to the factory floor should ask themselves if they want to increase trust are:

  • What level of trust am I operating at?
  • How can I push the trust multiplier higher?

How to Increase Trust

If you’re wondering how you can increase bottom line results, Covey (2006) recommends 13 key behaviors that can push your trust factor higher.

  • Talk straight: tell the truth, let people know where you stand, and don’t manipulate people or facts
  • Demonstrate respect: show genuine care for others, treat people and their roles with dignity, and show kindness
  • Create transparency: share information that people can verify, be open and authentic, and don’t have hidden agendas or hide information
  • Right wrongs: don’t cover things up, apologize quickly, make restitution when possible, and demonstrate humility
  • Show loyalty: acknowledge contributions of others, don’t bad-mouth others behind their back, and don’t disclose personal information
  • Deliver results: establish a track record of making things happen, get the right things done, be on time and within budget, and don’t over-promise and under-deliver
  • Get better: be a constant learner, develop feedback systems, and thank people for their feedback while acting on it
  • Confront Reality: take on issues head-on, address the tough stuff directly, lead out courageously in conversation, and don’t skirt real issues
  • Clarify expectations: disclose, discuss, validate, and renegotiate expectations if needed
  • Practice accountability: take responsibility for results, be clear on how you’ll communicate progress, and don’t blame others when things go wrong
  • Listen first: listen before speaking to understand, don’t presume you have all the answers, and listen with your ears, eyes, and heart to find out what is most important to the people you’re working with
  • Keep commitments: say and do what you commit to, make commitments carefully, and don’t break confidences
  • Extend trust: extend trust appropriately based on the situation, risk, and credibility of the people involve, extend trust abundantly to those who have earned it, and trust conditionally to those who are earning it

I suggest rating yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how well you demonstrate the 13 key behaviors of trust. For those 2-3 behaviors where you scored the lowest, identify some specific changes you can make that would drive that behavior higher on the trust scale.  Monitor your progress and see how your colleagues respond to you.

Reference

Covey, S. (2006). The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything. New York, NY: CoveyLink.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and premarital/marriage coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

How to Get Your Life Priorities in Order

Sandra The Peoples Coach Rev 1

Client Question

I’m feeling overwhelmed, because I’m pulled in so many directions. It seems like I can’t please anyone or myself.  How do you suggest I start taking back control of my life?

Sandra’s Response

Americans are probably one of the most over-scheduled societies in the world. In my experience, over-crammed lives usually result in lower general life satisfaction because what’s most important is diluted by having too many things competing for limited time. People lead integrated lives, so the best approach in addressing your problem is to evaluate it using a multi-dimensional model, because changes in one life area will certainly impact others.  For instance, if you focus on changing careers or jobs and need to put extra time into the new position to be successful, you’ll likely have to spend less time with family or a favorite hobby.

A life coach can help you identify, assess, and understand how all areas of your life are working together and how to mitigate the natural tensions and challenges of leading a prioritized, well-balanced life. I’d first recommend completing the Wheel of Life to gauge your satisfaction with each life area. A coach can next help you create a vision for each area and understand how all the pieces work together for and against each other. You can then make intentional decisions on priorities and learn to eliminate or release those things that are holding you back from having your most fulfilling life.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com. If you would like to engage Sandra as your coach or ask a question, you can send her a message to shinecrossings@gmail.com

How to Control Spending While Living on a Budget

Sandra The Peoples Coach Rev 1

Client Question

I’m living on a budget and struggling with how to stick with my monthly allowance for dining out and entertainment. Do you have any suggestions on how I can improve my discipline in these areas?

Sandra’s Response

Living on a budget for the first time can be both uncomfortable and rewarding. Budgets can make people feel uneasy, because they typically require people to change behaviors and make sacrifices to meet long-term goals. On the positive side, budgets can be rewarding when you see your bank account grow and your money go toward your defined priorities and dreams. I congratulate you for living on a budget, because statistics show that only 1/3 of households have a budget with even fewer consistently adhering to it.

It’s not surprising that you have a few categories where you struggle with discipline. Dining out and entertainment, those fun and make-it-easy-on-your-lifestyle categories, are common ones. For these two categories, I’d suggest taking the full monthly allowance out in cash on the first of each month and putting each in its own envelope to carry with you. Use only cash for these categories, so you can visually see how much you have remaining as the month progresses. Statistics show people spend upwards of 20% more when using a credit or debit card than they do handing out bills to pay for their purchases.

If you decide to adhere to this envelope methodology, it’s also a good idea to write on the outside of the envelope any dining out and entertainment plans of which you’re already aware. Paperclip the cash for these plans together in your envelope, so you don’t spend it prematurely and get caught short.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and life coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at and www.shinecrossings.com and www.shinecrossingsministry.com. If you would like to engage Sandra as your coach, reach out to her at shinecrossings@gmail.com

Coaching: Questions to Ask a Life Coach

Sandra Dillon: February 16, 2018


life coaching 1

Previously, I talked about What to Look for in a Life Coach and now offer questions you may want to ask a coach before signing on for the journey. Criteria in selecting the best coach for you should include personal chemistry, connection, and credentials. If I was interviewing potential coaches, I would pull from this list of questions.

  1. How did you decide to become a life coach?
  2. Why did you pick life coaching versus other coaching specialties?
  3. How long have you been coaching on a full-time basis?
  4. What did you do before you became a life coach?
  5. What are your credentials for coaching?
  6. What do you like most about coaching?
  7. Without revealing any confidences, what types of coaching experiences have been most rewarding?
  8. Without revealing any confidences, what coaching experiences have been most challenging? How did you handle them?
  9. What do you need to know about me to know whether coaching would be effective?
  10. How is coaching different than counseling?
  11. Would you explain a little bit about the coaching process?
  12. What assessments are involved in the coaching process?
  13. What types of life issues do people typically engage you for?
  14. What do you do when you don’t think I might be stuck or am not making much progress?
  15. How do I know that you will keep what I share in confidence?
  16. How often do we meet for sessions?
  17. Where and how do you conduct the sessions (in-person, call, or video)?
  18. How available are you between sessions?
  19. What is the fee structure? Are you flexible?
  20. What references can you provide?
  21. What are the next steps if I decide to hire you?

These questions are by no means exhaustive, and you may think of ones that are important to your situation. I believe life coaching is a valuable tool to help people find purpose and meaning in their lives. I encourage everyone to explore whether life coaching is the right tool at the right time to define and achieve their goals.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and premarital/marriage coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Life Coaching: What to Look for in a Coach?

Sandra Dillon: February 14, 2018


Coaching Profession

Coaching has become one of the fastest growing professions, expanding beyond the ranks of sports to include life, executive, wellness, and leadership to name a few life coachspecialties. Brick-and-mortar as well as online schools are popping up and offering training and certification with a small investment of time and several thousands of dollars. These schools advertise how they can teach you to coach and build a client portfolio delivering a 6-figured salary. I’ve yet to find anything sustainable that does not require time, patience, and hard work. Without a doubt coaching can be transformational, and the responsibility lies with the client to vet a coach to find the best fit.

What I Would Look for in a Coach

Coaching helps people define and meet their goals, and coaches help clients get results. Coaches typically market themselves with certifications, degrees, and diplomas, yet a coach’s education is only one aspect of creating a successful coaching relationship. Other factors someone should consider before choosing a coach include:

  • Degree/Training/Certification: Does the coach have some form of training, formal education, or certification? Master’s degrees are available from colleges and universities. If selecting a coach based on his training, make sure he graduated from a program endorsed by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
  • Length of Experience: Many coaches hang their shingle up on a part-time basis, because it takes time to build a practice. They still have full time jobs to pay their bills, so when a coach advertises he has coached for 3 years, ask more questions regarding the amount of time he’s invested in coaching.
  • Type of Experience: Although coaching uses a general set of tools and processes, a coach who has practical experience in a specific field brings added value into that area of coaching. They’ll be able to offer suggestions if a client becomes stuck on how to navigate toward his goals.
  • Recommendations: Can the coach provide recommendations from satisfied clients? If coaching is primarily individual-based, recommendations may be more difficult to secure as clients don’t want to reveal they are coached. With business coaching, companies are usually more forthcoming with recommendations.
  • Business Legitimacy: Is the coach coaching as a hobby or business? Does the coach have a social media presence (business website, LinkedIn profile, Facebook Page)? What does it say about them? Although there are many talented coaches who approach coaching as a hobby, clients should be comfortable with the cost/reward structure.
  • Connection: Don’t underestimate the value of the coaching relationship. A coach can have all the right tools, processes, and background experience on a subject and be limited in what he can do for the client because of personality fit and connection. Liking, respecting, feeling comfortable, and being inspired by your coach is very important.

How I work with Clients as a Coach

As a Life & Leadership Coach, I approach my clients holistically because humans are multi-dimensional. Although a client may come to me to work on one specific issue such as transitioning careers, changing jobs, and learning teamwork skills to name a few, we explore what is happening in each area of my client’s life. As an example, if we’re going to work on changing careers, I need to know about his/her marriage. Why? Because we need to understand how the spouse will either support or challenge my client’s ability to change careers. Since I have a broad knowledge and experience base, I routinely coach on relationships, marriage, finances, career, jobs, business management, and time management.

I typically offer a free 30-minute call, so I can (1) answer any questions about myself, (2) understand what you are seeking from coaching, and (3) recommend how I think I can help you. During the call, you learn (1) how the coaching process works, (2) whether you are comfortable with me as a coach, (3) have any coaching questions answered, and (4) whether the fee/schedule fits.

During the first session, we typically review your Wheel of Life Assessment to understand how satisfied you are with each life dimension and how they affect each other. You then prioritize where you want to initiate improvement. Most coaches are trained not to advise and only ask open-ended questions so their clients can figure out what they want to do. In my coaching practice, I wholeheartedly drive on questions but find that clients at times need my support with brainstorming options and solutions. They also need help vetting these options against their standards and discussing approaches to get over obstacles.

Next Steps

I highly encourage people to consider coaching in an area of life that they’re struggling through. Coaching can be a powerful tool as just about any athlete can attest to.  The most difficult part is finding a talented coach you click with that can help you achieve your goals.

 [Note: The opinions and views of this article are of the author’s own and do not reflect those of any coaching organization or other coaching professionals.]


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and premarital/marriage coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Self-Confidence: Its Source And How To Grow It

Sandra Dillon: February 12, 2018

While facilitating one of my Building Better Relationships workshops, an attendee asked me, “How can I give my girlfriend the self-confidence she needs?” Depression or mental illness was not a factor—just low self-confidence, which had supposedly manifested in her not expressing what she wanted, arguments, silent treatment when she didn’t get her way, a general feeling of discontent, and lack of action toward going for what she wanted in life. My reply was, “You can’t give your girlfriend self-confidence. She has to earn it for herself.” (1)Self Confidence

What is Self-Confidence?

Self-confidence is the realistic, positive belief that you can influence your world—that you have the abilities, personal power, and judgment to overcome obstacles and get what you want in life. You’re not immune to occasional fears, doubts, and failure, but overall you trust yourself and what you can do!

Self-confidence can only be developed and sourced from within. No amount of participation trophies, positive words, or kind gestures can build self-confidence, because these are only externally applied props. These supports can be cheerleading tools and enjoyable rewards, but are not substitutes for hard work and sacrifice.

You can’t ask, beg, or pay any one any amount of money to do the hard work that it takes to build your self-confidence. What spouses, partners, friends, and family can do is be supportive by providing encouragement, brainstorming, and feedback which is akin to helping a person help himself. You’ve likely heard the expression—do with and not for.

How to Grow Self-Confidence

The only times I’ve seen self-confidence grow in adults is when they attacked challenges head-on, worked hard, worked smart, and never gave up on improving themselves and their situations. When they hit a wall, instead of turning around and giving up, they instead figured out a plan of approach to get to the other side. They found a way of either digging under it, blasting through it, crawling over it, or stepping around it.

When you get to the other side of the wall, look over your shoulder, and can honestly say to yourself, “I did that,” that is the point when your self-confidence climbs another rung on the ladder. Self-confidence increases when you put your heart, mind, and soul towards something and accomplish it, proving to yourself you can get to the other side of the wall.

Role of Family and Friends in Building Self-Confidence

When spouses, parents, and friends do for you what you should be doing for yourself, they are robbing you of the opportunity to grow your self-confidence. When they rescue you from the consequences of your decisions or actions, they’re again robbing you of a teaching opportunity that can grow you. They may not be stealing a piece of you, but they are starving you of what it means to be a fully functioning, resilient, and ultimately happy individual.

The next time someone wants to bail you out or do something you know you should be doing, I would suggest you say, “No thanks. I can do it, but I sure wish you’d keep checking in on me. I may need your support, and this is what support looks like…”

(1) Men as well suffer from poor self-confidence.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, life, and premarital/marriage coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her at www.shinecrossingsministry.com.