Webinar presenter Marc Hildebrand answered a number of your questions after his presentation, How to Master Your Self-Confidence: Lessons for Criminal Justice Professionals. Here are just a few of his responses.
Audience Question: Is Marc’s self-confidence at 10 or does he still feel like there’s room to evolve? And how does he recommend retreading the tire, so to speak, in areas that start to feel a little bit shaky?
Marc Hildebrand: I’m never at a level 10 in anything that I do. When it comes to coaching when it comes to leading, and especially when it comes to self-confidence. Because I have, like everybody else out there, have a human brain, and my human brain can convince me not to do things. It can convince me that I’m not confident enough that I’ll look like everybody else, all of these things I’m teaching you guys and talked about in this webinar are because I struggled with it for a long time, and I have gotten a majority of control over it. Now, there are still moments where I lacked that are still moments where I’m like, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this. Like, recently, we’re talking about this offline, but I’m leaving my police career of 20 years to be a full-time life and legacy coach for leaders at home. And so that even in it itself kind of like creates a little bit of fear inside of my body. It’s like, “Well, I’ve never done this before. I literally grew up my whole life, trying to become a police officer. Like, What am I doing? I’m leaving all of these things on the table, something that I’ve been able to develop and all these skills,” and that is my head voice, we didn’t really dive into this, that is my head voice, trying to keep me safe. It’s trying to say, “Yeah, but you’ve done this in the past, so you can keep doing it, and you’ll be safe.” But my heart, which is the place of the future, says no. There are a lot of people that you can make an impact. You can make an impact in the police field, and you can even make an impact outside of the police field. What could you do if you made an impact to like the families of the officers, right? Because for me, personally, when I was going through burnout and overwhelm and constantly working, my family was on the back burner and so was my health. But what can I do if I help police officers, and I help law enforcement professionals, and I help people in the criminal justice, to start taking care of themselves, and start taking care of their families, and start developing their self-confidence? That’s like exponential. Like, it can help so many more people in this realm, right? So, going back to that, like, I have that same feeling of lack of confidence in certain areas of my life too, and when that happens there are a couple of things that I do. Number one is I find that the story that I’m telling myself, that’s just not true. The things that are actually fueling me to not want to get after it, right? It’s like, “Well, this is a bad decision because my mom is going to think, ‘What are you doing? You’re leaving like a really good career,’ right? And so, I go back into that. I’m like, “Why am I trying to tell myself that story? Oh, that’s right. Because it’s getting me to not take action, It’s getting me to stay over here in the safe, right?” And then, so instead, I can lean into other things. The stories that actually fuel me. And the second thing I do is make sure that I fuel what’s going in. Like, I say, good input, good output; bad input, bad output. Some of those inputs are like videos, some of those inputs are podcast, some of them is books, and a lot of them are people, mentors, coaches, people. Here’s the thing I didn’t, I didn’t really hit on this. And, Ryan, powerful, powerful question, thank you for bringing this up. It’s like, sometimes we don’t believe, and there’s no amount of webinar, no amount of me giving you these steps that are going to get you to fully believe in yourself right now. That’s when you need the power of a mentor because you get to ride on the coattails of somebody else who does believe in you. Now, for me, personally, that’s like my wife. So, she was coming in here, she was taking a couple of pictures while we were doing the webinar. Just so I can share them on social media, but that woman believes in me no matter what. And when I have those feelings like I’m not good enough, I don’t know what’s going to happen if I do this, I go over to her, and I say, “What do you think about this?” And, before I know it, she has my spirits pulled up because she believes, in me no matter what. No matter what happens on the outside, no matter what’s going on, internally inside my brain. And, so, having somebody like that, whether it’s a coach, a mentor, a support person, whatever that is, that’s where I lean on because I know that I can only do so much myself. I literally have a book called Mastering Your Life through Self-Coaching. You can’t coach yourself through everything, it’s just not possible. There’s not a universal thing that somebody can coach themselves through everything. We have the behind-the-scenes view of everything that’s going on, and that’s why I find somebody in those moments of weakness to lean on. That really do believe in me, and they really care for me, and I really respect them, and I make sure I surround myself with them, so I can ride on their coattails until I do believe in myself. But here’s the last caveat to this. Sorry, Ryan for the long answer. Once you start riding on somebody else’s coattails you have to also extend your coattails to somebody else that doesn’t have the belief in themselves either. Guys, it’s so easy to believe in other people, we see the potential. We see the possibility. It’s like our kids. Like, my son comes up to me. He goes, “Dad, I really want to be an entrepreneur when I grow up.” Like, I’m going to say, “Yes, you are going to build a rocket. I’m going to be here to help you.” You’re going to be doing incredible things for people, right? It’s so easy to believe in our kids, right? We just have to have that same level of belief in ourselves. But until we do, we can find people who believe in us so we can write their coattails just as long as we’re willing to reach out, and grab somebody, so that they can use our coattails until they get up to the level that we’re at too.
Audience Question: A common issue I run into is receiving generic and unspecific feedback from managers in regard to my professional development. Is there anything else I can be doing to encourage more honest, and specific feedback?
Marc Hildebrand: Yes, two things. Number one is really ask powerful questions. So, in terms of like, how you approach people, if you approach people, depending on the questions you asked, “What did I do wrong?” or something like that. Like, they’re not necessarily going to want to share. It’s called creating psychological safety, like an environment of psychological safety. So, if you ask a question of like, “Hey, thank you so much. Like, I’m really looking for some ways that I can improve because I’m looking to become an even better a leader? Is there anything that you see, anything at all? I will not take it in the wrong way, I just want to listen because I want to constantly get better, and I know I have to ask for feedback from you, but I would totally be like, I really respect you. I would really love it if you could just share a few different things that you would do for me to continue to develop.” So, that’s the first part, which is asking really great questions and framing them in a way that doesn’t make it feel weird or awkward, right? But the second thing is you have to take it as positive, constructive feedback. If you ask people to provide feedback, and then you get upset and frustrated, and then they can tell from your body language that you’re upset about the fact that you’ve done that. They’re not going to do that again. So, you have to have the ability to ask them those questions. Those tough questions, by the way, those “I really appreciate that and I really respect that you said, I did all those things, but what are some of the things that I can improve on? I really want to constantly improve and become a better leader. What do you think I can do? I know you’re a great leader. And if you could pass on any of that, that would be super helpful to me.” And then they say, “Oh, you know what? You can do this and this and this,” I’d be like “Thank you so much, I’m definitely going to use that in my next presentation, we’ll have this conversation again, or the next time that I do this situation, next time I write this report, the next time I do whatever.” And then the next time you do it, you show them, and you’re like, “Hey, you gave me that recommendation, this is what I did! Do you think I did a good job? Like, how can I do this even better next time?” And so, it creates this environment, this loop of you asking for feedback, and then you are taking feedback in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re pushing them away. About your family, it’s the same exact thing. If you want your kids to bring you situations that, like, when people try to sell them drugs, when people try to like, convince them to do things that they shouldn’t do, when people try to convince them to steal if you want them to actually tell you that, when they do, you cannot overreact. If you’re overreacting, you’re basically teaching them don’t ever do that again. This is the same thing that we can do with our bosses, the people that we ask for feedback. It is really asking for critical feedback and when they give it to us, we go down the rabbit hole of negativity and being upset and we show frustration, right? We’re like, “Well, yeah, but you don’t do that.” You can see how you’re basically teaching your boss not to do that anymore. So that’s that process of just rinsing and repeating. Is this going to work the first time you ask them? Maybe not. Maybe you’re just going to be like, hey, that’s cool, if you don’t have anything this time. Next time, could you do me a huge favor, and just jot down some things that I could do better so that the next time they do have some ideas? Because sometimes people aren’t spending that much attention on the things that they can do better. Maybe you’re just excelling in those things, but when you draw attention to it by, by people like talking to them about it beforehand, like, “Hey, the next time that I do this. Could you take a look because I really want to become better? I want to become a better leader. I want to become better at whatever.” Then they’re going to be more open to doing that next time. So, does that makes sense?
Audience Question: How can you help prevent law enforcement colleagues from seeing self-confidence as arrogance, especially in order to preserve crucial working relationships?
Marc Hildebrand: I would actually ask for a situation where they feel like they have portrayed confidence and that somebody has taken it in a different direction. And the reason why is because we can only control ourselves, right? We can only control the way that we show up and the way that we act. That being said, feedback is an important part of the process. But remember, the other person has their own stories, they have their own interpretations, they have their own ideas, maybe, even, like, about the way that you used to be. This happens a lot, whenever you have people in a relationship, and one person starts to change or to grow. It makes you feel like, “Wow, I know this person, They’ve always done it this way, and now they’re doing it this way, so maybe they feel like they’re too good.” So, it could be some interpretation from that. And so, what I would do is I would ask more questions about, like, “Ok, what happened? What was the situation?” So that I can really find and pinpoint, like, “Is it the fact that I am being a little bit too like that?” Or is it the fact that it was their interpretation? Sometimes, you can actually lead with that and you can lead with like, “Hey, I don’t want this to sound like I’m a little bit too overconfident or anything…” and then you can just bring that into your message, or whatever it is that you’re trying to convey if you’re starting to get that kind of pushback. But if it’s just one person, it’s probably their filter that they’re running it all through. And so really just asking yourself those questions of like, “Ok, was I really like that? How did everybody else feel like? Were there other people in the room?” and they were like, “Oh, no, this is totally cool, but this one person had that interpretation…” because so many times where we can do as a leader, we start to make what other people their behaviors mean something about us. We start to make their feedback mean something about us and it’s not. Remember it always interprets through them. Even when we have opinions of other people. It’s also based on our past, off of our own beliefs. You don’t realize that, but it’s not really about that other person, It’s about our own interpretations, and when you realize that that’s actually happening with other people, it kind of gives you this feeling of like, “Maybe I can look at this. Maybe I can ask myself a couple of questions to see what it might be.” But also, I’m not going to put so much emphasis on that. Because, once again, that will get me into not taking action again. It’ll get me into not taking, or developing more self-confidence, right? And by doing that, you’re actually using that head voice of yours to get yourself to, “Next time, I won’t say those things. Next time, I won’t stand up. Next time, I won’t do this.” But when you continue to do it anyway, you continue to develop that self-confidence. Maybe that person feels a lack of confidence in themselves. And now they see you doing it. And now they’re like, “You know what? If he or she is doing it, then I can do it, too.” And then we get to raise up other leaders. Now, there are times when people start to sense some arrogance. There are times when we could take it a little bit too far. Remember we’re humans, we make mistakes, right? And if you do, like, think about this, and you’re like, oh, wow, I was a little bit too aggressive. Then, you can make a decision If you want to change that, or not. But that’s your decision, not based on what somebody else says. Because if we run our lives by that, what other people think, or other people say, or the behaviors that they do making, it means something about us, we’ll be living small. And we don’t want to live small, right? We want to live big.
Audience Question: Once we adopt your suggestions in this webinar, how long might it take to start noticing a difference?
Marc Hildebrand: How long do you got? That’s my question. Because this is not something built in a day, like leadership, it’s built every single day that you continue to step up, and you become the leader that you were meant to be, right? It’s taking those actions day after day. I really would love it if everybody takes this stuff, and they take action on it consistently all the time. But that’s not how the human experience is. There are going to be times when you do rock it for a little bit and then maybe you don’t and then you do, it’s all about the progression from all the times beforehand. I remember reading the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear and he talks about habits. And it comes like every day that you do that thing is just one more vote of confidence in yourself, but he talks about it like an ice cube. He says, “Let’s say you have an ice cube. It’s 28 degrees inside this room, so it’s 28 degrees. At 29 degrees, what changes with the ice cube? Like nothing, right? 30 degrees, 31 degrees. 32 degrees, the ice cube starts to melt.” And he says, “Is it the last degree they made the difference, or is it all the ones before that that led to that change?” And that’s really how self-confidence is. It’s like as you continue to develop, you develop this inside first, and then the outside catches up. One of the quotes I use in the beginning is, “Your outward success is a reflection of your inner growth.” Guys, when I lost 100 lbs I started working out the first week. I did not lose a massive amount of weight, I did not feel the energy. I felt like there was maybe no change at all. It was what I did over time that before I knew it, I woke up one day and I’m like, “How did I end up losing 100 lbs.?” And it’s because it’s those micro-moments that you take, the actions that you want to take to develop that self-confidence, that before you know it, you’re displaying it to everybody else. So, a lot of times when I know my brain does this is like, “How long is it going to take, how long before I see results?” And really, we need to reframe that in terms of like, “How far can I go? How far can I take this? How many people can I impact?” Because as you go, your self-confidence is going to be continually building and building and building and building, and before you know it, you’re going to be like, “I don’t know what happened, but I am a much more confident person.” But remember, it starts inside This is an inside game, right? And when the inside changes, the outside changes eventually, right? Just like when you plant a seed, you have all of the roots that are growing under the ground. And then you have a little sprout up, right? And you’re like, “Oh, man, like I put us all this energy and effort into it, the sunlight and the rain, and the water, and like the soil, like what’s going on?” You don’t realize that. All of these things have to take hold on the inside, and then the outside can catch up. And that’s really how self-confidence works. It starts internally, and you have to be willing to say, “I’m going to do it however long it takes, everyday guys, I’m here trying to develop my self-confidence every day. Every opportunity that I have to speak in front of people to teach, to train, to do a YouTube video. That’s an opportunity for me to check that box. And I’m like this is an indefinite checking of the box. And when you, when you actually lead, with that you’ll, you’ll be amazed at how quickly it turns around. Because you’re not focused on how, quickly, right? Because if you’re focused on how quickly, it’s not going to be as quick as you want. It never is, right? Anything that we’ve ever been able to achieve? It’s never been as quick as we want it, right? And that’ll get us trapped into thinking that maybe we should try something else, right? Instead, stay consistent with it. And that’s what will help build you up to that level of self-confidence, where you feel that complete amount of self-confidence, even though you feel the fear.
Audience Question: I would like to know, are there any podcasts are books that you’d recommend to encourage self-confidence, other than, of course, your own?
Marc Hildebrand: What I would recommend is, as you’re like listening to different podcasts, like, even if you’re listening to my modern leadership podcast. Sometimes, a different podcast will kind of like pop up on the bottom that is similarly related. But here’s the thing, when it comes to self-confidence, is, as we’re consuming things, as you’re reading a book, as you’re listening to a podcast, you have to find out how it resonates with you. How many of you guys are like, There’s one book on the planet and this is the best book and everybody should read it. And some of you guys, it’s like Atomic Habits, for some of you guys, it’s like Extreme Ownership, for some of you guys, It’s like 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. These are just books that I know, right? And you’re like, No, this is like the book that speaks to me. It has to really resonate and speak to you. Yes, I love podcasts that talk about like not only physical and mental health but also mindset, coaching-based podcasts, and leadership-based podcasts. But when you go through and you start listening to some, you have to see if that person really resonates with you. Because there’s going to be some podcasts, there’s going to be some people on social media that like everybody looks up to, and when you hear or see them, like, it doesn’t resonate with you. And instead, it kind of like makes you feel like less than. Have you ever had that, where you’re like scrolling social media and you see a profile picture, some kind of photo and it just makes you feel like the energy was sucked out of you, and then sometimes you’re like doing that, and you’re like this fuels me, this like, fires me up, this gets me excited. You grab onto that, alright? And that’s the kind of podcast that you listen to, that’s the book you read. Don’t force a book or force a podcast or force a video, because your friend said that it would be a really good video if it doesn’t really resonate with you and fire you up. Remember, this stuff is all contagious, and if you find, when I listen to this podcast, when I listen to this YouTube channel, when I listen to this course, it fires me up, I go out there, I take massive action, and I do things that I’ve never done before because I’m willing to like go out there and get after it. Then keep listening to that. But if you’re also like, you know what, I listen to this, and it’s based on self-confidence, and I don’t feel more confident when I listen to it, I’m thinking about like how constantly. I’m not good enough to even listen to this podcast. Then don’t listen to it. Find one that really fuels you. There are so many incredible podcasts that are out there, that you can really use to fuel you. I’m actually going to look at my podcasts right now to tell you some of the ones that I listen to. I listen to Brooke Castillo from the Life Coach School, She has a really great podcast about life coaching. She’s the one who originally taught me how to become a life coach. I listen to the Dad Edge podcast because, for me, I want to become a better father, and a better husband all the time. And then I listen to a couple of different ones. Of course, my wife, her podcast is Organized Chaos. But I have like just a collection of different podcasts that fuel me and afterwards, I feel like, “Yes, I’m ready to go out and ready to get after it.” So find those for you based on what you love, what you enjoy, what you want to grow, and how you want to grow. And if you find those, subscribe to them and keep listening. And podcasts sometimes show up on the bottom of like, “We recommend that you should check this one out, and then just try it on for size.” I always tell people. Try it on for size. If it’s not good. Just take it off, right? It may look good at somebody else, but if it doesn’t look good on you, “You’re like, I’m just going to take this off, and I’m going to go something else,” right? Does that make sense?