Have you ever looked at some of your coworkers and wondered how they could seem so confident while wondering why you can’t? Don’t worry, friend, You don’t need a unique talent to build confidence at work!
The good news about this episode is that you can take all of these ideas and apply them to any area of your life, not just building confidence at work.
Let’s dive in!
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1) Change internal dialogue. Turn “I can’t” into “Not Yet.”
Ok, if there’s just ONE tip about how to build confidence at work (and everywhere else) that you take away today, please let it be this one.
How often do you hear yourself say, “I can’t...” either internally or out loud to other people? Think of things like, “Oh, I could never wear that dress, it’s too small!” or “I’m stressed at work all the time, and I can’t stop” or “I can’t give presentations.”
I could literally go on forever with examples like these, but I bet you’ve got a few of your own, right?
It doesn’t seem like a big deal to say these things out loud throughout the day, right? It feels like you’re just stating the obvious.
Except you’re not. Although these types of limiting beliefs seem like written in stone truths, these are limitations you’re putting on yourself. So the question is, how do you change your mindset from going instinctively from “I can’t do this”?
You only need to modify your thinking slightly.
Here’s what you do:
- You catch yourself when you say, “I can’t…”
- Replace it with “not able to.”
- at “yet” to the end of the sentence.
So, “I can’t wear that dress!” Turns into something like, “I’m not able to wear that dress yet.”
Or, “I can’t give presentations or speak in public” turns into, “I’m not able to give presentations or speak in public, yet.”
Now you may find that doesn’t work in every situation. In that case, turn “I can’t” into “I choose not to.”
So, let’s say that fear of giving presentations is not something you wish to change. You know you have a fear of public speaking, but you don’t want to work through it yet. That’s ok! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. Because in reality, it’s a skill you can learn and practice and eventually master. So instead of disempowering yourself by saying that you can’t do something, give yourself the power back.
All you have to do is say, “I choose not to.”
That example would turn into, “I choose not to give presentations or speak in public.” Do you see how that slight shift puts the ball back in your court?
Confidence comes from knowing who you are and what you’re capable of. So if you make an intentional effort to remind yourself of how much power you DO have (even in small ways), that will lead to a massive shift in mindset!
This one will take the most time to help you build confidence at work, but if you stick with it, it will lasting.
2) Turn mistakes into lessons and let them roll-off.
This is the hardest tip about how to build confidence at work, I know. Is it instant? Nope. But the more you can catch the way you’re talking to yourself right at the moment when you make a mistake, the better.
Would you tell your work wife those same negative comments you tell yourself? Hell no! You tell her that what she did was no big deal and that no one probably noticed anyway.
Those people around you that you’re worried about, they’ve made mistakes, too. They’ve probably made some the same types of errors that you did, hoping desperately that no one sees it. Remember, everyone is self-conscious (whether they show it or not) and are thinking about themselves wayyyy more than they ever think about you. Meaning, they’re so focused on trying to look good themselves they probably don’t even notice the mistake you made.
“What about those haters that delight in your ruin?” You may ask. Firstly, revisit point number two. I’m willing to bet that they’re not thinking about your mistake. But, if you know that these toxic people not only are thinking badly of you but actively hating on you for it, then I’ve got news for you. They’re doing this because of how insecure they are, or that something is lacking in their life.
I mean, think about it. When’s the last time you’ve heard about a truly fulfilled person wasting their energy on trying to bring someone else down? They don’t need to.
They wouldn’t waste that energy because they know that would only create negativity in their lives. No, the types of people who bring other people down are those that don’t want to be in the lonely depths of despair alone. (I know, sounds dramatic, but it’s true!).
3) Make sure to Sound Confident with these hacks
Are you making sure your voice matches the confidence you want to embody?
This is one that’s going to take practice to set in but could be a massive game-changer for you. If you want to know how to build confidence at work, then you’ve got to sound confident at work.
I recommend you listen to the podcast episode (and blog) I did all about how to sound confident even when you’re nervous. I give all sorts of fun audio examples you can hear and determine if you’re doing the same thing when you speak.
But for this episode, I’ll cover the big one: make sure to make your sentence sound like they’re ending in a period.
Let’s go into a quick grammar lesson, shall we? (I promise it won’t be like school!) Did you know that the period in grammar is also known as a full stop? And that the purpose of a period is to make a statement.
As in, when you use a period, there’s no room to keep the thought open for debate. You’re not leaving the door open for others to chime in. Full stop, baby.
So what does this have to do with how to build confidence at work?
Well, think of situations when you’re not confident. How did you sound? Probably nervous, maybe the pitch of your voice rises. Perhaps you use upspeak at the end of your sentences, making the sentences you say (that DO use a period) sound like a question. Like you’re inviting someone to come in and answer a question that you weren’t asking.
So, how do you make sure you make your sentences sound like they’re ending in periods? Try consciously thinking about lowering your pitch on the last syllable of the last word in your sentence. I know that sounds complicated for each sentence you say, but it isn’t. Although, it is hard to describe here to you in written word. Make sure to listen to my podcast about upspeak to hear examples of what upspeak is, and how to avoid it.
How are YOU going to build confidence at work?
So those were the three action items that you can do to build confidence at work. I would love to know which one is your favorite! So, if you’re on Instagram you can find me over there @MonicaChats and I would love to hear which one resonated with you.
And if you’re somebody that wants to build your own confidence (at work and in life) and you’re working on your own self-identity and your self-discovery and you’re struggling, then I invite you to download my free copy of my self-discovery guide.
Basically this guide walks you through exactly who you are outside of the titles. This guide will walk you through how to figure out who you are at the core and not dependent upon who you are to other people. And I’m telling you, this is a really, really powerful discovery when you’re able to do that.
Episode TranscriptCHECK OUT THIS WEEK'S EPISODE TRANSCRIPT HERE
And hint, hint, this is going to help you be less miserable in that job. Which is the topic of next week’s podcast episode, but we won’t get too far ahead of ourselves today. Um, we, I will go back and talk about how to build confidence at work so that way we can be less miserable at work. And so this topic and next week’s topic are really near and dear to my heart because this has a lot to do with my own personal history. So if you’ve listened to the podcast for any amount of time, then you probably heard me talk about my past career and how I tied my worth into it and how basically I was obsessed about it. I thought that the more and more titles I get, the more and more I climbed the ladder, the more worthy I became, the more I paid back my debt to society for, you know, the Medicare that I had back in the day or the Medicaid, I mean, back in the day, things like that.
Um, and so my whole life was basically based around how much I can grow in this career. And I thought in order to do that I needed to not only just focus in on my output and focus in my, on my productivity, things like that, but I also needed to look the part because I really believe that who I was at the core was not enough and compared to my coworkers, I wasn’t cool enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I didn’t look good enough and I needed to change all of those things in order to be that person, that version of a model employee that could get promoted over everybody else. So it just really fostered this idea that who I was naturally was not good enough to be able to progress and in order to basically be worth anything in my mind, I had to promoted and because of that obviously I was spending a lot of time trying to be somebody that I wasn’t and in my own mind I was trying to be a better version of myself because I believe that who I was wasn’t good enough to get a promotion.
This led to a lot of conflict inside of me. It led to a lot of inner conflict because I was trying to be somebody who I wasn’t. And thanks to all of that, I had pretty much no confidence at work. I was somebody who didn’t really talk about my ideas very much unless I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t look dumb or make mistakes or anything like that. I had to be 100% sure of everything that I was doing before I even said anything at all if I said anything at all. And so I’m not saying that now, I am so confident in myself that I just blurt out anything on my mind without thinking about it. No, that’s not what this is at all. But I was too afraid to even come out and brainstorm or just talk to anybody because I had to carefully select every single word that I had because again, who I was wasn’t good enough in order to be promoted, et cetera.
Right. And so if you hear yourself in any part of this story, then today’s episode is definitely for you. So as a highlight real quick, what we’re going to talk about is three different things to be able to build your confidence at work. And again, you can apply these to almost any area of your life, which is why I’m really excited about this episode and I’m so glad that you’re tuning in today. So we’ll go ahead and get right on in. So number one, to be able to build confidence at work, we need to change your inner dialogue. And so what I mean by this is anytime that a situation may come up at work or anytime that there is something that you want to do but you don’t believe you can or anything like that, we’re talking about that internal self-talk, that little voice inside of your head.
You know, it may look different for everybody, but the idea here is that it’s the voice inside of your Ted telling you if you can or can’t do something, if you’re able or you’re not able to do something if you’re good enough or if you’re not good enough to do something, you kind of see where I’m going with this, right? So we want to be able to not only redirect any of these negative self talk things that we have, but we want to replace them with something that is more empowering. But in order to do any of that, we’ve got to be able to at first acknowledge even the types of thoughts that we’re having. So this type of thought work is something that I work a lot of clients through because unfortunately we spend decades of our lives listening to what we’re telling ourselves.
We’re listening to the passive thoughts just kind of pop up in our head and we don’t redirect them because we don’t think we can. It’s not something that we were taught in school. So we spend decades building this habit of having these thoughts pop up. And unfortunately they’re usually negative because we’re always harder on ourselves, right? We’re naturally harder on ourselves. So in order to be able to redirect them into an empowering thought, we have to break the habit that we’ve been building for decades of being hotter, hard on ourselves, more harder than necessary. Right? And so think about your day at work. Think about anytime that there is something that comes up that you wish you could do but you can’t, or something that you see in somebody else and you admire about that, about them and you’re like, I wish I could do X, but I could never do that.
Or I wish I could go into a Monday morning meeting and present my ideas as good as she can, but I could never speak in public like she can. Or maybe it’s something like, I wish I could wear a dress like that to work, but I could never fit into that or that would never look good on me. Those are the types of things we’re looking for. So now that you’ve heard that, you’ve probably can recognize a few different areas where you say that about yourself, right? So first things first, we need to actually address and acknowledge all of those types of thoughts that we’re having because unfortunately these types of negative self talk ideas, they can just slip in and out of our daily. I almost, I want to say conversations so easily that we may not even notice. Tell me if this may sound familiar.
Let’s say you are going through the topics that you have that you need to do for the rest of your day and it goes in the order of something like, okay, I need to balance this spreadsheet, I need to check in with my manager. Oh I could, I don’t know why I was smart enough to be able to do that. Oh I need to do this. You see where I’m going with that? Like the negative self talk, it just slips in so easily. It slips in and out so easily that it’s so hard to even like acknowledge that they’re there. But here’s the thing, that’s just one small example that took up maybe five seconds worth. We have, I think I read a study out there that said we have about 60,000 thoughts a day and so a good portion of those are probably at work, right?
And so if these negative thoughts that we have about ourselves slip in and out so easily, how much of that is is, right? If we’re thinking percentages wise, how much of your internal dialogue is negative about yourself? And now again, this may be passive, it may slip in and out where you don’t notice it in the moment, but after years of this cumulative effect, your brain starts to listen to that, right? Like your body and your brain and your ideas. All of those are all tied into those thoughts because you’ve been having them for decades, right? So I would take a journal if I were you, you don’t have to do this. You can take a mental note. But I am a pen and paper type of girl for sure. And I always suggest this for clients to do. So. If this sounds like you and you’re a pen and paper gal as well, then do this.
I’m telling you, you will see some pretty interesting patterns for sure, but take a journal with you and start to write down some of these limiting beliefs that you have and try to catch them in the moment. And you’re on do this for about a week because you want to see patterns in what you’re saying. And so after a week you see all of these patterns in what you’re saying. I would pick some of the top three or four that is coming up again and again and again. So remember how I talked about the next step is to be able to redirect those. That’s where we’re going to do that. And we are going to take all of those thoughts that you saw the pattern of, and now we’re going to start to question them and we’re going to question them and then we’re going to redirect them.
So remember how I said in order to build your confidence at work, we need to change your internal dialogue. This is the real work when it comes to that. So now we want to hear exactly how you’re phrasing these. So you’re probably something saying something along the lines of, I can’t do X or I could never do that, or something like that. So what we need to do is turn all of these icons into not yet. And so I know that sounds a little bit weird, but we’ll go ahead and take an example of that. So let’s say we’ll go back to the example of I can’t give public presentations. That sounds pretty definite, right? It sounds like a belief that is just, it’s like a fact, right? It sounds like a fact that’s written in stone, but the idea here is that we need to be able to redirect those into something that is not quite as written in stone.
Because the truth is is that almost anybody can speak publicly. It just takes practice and we just need to believe that we need to believe that we can work on it and change it. And so this is where turning it from, I can’t end to not yet is going to be a really powerful thing. So we can take that same phrase of, I can’t speak in public and changed that into, I can’t speak in public yet. Do you see how adding that little phrase on at the end of that makes it sound like something that can happen after a while? It leaves the door open at the end of the sentence. Right? So the idea here is that it shows you that yes, you may not to be able to do it great or perfectly right now in the moment without any practice whatsoever. But if you want to, if you want to speak publicly, but you’re just not able to right now because of the fear of actually speaking in public, putting on that yet at the end of the sentence is showcasing that you can do it.
It’s just going to take a little bit of practice, right? So it’s less definite than just leaving it at. I can’t speak publicly. It’s like the door is not open. Right? So let’s say that there is some other stuff that you tell yourself that you can’t do, but it’s not something you’re willing to work on. You don’t, you don’t care to change that. Right? Like for me, let’s say I’m not very good at sports. That’s just how I am. I am not a runner. I am not. I’m somebody who’s very athletic. I work out of course, but I am not great at baseball. I cannot hit a fricking bat against a ball. I have really bad coordination. Like hand eye coordination. That’s the word I was looking for. So I can’t hit a baseball if somebody is pitching it to me, I can’t do that right now.
Although if I really, really wanted to, I and I wanted to be able to hit a baseball and I want it to be really good at baseball, then I could say I can’t hit a baseball yet. But baseball isn’t something I really care about. It’s not something that’s part of my passion. It’s not part of my purpose. And so yes, right now I can’t play baseball, but I could if I wanted to, but I don’t want to leave it at just, I can’t play baseball because that’s such a, a finite or it’s such a, um, it closes the door on that. It gives me less power than what I have because really I can play it if I want to. If I really go out there and really work hard at it and practice a lot, I can do it. But I choose not to.
And so instead of leaving it at an very disempowering citizens like, I can’t play baseball, I changed that into, I choose not to play baseball. I choose not to learn how to hit the bat and hit the ball on the bat. There’s probably better words to say that you can bro, you can really tell that I am not into sports, but you get the idea here doing that. It gives you back more power. So when you say things like, I can’t ever do that, I could never do this. Things like that. It’s giving something outside of you, the power. It’s basically you telling yourself that you don’t have the power to be able to do whatever it is that you want to do, that you have to look to outside forces in order for you to be able to do that. And so the idea here is if you want to add on the not yet at the end of the year belief or saying I choose not to.
Either way, it’s showcasing to you that if you really wanted to, you can and you have the power to. You’re just choosing not to, or if it’s a not yet situation, you have the power to do it, but you just need a little bit of time to get there. So will this be an immediate change? Like will, if you start practicing this, is it a one and done situation? No, it almost anything I ever talk about to coaching clients or even on the podcast here or the YouTube channel anywhere, I always talk about really simple ideas like this, but unfortunately they’re not easy because the key with this is to be consistent at it in order to start to believe it. After a while you have got to keep telling yourself this over and over and over about every single time that you ever catch yourself saying, I can’t do something.
It’s going to take time. But again, this is all a cumulative effort. So the more and more you practice this, the more and more you start to believe this and that’s where the confidence comes from. Or at least that’s where one channel of confidence comes from. And again, we’re putting this in the idea of being confident at work, but you can use this idea anywhere. All right, so let’s move on to idea number two. And that is in order to build confidence at work, you need to start thinking that your mistakes equals lessons, not failures. So a lot of us don’t have confidence at work because we are scared that we’ll make a mistake. We are scared that we’re going to fail at something. We are scared that we’re going to do something wrong. And when we do, other people are going to look at us and judge us for it.
And we just have this idea in our head that everybody does everything so much better than we do, right? And so the idea here is to remind us that that is not the case whatsoever. So there’s a few points I want you to remember when it comes to changing your mindset from mistakes equals failures to mistakes equals lessons. I want you to think about how you would treat your friend who made a mistake at work. Most people when they go to work, they have work wives, right? Everybody has a work rife almost. And so it’s, you know, for those that don’t know what a work life is, that’s, that’s just somebody who is like your best friend at work. It is somebody who, you know, you go to work and you’re excited to see them because you guys just either hate the same place at the same time and you love commiserating about that maybe.
Or this is somebody who is just genuinely your best friend at work. You’ll see the idea here. And so let’s say that your work wife made a mistake, they made a mistake in their job and they are really beating themselves up about it. What would you say to them? What do you tell them? How much they sucked? Would you tell them how hard they failed? Like, Oh, I can’t believe you did that. Oh, how stupid are you to do that? These sounds so crazy. Like I know you, I know you would never say that to any other human being. Right? So if you don’t say it to your work wife, then why would you ever say that to yourself? And I know you say that to yourself. It may not be the exact same phrases of the exact same words that I just used, but you can probably fill in the blanks and when it comes to what you tell yourself after you make a mistake.
So are you harder on yourself than you would be anybody else? And if yes, why are you harder on yourself than you would be for anybody else? Start to really dig into that because is it that you actually are that hard on yourself and other people, but you’re just being nice to that other person and lying to them about how their mistake wasn’t a bad thing? I doubt that. Like I said, I know you and I know that if you looked at your, your friend at work and they made a mistake, you would not be hard on them about that and you, and you would genuinely mean that too. So why is it that you want to be hard on yourself? So that’s the first idea. Second idea when it comes to mistakes is we have to remember that people are more focused on themselves than on you.
Meaning everybody is way more concerned about how they look than how you look. Even though it may seem the complete opposite. It may totally seem that everybody is looking at you and judging you, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. Everybody is so caught up in what they’re doing, what they’re look like, making sure that nobody is looking at them, that your mistake that you just made is probably not even on their radar. It’s not even something they probably really care about. And if it is, it’s something that they’ll get over more quickly than you’re giving them credit for. Because again, if you are as subconscious about yourself, there are probably a ton of other people around you that are just as self conscious about themselves too. So that brings me to my next point is you might be thinking like, okay, yeah Monica, that sounds really great, but what about the people who are just, they look out for that.
There’s somebody at work that, or maybe you’re saying something like, my boss just loves it when I make mistakes or there’s a coworker that hates me and they just, they love it when I make mistakes and they make fun of me about it and it’s like they relish in my misery or they relish in, you know, my ruin. I get it. There are people out there that are like that unfortunately. However, there’s one really main idea here where we talk about, um, toxic people. Really, that’s, that’s what I would think about that as if somebody is trying to bring you down. It is because there’s something missing from their lives. They are miserable in their own lies and they need to bring somebody down to their level because that’s the only way that they’ll feel a sense of relief in their life. Right. There’s a quote, and you’ve probably heard this, but it’s that hurt people hurt people.
And that’s so simple. Hurt people hurt people. And that’s exactly true. So if there’s somebody out there that’s hurt, they need to hurt other people in order to forget about their own pain. Even if it’s temporary. Right? And so when there are people out there that delight in your demise, remember that I know it’s hard to, in the moment, I know it seems like somebody is just out there and they’re living for coming after you, but you’ve got to remember that they are missing something in their lives and it’s probably the fact that something is not going right for them. Okay. Moving on, I last point about building confidence at work and that is you need to sound confident and you can do that with some hacks. So there’s really great podcast episode that I did all about how to sound confident even when you’re nervous.
And that’s episode 34 and I’ll make sure to link that in the show notes as well. So just head down to the description wherever you’re listening to this podcast and check out the show notes at monicafrederick.com/ep48 and that’s in the show notes as well. But check that out and you can check the episode out where I talk all about this, but we want to sound confident. So, not just in the words that you’re saying, but the literal tone of your voice and how you’re sounding. And even when you’re nervous, there’s a few hacks that you can do to make sure that you sound more secure in what you’re talking about, even if you don’t feel like it. So there’s a bunch of different things that I go into that episode, but for today’s purposes I’ll only really just focus on the main important one.
And that’s making sure that your sentences end in periods. So I know that sounds a little weird as well, because of course every sentence ends in a period, right? And how can you make sure of that when you’re speaking. Okay, so we want to make your sentences out. Sound like they aren’t ending in a question Mark. So this is referred to as up speak. So I’m not sure if this is something that you’ve heard before. I’m sure it is. Everybody’s heard of it, but I’m trying to think of an example to do. So that’s when people in their sentences and the very last part of their sentence turns upwards. If you can kind of envision that in an oratory kind of way. Right. But that would be like, this is a example of up speak. Okay, so it was a bad example, but you can see what I mean.
You see how the last part of my sentence, it wasn’t a question, right? Like I was saying, this is what ups speaks sounds like, but when you’re doing it in up speak, that is, this is what ups speaks sounds like. See how those two sentences, those two examples were different. They were both sentences. I wasn’t asking a question, although the second one sounded like I was asking a question. Right. Catch yourself when you do this. This is a really, really easy example of sounding insecure. Even when you’re not like, let’s say that there’s a topic that you want to discuss at work and you feel really good about it because you’ve done a lot of research, you’ve done a lot of work and you go to your Monday morning meeting and you want to talk about it, but everybody kind of jumps in or talks over you or butts in and you don’t know why.
Like you’re, you’re talking about it and you feel good and you’ve got all of your research and things like that and you’re presenting it and people kind of over Trump you. If that’s the case, then it might be because you’re ending your sentences sounding like your questioning. It’s like you’re leaving the door open each and every sentence for somebody to button an answer because the idea with a question is that you’re bouncing it over to somebody else like, Hey, I don’t know the answer to this. I’m unsure. Can you answer this question for me? So even if your sentence that is not asking anybody anything, if it sounds like it’s asking somebody something that’s inviting them to come in and basically trample on what you’re saying and stop you and interrupt you. Write a simple hack for this is to end your sentence down on a period.
So remember how an up speak I was talking about the end of the sentence. I’m making a hand gesture but you can’t see it. But the end of the sentence, it spikes upward. Well we want to do the opposite and end the sentence down. You see how I just did that? And that example there too. Like we want to end the sentence down on a period and just leave it at that. Like that little bit at the end of your sentence is going to sound just a hair lower than everything else. So hopefully those auditory examples give you a clear idea of what I’m talking about. But that’s a really easy hack that you can do. So if I were you and you know that you do this, but you can’t stop yourself in the moment, try to record yourself talking like whether it be just be a phone conversation you have or a conversation with your significant other and you hear yourself doing that.
Try to record yourself so that way you can go back and listen to it. I know hearing your own voice, if you’re not used to it afterwards is very disturbing. It seems really odd to do. Believe me, I totally understand when it comes to this podcast and listening to my own voice on that. But I promise if you do it, you will be grateful for it and then you can start to coach yourself when that happens. You can stop yourself from doing that and be able to make your sentences in down on a period. Okay, my friend. So I am so excited to hear about how you can build your own confidence at work. And as you know, I am somebody that loves to be able to take inspired action. And I’m hoping that after listening to this episode, you will take action on one of these tips or all of them.
But I would love to know what your favorite one of these tips where. So just a real quick refresher. So we had changed your internal dialogue. So change your internal dialogue from saying I can’t and to not yet or I can’t into I choose not to. So that was step number one. Step number two is to change your idea around mistakes. So mistakes equals lessons, not failure. So if you’re in the fixed mindset of mistakes equals failures, then we need to change that into lessons. This is how you learn and to grow, right? Is through mistakes. And so first all, first off, ask yourself would you be this mean to somebody else? Secondly, people are more worried about how they look and their own mistakes more than they’re thinking about you in your own. Thirdly, if there are people who love when you make mistakes because they delight in your ruin, they’ve got issues of their own, my friend.
So really you should be feeling sorry for them. And then the last tip was number three and that was to sound confident with the up speak hack. So make sure your sentences and down on a period. So those were the three action items that you can do to build confidence at work. And I would love to know which one is your favorite. So if you’re on Instagram you can find me over on the IgE world at Monica chats and I would love to hear which one really resonated with you. And if you are somebody that wants to build your own confidence and you’re just working on your own self identity and your self discovering things like that and you’re struggling that, then I invite you to download my free copy of my self discovery guide. Basically this guide walks you through exactly who you are outside of the titles.
Like I said earlier in this episode, I was somebody that really identified myself as my job title. So when I gave up my job, I had no idea who the hell I even was. And so this guide is going to walk you through how to figure out who you are at the core and not dependent upon who you are to other people. And I’m telling you, this is a really, really powerful discovery when you’re able to do that. So you can check it out in the show notes wherever you’re listening here. And like I said, check that out in the description below. And like I said, this time next week we are going to be talking about how to not be miserable in your day job and I cannot wait to see you there. So friends, I will see you next week.