When I ask clients what the quality they most wished they had in order to have the careers and lives they yearn for – overwhelmingly, the answer is CONFIDENCE!
Ask Yourself These Questions:
What would your life be like if you had more confidence?
What would be possible if you had more confidence?
What is stopping you from stepping into your confidence?
If you've ever experienced . . .
told yourself, "They are not interested in what I have to say."
compared yourself to others
been afraid of rejection, failure, making mistakes or being judged
relied too much on the validation of others
Firstly, recognise that you are human!
Secondly, would you believe me if I told you that each of these experiences and feelings is an opportunity AND an invitation to nurture and cultivate our confidence?
Change, of any kind, whilst exciting, can also bring fear and/or anxiety that impacts our confidence.
I've also no doubt that confidence is a quality that you exhibit (even without knowing it) in some parts of your life but in other areas it may either feel like it's missing or lapsing.
Moving organisations or countries
Being let go or retiring
Entering a new relationship / ending an existing one
Pandemics / managing health matters
Adapting communication styles with a colleague or family member
All these examples, and many more, can impact our confidence so it can be helpful to recognise where you are on the confidence continuum in relation to any of these experiences.
So, what IS confidence exactly?
Confidence is a state of being often expressed as a feeling – or if you like a sense of feeling safe that comes from a belief in yourself to engage in an activity where you feel competent.
In a nutshell, it’s a feeling of self-assurance and belief in one's abilities, qualities, and judgment. It’s knowing your ability to get through (and be ok and/or succeed) in various situations.
Confidence comes from a Latin word 'fidere' which means "to trust"; therefore, having self-confidence is having trust in oneself.
I love the etymology of the word confidence. It begs the question: How much do we trust ourselves in any given situation?
When was the last time you trusted your decision making, your action (no matter how big or small) and your judgement?
Perhaps it was when you . . .
Delivered a presentation
Decided whether to take a job or not
Purchased an outfit
Said yes (or no) to a dinner invitation
Tried something you hadn't done before
Why is this so important? Because with every decision you make and take, your build and learn about you and your relationship with confidence. Confidence is about self-trust. Are you making decisions that help you trust yourself more?
The challenge with confidence is that when we are learning or doing something new or for the first time, we don't always trust ourselves as we haven’t had that exact experience. And because our fear-wired (survival) brains love certainty, when we have new situations or experiences, the survival brain does everything to try and keep us safe and avoid any threat or risk to that safety. It likes to keep us in the comfort-zone.
However, in order to build confidence, we have to show and teach our brains that we ARE safe and leave our comfort-zone.
How do we do this? We do this by taking action.
We do this by stepping into our courage (inspite of uncertainty and fear).
Courage IS Confidence
We remind ourselves that whilst we may not have had this experience before, we can trust ourselves because we have had OTHER experiences where we have learned.
We can trust ourselves to handle any situation.
We can trust ourselves to figure it out and learn from the situation (even if it means failure along the way)
It's ok to NOT feel confident in the initial doing or experiencing something new. That is normal. It doesn't make you incompetent, stupid or wrong. Confidence is built and aquired over time.
Confidence is often associated with a positive mindset, optimism, enthusiasm, joy and a sense of self-worth. However, it’s not just about thinking positively. Confidence is a FELT EXPERIENCE in the body. Confidence is PHYSICAL!
The felt experience of confidence.
Bringing attention and awareness to the ‘felt-experience’ of confidence is important not just for recognising when it’s present (or the absence of it) but also for cultivating it. The physical sense and body location of confidence varies from person to person, but it can be characterized (losely) by a sense of self-assuredness, calmness, levity and positivity.
Some people experience confidence as a sense of inner strength and resilience, or feeling more capable of handling challenges and taking on new opportunities.
Some may feel more grounded and centered, or it may also be associated with a sense of ease, relaxation, a more open, expansive posture and body language. Your breathing may become deeper and more relaxed, and you may feel a sense of renewed energy and vitality. You may also feel a sense of excitement and anticipation about the future and could be more open to new experiences and opportunities.
Bringing attention to the felt experience of confidence will better enable you to recall it in future instances where it can help move you towards your goals.
Here is a very short exercise you can do at any time of the day.
A) Notice WHEN you feel confident (in what situations)
B) Notice WHERE you experience the 'feeling' of confidence in your body.
You may ask, why bring so much attention to the felt experience of confidence in the body?
Because our BODIES are our physical mind. It is our bodies that make sense of what is happening in the environment around us and then send signals to the brain.
That is why in the absence of confidence or in the presence of fear it is important to ACT and take action (see below step 8). It's where the expression Feel the fear and do it anyway has it's roots.
The felt experience of confidence can be hugely empowering, uplifting, and can help you navigate life's challenges with greater ease and resilience.
But confidence can be tricky too. It can still be shaken very easily, no matter how confident you actually are any many situations.
Watch out for those confidence killers...
Fear & Limiting beliefs
Any or all of these may be triggered by different situations, events, comments or challenges. Even the success of others can send us into a downward spiral of reduced confidence.
These aspects will be explored and unpacked in my upcoming course – the Confidence Multiplier.
The good news is that all of these can also be overcome and there are many different methods and strategies to develop and strengthen our confidence over time.
To get started here are eight strategies that can help you cultivate and multiply your confidence.
Look after your mental & physical wellbeing (self-care). Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. When you feel good physically, you are more likely to feel confident and positive.
Understand and stay true to your personal values. Our values are signposts and operating principles that guide every decision we make. They are a declaration of what is important. You can be more confident when you make decisions and live a life that’s in alignment with your values; a life where there is no need to second guess or question your judgement on your decision making.
Stop comparing yourself. Stop comparing yourself to other people’s visions of success, especially how others portray themselves through social media. Everyone is running their own race and life isn’t a competition.
Set achievable goals. Set goals that are challenging but achievable. Break larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps, and celebrate your progress along the way. Each small action and success can help build confidence and momentum.
Learn new skills. Learning new skills and taking on new challenges can help you build confidence and improve your abilities. Take a class, read a book, or seek out a mentor to help you develop new skills.
Surround yourself with positive people who are encouraging and helpful. Spend time with friends and family who believe in you and your abilities. Seek out role models who inspire you and can offer guidance and encouragement.
Challenge your inner negative self-talk. Pay attention to your inner dialogue and challenge any negative self-talk that may be undermining your confidence. It is this voice (I like to call it the saboteur) which is often the one that holds us back, keeps us small and stuck in our comfort zone. When you notice these negative thoughts, challenge them with more positive and realistic ones.
Face your fears and take action (no matter how small). We can’t always think our way into confidence, we have to act our way into confidence (our body tells our brain that we are safe and can do this!)
Building confidence is a process that takes time, effort and practice.
Confidence can't be magically given by another person Be patient and persistent. Keep working towards your goals. With time and effort, you can cultivate the confidence you need to succeed and thrive.
If you’re a conscious leader, an impact-driven entrepreneur or business leader or an individual making conscious changes in your life and are committed to experiencing more joy, freedom and CONFIDENCE, you’re going to LOVE the FREE 4-day CONFIDENCE MULTIPLIER CHALLENGE in from 12-15 June 2023.
It's a taster of what's possible and how to go from being crippled with self-doubt, stuck by limiting beliefs, frustrated by procrastination and inaction to living a life of greater confidence, joy and freedom without second guessing yourself, overwhelm or compromise.
If you're ready to smash your confidence goals and embark on a life of greater confidence REGISTER BELOW to find out the secret weapon my clients are using to nurture and multiply their confidence.