Confidence is having faith in yourself to deal with whatever life throws your way, being able to recognise what you can’t or do and also what you do, or do not, not want to deal with.
It is not about having control over what is going to happen, or controlling what other people are going to do.
When you feel confident you also feel calmer and when you feel calm you feel more confident but this can be a chicken and egg situation that keeps you stuck.
Confidence is a feeling and something that can be changed and learned. It is not fixed and set in stone.
Sadly though, a lack of confidence can be a self – fulfilling prophecy.
If you don’t feel very confident you may fail or not try to do something simply because you lack the confidence you need…….. and conversely those with self confidence may succeed because they feel confident enough, rather than because of their abilities.
What is confidence?
The dictionary definition is: – ‘a belief in your own abilities, having self assurance or the belief in your ability to succeed’.
In practise what this means is that you have faith in yourself that whatever happens you know that you will somehow be able to deal with it.
In life, the future is unknown and you certainly cannot control everything that might happen.
People who do not feel confident tend to be over controlling and get anxious. When we are confident we don’t need to spend time going over and over all the things that might happen in future and planning for any eventuality. When you feel confident you do not need to know what is going to happen or even how you are going to deal with it
You are born confident. Babies and small children are confident about learning to walk, talk, eat etc, They do not worry about whether or not they will be able to learn or if they will be good at it or not.
Your confidence gets undermined by ‘painful’ experiences in your history where you get rejected or humiliated and stay in your psyche until you override it.
Confidence is a Skill
We are all confident about some things in life, but not in others, depending on your previous experiences and what you think is going to happen when you do something.
People think that people are naturally confident or not, but I think it is a skill and like all other skills the more you practise the better you get.
By controlling your anxiety, challenging your thoughts and beliefs and taking action you can build your confidence one step at a time.
So why is it important to be confident?
It is easy to be confident when things are going well, but also easy to lose confidence when things are not going as we want.
All of us have have ups and downs in our work and in life generally, so it is important to have confidence and develop resilience to be able to ride the bad times and make the most of the good times by .
If you are feeling confident you will see the down times as a challenge and will put everything into making something work, get support, be determined and creative.
If you are not confident you will feel anxious, negative and feel a bit hopeless about things and give up.
Confidence is crucial to success in every area of your life.
Learn to stay calm
There is a lot of uncertainty and change in all areas of our lives that we need to approach with confidence,
However you are naturally ‘programmed’ to see anything new or different as a threat or even dangerous, and your ‘fight and flight’ reaction gets triggered.
Anxiety and stress are really bad for your confidence and undermine your abilty to think clearly and make decisions. It is important to be able to get your levels of stress down quickly so you can think straight and deal with change confidently.
5 Ways To Feel Confident Quickly
- Feelings of Accomplishment
Let me give you an example.
How many of you get to the end of the day and spend your journey home thinking of all the things you didn’t do and all the things that didn’t go well and not what you did achieve and what went well.
How great does that make you feel?
It doesn’t matter how much you have done or how well things are going if there is no feeling positive attached to your achievements they have no meaning.
So one way to build confidence quickly – and also improve your motivation- is to give yourself a pat on the back every time you do achieve something – no matter how small. Just give yourself a little compliment.
You know that the more someone else appreciates what you do, the more likely you are to feel good about yourself.
It works the same way with how you are with yourself.
- Tame your inner critic
We all have this inner critical voice. Can be useful, but not if it is too loud and too vicious.
Wants to keep you in a familiar/safe place – your comfort zone.
At work we all need to grow and develop step outside our comfort zone
We all need to learn to deal with our inner critic. The best way I have found to deal with it is to:
Give it a ridiculous name
Acknowledge – thanks but no thanks
Turn down the volume dial
Ignore it if it isn’t useful/true. What you give attention grows.
Exercise: How you speak to yourself affects how you feel.
- Power Posing
Body language affects how others see us and how we see other people, but recent research is beginning to show that our body language also affects the way you feel yourself.
Experiments have shown how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and so have an impact on our feeling confident and success.
Your cortisol goes down and testosterone rises.
Sit up straight, stand strong,
I won’t ask you to practise that now, but do try it tomorrow and see.
- Positive Visualisation
If my son is late home in his car and it is wet and dark I can get myself in a bit if a state imagining what has happened to him, even though nothing has. What if …………
That is because your brain doesn’t distinguish very well between thoughts and reality.
I am experiencing the thoughts as reality (because as I said before your believe yourself). And my stress levels go up.
Ban or turn them into what if …positive outcome. Use a lot of detail and feel the positive feelings.
The more I find out about successful and confident people the more I realise that they all have support.
Different types, psychological, accountability, physical, technical, legal, financial and people in your family and friends.
Give some consideration to what you need right now and who is the best person to give you the help you need.
If you think I might be able to help you then please book a clarity session with me where we can look specifically at what is undermining your confidence and plan a way for you to move forward.