You know that woman you admire? The one who seems to step into any room and immediately be brimming with confidence?
Well, the chances are she’s just as nervous as you on the inside.
Many of us tend to look at others with admiration and envy, wishing we could share some of their confidence. But nobody is born confident.
With a little practice, you can learn to overcome your fears and lack of self belief, opening yourself up to new opportunities.
Seven years ago I went from being a flashy, had-it-all, successful businesswoman to unemployed, literally boss to broke in 24 hours. My confidence disappeared in the big black hole that I found myself in. But however dire my circumstances seemed I somehow knew deep down that the experience would help me to help others in the future – quite insightful given how stunned I was to find myself in this position! I now work as a coach, helping women to learn how to overcome the obstacles brought about by lack of confidence.
Riding the confidence rollercoaster
Confidence tends to fluctuate. One minute you can be buzzing and on fire, and then out of the blue when a new challenge arises, your confidence can take a sudden dip. Sometimes it’s like riding a roller coaster.
As soon as we contemplate leaving our comfort zone the ‘what ifs’ start racing around our heads, and they’re nearly always negative. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to banish these thoughts:
- Realise you can’t be confident in every area of your life all the time. Confidence can vary depending on what you were led to believe as a child, from parents, teachers, siblings and friends. This can have a profound effect on what you think about yourself and what you believe you can achieve. The good news is you can overwrite any beliefs you’ve grown up with, it just takes practice.
- When you don’t feel the way you want to, you focus on the ‘not having’.
Try to flip this on its head and focus on where you are confident and what you do have. And the power of that thought is a bit like dipping a teabag in a cup, the longer you leave it the stronger it gets.
- Remember when you take on new challenges or try something new there is a process that you need to acknowledge. The more you do something, the better you get and your confidence grows. Try not to feed your negative thoughts, as you’ll fill yourself with fear and not want to take the first step.
- Never forget, you are an expert in what you do.
Everyone is an expert at something, but we’re not all good at acknowledging it.
How many people do you know with more confidence than ability? Lots, probably. And it’s so frustrating when you know you could do a better job. But having more confidence and self belief attracts clients and business, you become magnetic and have an air of authority and expertise. These people are just better at faking it.
Wherever your confidence level is today you have the ability to change it. Think of someone whose confidence you admire and then in the privacy of your own home think what body language makes them confident and try it out! Honestly just the way you stand, sit or hold yourself can make you feel different.
Override the self-destruct messages, wherever or whenever they originated, tell yourself what you want to hear and believe. By listening to yourself, not voices from your past, you can learn to move on.
Practice makes confident
Can it really be that simple? Yes. If you want to feel more confident you have to practise new thoughts and actions so they become your new programming, step by step, day by day. The more you do this, the more confident you will feel. There is no magic pill to remove the old negative thoughts and beliefs and plant new seeds of confidence.