Would you like to wake up in the morning and be able to declare to the world….
‘I have confidence!!!"
…..cue soundtrack and purposeful strut through Vienna Julie Andrews style… a carpet bag in one arm and a guitar in the other. Hmmm, a pause. Well I would like confidence, but not that much, you may say….?
Confidence can be a tricky chap to fathom. Sometimes everything feels like it is lining up and you are getting a big thumbs up from the world…. ‘You are doing everything right!! and somehow that creates more of the good stuff.
But sometimes we are stopped in our tracks, everything feels a little below par and we are not sure why. We can enter into a pattern of feeling negative and unmotivated very quickly and it can be difficult to get out of it.
Often the last thing you want to hear is ‘cheer up, it may never happen’ or ‘ don’t worry something good is around the corner’. You either want the next good thing brought to you quickly or it feels easier to sit and wallow for a little while.
Many clients come to me because they want to work on their confidence- although it is not apparent that confidence is the issue at first. The issue can simply be ‘it’s just not working, I’ve tried everything’.
We start to explore what is happening for them. Often they are clear in what they want to achieve, they have made some steps already and conquered some hurdles and challenges along the way. But they are at a standstill. They don’t know where to go next.
In peeling back the layers, I find I start to hear ‘I don’t have the confidence’ or ‘other people do that’ or ‘That’s just not me’. Sadly what follows is ‘someone told me I couldn’t’ and often this memory or conversation is dated back to childhood.v
Acknowledging where you are is a great starting point and certainly shouldn’t be viewed as a weakness. Once you have established where you are, you can start to make a plan to move forward. If confidence has been a stumbling block for you over time, I would like to share a few techniques with you to help. One day at a time really comes into play here, go at your own pace and play by your own rules. Ignore your temptation to compare yourself to others and focus that energy on yourself.
1) What is the one area you would like to change? What has been a challenge for you? I would like to you to start brain storming around this area. What is stopping you? What are your fears around this? When you feel a confidence dip in this area- do you hear the voices of people you know giving their opinion? What are they saying and most importantly why do you think they are saying it? Protection? Jealously? Fear?
2) Focus on where you are now. Think back to this time last year. Where were you? What were you doing? How were you feeling? Now make a list of all the great things that have happened this year. What did you accomplish? What surprised you? How did you step out of your comfort zone? Again don't eliminate accomplishments as being 'too small' by other people's standard. Everything is worth celebrating and is a sign of you growing.
3) Often we are swept away and think too big.When I am coaching, sometimes the goal my client wants to achieve is so big they don't move on it. They get lost in a frenzy of overwhelm. I want you to think small and just to the next step. If you had to get one step closer to your goal what would you do and most importantly can you do it today?
4) Notice when you feel the most confident. Who are you with? What are you saying? How do you know when you are confident? Start to break down the process. Is it something you wear, say or the way you stand? I want you to start to build a confidence toolkit for yourself. You know the phrase 'Lucky pants'….? Well, this can be powerful when looking at confidence.
5) Act as if. The more books I read, the more videos of interviews and conversations I observe, I realised no one knows what they are doing all of the time. You may view someone you know as being hugely confident- but I imagine that is not the whole person. They will have their doubts and anxieties too. Start to observe confident behaviour in others- what do they do? How do they speak? How do they conduct themselves? Start to try on elements of confidence, see how they feel. What have you got to lose.
I would like to challenge you this week to begin to look up more- count chimneys, notice lampposts …whatever works for you. Even though it is a small adjustment it can make a huge difference. Your posture will change, your body language will open up and offering eye contact you will become more receptive.