I’d love to know how you feel about confidence
Where in life do you feel most confident and the least confident?
Confidence is a funny one isn’t it?
Not feeling confident can be one of the biggest things that holds you back from achieving the things you want to;
- Starting a new relationship or leaving a relationship
- Applying for a new job
- Joining a job related to your hobby
- Joining a gym
There are so many areas of life that confidence comes into play.
Confidence means ‘the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something’.
But in this case we’re talking about belief and faith in ourselves, which is easier said than done!
Confidence or lack of, was a big problem for me as a child. I was quiet and quite often labelled as shy, struggled to create friendships. and generally I didn’t have a lot of self confidence.
Confidence has been one of those things I’ve really had to work at, and I know I’ll probably be working on it for the rest of my life!
I have come a long way since my school days and I’d generally say I’m fairly confident now. I can stand in a room full of women and and give a talk. something that believe me would have given me a panic attack a few years ago!
But confidence isn’t just the ability to stand in front of people and talk, it’s so much more than that.
It’s an inner resilience that knows you can handle what life throws at you, it’s the self believe that you can deal with shit!
I want you to know something really important. You are not alone if you struggle with self confidence.
In fact research, including research that has been published this year have found that 89% of the population live within the restricted circle of potential. The reason why so many of us never fulfil our potential is not a lack of intelligence, opportunity or resources, but a lack of belief in ourselves. Or put another way, too little self-confidence.
Without it, you can do little, with it, you can do anything!
But here is something really important you need to remind yourself of confidence is not something that the lucky few are born with and the rest of us are left wishing for. Instead our confidence comes from the outcomes of the thoughts we think and the actions we take.
No more and no less
It’s not based on our ability to succeed at a task but our belief in our ability to succeed;
- Your belief in your ability to speak to new people
- Your belief in your ability to learn a new skill
- Your belief in your ability to handle confrontation or manage conflict
- Your belief in your ability to change job or career direction
- Your belief to either start a new relationship, fix a relationship or leave a relationship
I have said many times before, that it has been scientifically proven that the beliefs we hold onto about ourselves, beliefs that are true or false, have a 100% direct impact on our actions and how our lives shape out.
The good news is, that we can literally rewire our brains in ways that affect our thoughts at any age or any point in our life.
This is due to the our brains NEUROPLASTICITY
Our brains are constantly being shaped by our experiences throughout our lives. Which is why most of us have very different behaviours and thoughts today than we did 20 years ago. This change is neuroplasticity in action! Changes in the brain structure and organisation as we experience life, learn and adapt.
This is why when we repeat the same thought over and over again or experience the same emotion over and over again, constantly repeating the same thoughts, the same feelings.
We reinforce the neural pathways within our brain.
You could think of it this way.
Neuroplasticity is the ‘muscle building’ part of the brain; the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don’t use fades away.
That is the physical basis of why making a thought or action over and over again increases its power. Over time, it becomes automatic; a part of us. We literally become what we think and do.
Confidence is our life’s enabler because it’s the quality that turns our thought into action. So to be more confident in ourselves we need to change the neural pathways within our brain.
In order to do that we need to play the confidence scales over and over again, just the same way we have to learn to play scales on a piano when we a learning piano.
Or in other words we have to take small steps in our daily life that exercises and shapes our Neuroplasticity, which then results in higher confidence levels in ourselves.
Today I want to share with you the confidence scales I used to grow my confidence and the scales I am still doing right now that help me to keep growing in confidence?
View failure as new information
In building your confidence if you incorporate any failures as a learning information tool rather than the end of you efforts or action you will slowly build your self confidence.
I know this sounds stupid but it actually works.
When you fail at something, thank the experience, the failure for the lessons, learn from those lessons and try and try again.
A good example of how we learn from our failures is.
Do you remember learning to ride a bike?
You got on and wobbled, fell off, got on and wobbled and fell off but you did not stop trying, instead you learnt each time how to balance yourself on the bike. Then you where off peddling, could not stop, panicked and fell off;But you did not give up, you tried and tried again learning more and more until you where able to ride a bike without falling off and scraping your legs.
Life is the same we will fail at lots of things but we have to get up dust ourselves off, learn from the mistakes and try and try again. Each time we try we build a little bit more confidence.
Remind yourself of good actions you take
Every day remind yourself of one thing you have done that is good.
As women in particular we are very good at using NATS (negative automatic thoughts), when we make one tiny mistake we dwell on it for hours and hours, which kills are self confidence.
Every time you feel yourself sleeping into your NATS (negative automatic thoughts);
Catch that thought.
Breath and think of something good, exciting or brilliant you have done that day.
It can be something as simple as;
- Getting the kids to school
- Getting to work on time
- Remembering a friends birthday
Move your thoughts to the great that you do, and by doing this each time you are working your building your confidence muscle and adapting your Neuroplasticity stories.
Develop power positions
Watch how you hold your body. When we lack in confidence we slouch, tip our head forward, avoid eye contact.
By having good posture; keeping your chin up and abs in is astonishingly simple, unyet powerful way for us to hold our body. Even nodding your head while you are talking makes you feel more confident.
By changing the way you use your body, you send subconscious signals to your brain saying “I am confident and I can achieve anything.”
You see your brain does not know or understand what the difference between reality and faking it is. So the brain automatically starts creating new memories, new stories
When she sits up straight and gives eye contact you start to feel confident. And over time your confidence will grow just by changing the way you hold your body.
FUCK It (my favourite)
Sometimes you just have to say fuck it (not fuck it why bother!).
Give your brain enough time to engage and it will convince you why you should stay small and safe.
When you can just think fuck it and act, then that’s a great way to show yourself what you’re really made of and with that your confidence will grow.
Your mind gives you 5 seconds for you to take action or stay small or safe .
Overall in my experience what’s really grown my confidence is practice, practice, practice.
The first time I had a call with a paying client I was crapping myself. But now I jump on the phone with people with no anxiety before hand whatsoever, but that took time. Speaking in front of loads of people took time, doing live chats online took time.
The more you do something the easier it will become and the more confident you’ll feel.
As a mum I had no confidence in my self as a mother when my son Paul was born. (blimey that was 21 years ago)
But when my daughter Eleanor was born I was so much more confident in this small bundle of skin and poo.
Then by the time my daughter Jemima was born I was so confident that nothing was going to knock me down.
Why because I had practised and dealt with all sorts of situations successfully the first time round with my son Paul.
And confidence is like this in all areas of of our life.
Remind your self; When we fall off the bike, we need to get back on and practice, practice, practice.