Not feeling confident? You’re not alone. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives.
But guess what… You have the power to change that!
Whether you’re struggling with self-doubt in achieving your career or your personal goals, read on to understand why confidence is so important, how it affects every aspect of your life, and how to build solid confidence.
Let’s dive into confidence, and explore:
- What confidence is
- What confidence is NOT
- Signs of a lack confidence
- Obstacles to confidence
- Practical tips for building self-confidence
What is Confidence?
Confidence is a powerful force that can help you:
- Achieve your goals
- Overcome challenges
- And live a more fulfilling, joy-filled life.
Mel Robbins, a motivational speaker, author and someone who I admire, has a very short yet clear definition of confidence… Confidence is the willingness to try.
She emphasizes that confident people take action even if they doubt themselves, and the act of moving through it is what builds belief in self. Mel goes on to say that confidence is a quiet knowing that you can count on yourself.
I’m going to boil that down to…
Confidence is the willingness to try even without assured success. It’s having the courage to take risks to try new things because you know that you’ll be okay even if things don’t go as planned.
What Confidence is NOT
Let’s clear up some of the myths around confidence:
Confidence is NOT about being perfect, it’s about making progress. Forget the idea that you have to be perfect to have self-confidence. That’s just not true.
Perfectionism can actually hold you back from having true self-confidence. When you aim for an impossible standard, it can lead to feeling inadequate and low self-esteem.
Focusing on progress, on the other hand, helps you:
- Celebrate your accomplishments
- Learn from your mistakes
- And keep growing
PRO TIP: Progress doesn’t always have to be big and obvious. Sometimes it’s small and incremental. Recognize and acknowledge even the smallest of wins and progress, it all adds up and can boost your self-confidence in the long run.
2. Are we born with confidence?
Self-confidence is NOT something that we are born with. Rather, it’s something that can be developed and improved upon over time.
Think about it – when we’re babies, we have no idea about the world around us. As we grow, we start to develop a sense of self and begin to explore the world around us. We learn what we’re good at, what we’re not so good at, and we start to form opinions and beliefs about ourselves.
Through trying new things, making mistakes, and learning from them, we begin to develop a sense of self-worth and belief in ourselves (or not).
3. Confidence is not fixed.
First, confidence is NOT a trait (something we’re born with), rather it’s a skill that we can learn and strengthen, and it fluctuates depending on the situation. You can have full confidence in your business life, yet lack confidence in your financial or social life. The skill of confidence is like a muscle – it needs to be exercised!
What are signs of a lack confidence?
Lack of confidence can have a significant impact on your daily life. Signs of a lack of confidence can include:
- Low self-esteem: Feeling inadequate, unworthy, or like you don’t measure up to others.
- Worry what others think: Being afraid of being rejected or judged by others can prevent you from taking risks and trying new things.
- Difficulty in communication: When there’s a lack of self-belief, it can be hard to communicate effectively and assertively.
- Difficulty in decision making: This can lead to feelings of uncertainty and indecision, holding you back from reaching your goals.
- Procrastination: Trouble starting or completing tasks can lead to feelings of frustration and a lack of accomplishment.
Bottom line… A lack of confidence can make it difficult to take risks and ultimately reach your goals. It may also cause you avoid new opportunities and experiences that could help you grow.
Obstacles to Reaching Full Confidence
A few of the common obstacles that can keep you from full confidence, and therefore keeping you from your full potential are:
- Negative Self-Talk and Self-Doubt
Focusing on our weaknesses and shortcomings rather than strengths and abilities can create self-doubt and negative thoughts such as “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough,” which can further decrease our confidence.
Fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of not being good enough are all common fears that can hold us back from taking risks and trying new things, which limits our potential and prevents us from building confidence.
Plus, when in a state of fear, our brain is wired to focus on the negative and anticipate worst-case scenarios… not a good setup for feeling confident.
- Past Experiences
Past experiences, whether traumatic or simply negative, can also affect our confidence. When we’ve been hurt or rejected in the past, it can make it difficult to trust ourselves and others, which can lead to a lack of confidence in the present.
The good news is that all these obstacles can be overcome so your confidence can shine and you can achieve your goals with more ease!
3 Practical Tips to Build Your Confidence
Here are three tips to help you build your self-confidence so you can achieve your goals with more ease.
1. Understand how fear makes you behave.
We all have a fear center in our brain that tries to keep us physically and emotionally “safe.” This correlates to keeping us from trying new things because there’s uncertainty in the outcome (i.e. we might fail, feel incompetent, disappoint ourselves or others, etc.) One way it does this is by creating self-doubt to erode our self-confidence.
Once you understand fear and how it affects your thoughts and behaviors, you can take your power back from it and make conscious choices on how you want to proceed. You can learn to live a more confident, authentic, fearless life.
As a Certified Fearless Living Life Coach, this is my specialty! My Journey to Joy life coaching program includes the Fearless Living Institute’s proprietary methodology called “The Wheels,” which is thought to be the most powerful fear-mastery tool ever created. With “The Wheels, I help you identify your unique core fear so you can gain mastery over it, letting go of resistance, quitting self-sabotage, and stopping fear from running your life.
To learn more about how fear makes you behave, grab my free minicourse:
2. Challenge your thoughts.
When you find yourself having negative thoughts or self-talk, ask yourself if they are really true or if there’s another way of looking at the situation.
For example, let’s say you find yourself thinking “I’m not good enough for that job” when applying for a new position. Instead of just accepting that negative thought as true, take a step back and ask yourself if that statement is really true. Maybe there’s another way of looking at the situation, such as “I may not have all the qualifications for the job, but I have transferable skills and a strong work ethic that would make me a valuable asset to the company.”
By questioning your negative thoughts and looking at the situation from a different perspective, you can start to challenge and change them, thereby reducing the impact of self-doubt and boosting confident self-talk.
3. Take action.
My mentor, Rhonda Britten, Founder of the Fearless Living Institute says that: Most people think that they need confidence before they can take action, but the opposite is true! When you take action, your confidence grows. From personal experience, I can assure you it’s true!
PRO TIP: Start by taking small, achievable steps. Little successes will build momentum and grow your confidence. The key is to START.
Confidence is the key to reaching your full potential and living a happy, fulfilling life!
If you’re struggling with confidence, know that it’s something you can build. Take risks, challenge yourself, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as they make great learning opportunities.
Confidence is a journey, not a destination, and it’s something you can continue to work on and improve throughout your life. It is well worth the time, effort, and commitment.