Will a confidence boost be your best Xmas gift?
When was the last time you told yourself you’d do something and then not do it? Instead, you tricked yourself into thinking there wasn’t enough time, or you did something else first, or you waited until you knew more so that you’d be better prepared (I bet your reasons/excuses made good sense at the time). After all, who likes rejection, failure or other potential negative outcomes?
Our bodies experience excitement and fear as the same thing
When you feel nervous, anxious, stressed out or insecure, these feelings are all other names for fear. We fear failure, embarrassment, shame and not being good enough. Yet, the only thing that differentiates between your feelings of excitement (+ emotion) and fear (-ve emotion) is the way you think about something. How you think creates the experience you have.
When you think about it, the only thing holding you back is you – the limits and patterns you’ve created (through fear) that keep you safe, in your comfort zone.
Think you need more confidence?
Here’s the thing. Your level of confidence isn’t the issue. We are afraid of failure and rejection so we experience fear. We all do this. The issue is how we think about fear. You can only build confidence once you get over fear. The only way to get over fear is to focus on getting prepared and being in action. In doing so, you’ll develop new reference points that validate your level of increased confidence and learning. The other option is not to take action, which is easier….but what will that give you?
I remember years ago, feeling anxious about my relationship with a boss, feeling undermined by the lack of autonomy and decision making I perceived I had. I started to self-doubt my value and ability. I responded by working 12+ hour days consistently. I was in a rut and the only person I was trying to prove myself to, was me. Plucking up courage, I spoke to my boss and got things sorted – more easily than I predicted (funny that). I realised that for anything to change, I had to create the change. It was a big self-leadership lesson.
You want to feel confident, calm and at ease. Dr Russ Harris’s book “The Confidence Gap” outlines the golden rule of the confidence game.
The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later
The book has a great quote “You can’t fake confidence, you have to earn it. You have to do the work”.
Your confidence is linked to your preparedness to take action
You can’t wish, wait and hope for confidence to show up. It won’t.
Do you think fear is bad? What if instead, you believed that fear was a response enabling you to be on alert and to pay attention for what could be learned as you take action?
Here’s a process to grow your confidence toolkit and get into action:
- Decide how you want it to be. In other words, know what you want.
- Break the action down into steps
- Believe you can do it (even if it’s just the first step)
- Take action (set a deadline and keep your promises)
- Create positive self-talk – get the buzz (release of endorphins into your body) and in the process, learn to like yourself a bit more (grow your self-acceptance and self-esteem)
- Repeat again and again…. and enjoy your confidence boost
Your path to the success you want is dependent on your relationship with fear. Remember to take yourself lightly through the process. Chances are, things aren’t that serious. Whatever you decide you want, know why it matters and how it aligns with your values. As the old saying goes “When there’s a will, there’s a way”
What are you willing to take action on now?