Every woman I’ve worked with this past week has wanted the same thing – confidence. More confidence and less self-doubt. So what’s getting in the way?
At the heart of self-doubt is fear
We fear that we’re not good enough, or that we won’t be liked, or that we’ll fail for example. It’s normal to feel self-doubt – even gold medal winners do just before they compete. It helps us be on alert which can be a good thing. Oftentimes though, alert turns to alarm (fear) and instead we feel nervous, anxious or stressed.
Confidence is a toolkit with more than one strategy
A common coping strategy for self-leading with fear is to prepare and rehearse to ‘get it right’. In the process, we give ourselves self-certainty and permission to feel confident and in control. So for example, we’ll practice a presentation until we’ve memorised it, or think about what we’re going to say, rehearse it, and then say it. The trouble with this strategy is twofold: it’s time consuming; and, in the case of a conversation, the conversation won’t wait for you.
Confidence stems from your relationship with you – your ability to accept you, value you, and trust you. When you know who you are for you, you can re-train the little voice in your head, and both be on the same page, as opposed to validating your self-critique of not being good enough. Sound good?
The person you need to trust first is yourself
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.~ Brene Brown
Build confidence through backing yourself
Learn to back yourself by deciding to do it often. Here’s a good process habit to get into:
Step 1: Build self-awareness continually – the more you know, understand and believe in you, the better person you can become
Step 2: Get out of your comfort zone
Step 3: At the point of alarm (fear) in Step 2, decide to back yourself and let courage show up
Step 4: Do the thing and bring an attitude that’s positive and ready to learn. Every result is feedback.
Step 5: Acknowledge yourself to lift you up (rather than bring you down)
Step 5: REPEAT AND NEVER STOP
Bringing it all together
Building confidence can’t happen in your head. It can only happen in action. By creating opportunities to back yourself, you’ll develop your self-trust muscle and give yourself confidence in the process.