Despite rumours that I am super confident, do not underestimate the turmoil that can exist in my internal world on a very regular basis. I know exactly how it feels to be brimming with self-doubt, feel overwhelmed by the voices in my head and get that nauseous feeling in my tummy when I am about to encounter something new.
But it rarely stops me from going for what it is that I really want.
This article is a bit of tough love from me to say that while I totally get you, a gentle kick up the butt is going to serve you better on this occasion. So here is my take on why you need to put your big girl (or boy) pants on and embrace your lack of confidence and go ahead and take action anyway. After various conversations, research and evaluation of work with my clients I realised just how big this topic was and decided it actually needs a whole series of blogs. This is the first of a 3 part series on the subject of our favourite C-word – confidence.
What is confidence anyway?
It’s a question that came up when I did a recent poll on the issues people would like answered on the subject. The truth of the matter is that confidence isn’t actually a ‘thing,’ it’s a feeling or a state.
So when we talk about losing it, how is that really possible if it’s not even a thing to lose?
I often lose my phone or car keys but are we kidding ourselves when we say that we have lost our confidence. It’s just a natural, well-accepted excuse not to take action and grow. Is it an implicit way for some people to attract compliments, to invite compassion or gain validation from others that it’s OK not to engage in a defined activity or venture.
Confidence is one of those words that is a ‘go to’ for when we are feeling a little (or a lot!) of discomfort and become resistant to take action. Confidence, (or lack of it) can really easily grow an excuse.
Noticing your drop in confidence can actually be a good thing because it can mean that you are in the process growing. It says that you are teetering on the edge of your comfort zone and that’s where growth happens. And if you are growing, then you are evolving into your next best self.
What’s not to love?
But it still stops you right?
Confidence can be defined as a feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s abilities or qualities. Or you could turn that on its head and argue that is the absence of any beliefs about oneself, that it’s a clear mind. It’s the natural state that you were born with, and we just got a bit messed up and fearful along the way.
When you were learning to walk, did you decide that you weren’t going to attempt it until you felt confident enough? Of course not! You just kept getting up, kept falling over and then kept trying again maybe with some minor adjustments. And eventually, you were walking, and later before long-running, jumping and leaping.
It’s at that point of mastering whatever it is we are trying to do as adults that we then start to feel confident. The state of confidence arises.
But what can you do if you are still feeling in that ‘stuckness’ and not taking action?
Here are 3 things to remember when you start to tell yourself that you have no or low confidence and want to progress.
- Confidence is a feeling, not a thing. Feelings come from thoughts so choose them wisely.
- Access your beginner’s mind. Just like a toddler learning to walk you too can use the principles of falling over, making adjustments to get where you need to.
- Growth (and confidence!) is on the other side of fear. The fear will last a short time but the regret will last forever, so take action anyway.
Still feeling stuck? If you know that lack of confidence is standing in between you and your next move, then get in touch to find out how you can work with me to take action anyway firstname.lastname@example.org