As a coach I have noticed that a lack of confidence is the single most common barrier preventing someone from trying new things, living life to their potential and having a frikin good time!
A lack of confidence is all too prevalent in today’s society and a part of me can’t help but think that we take advantage of this. We are aware that our lack of confidence is preventing us from moving forward but so many of us never try and understand it, fix it or get help.
We retreat into our comfort zones and soothe our bruised ego by ignoring the problem.
Yet, at the first sign of tickly throat and runny nose we run to the doctor or pharmacist for a solution. We favour our physical health more!
Our mental health needs this kind of TLC too. But we stop ourselves from moving forward in life due to a lack of confidence and whats worse we don't do anything about it. We actively get in the way of our mental health - our capacity to flourish!
Our poor mental health :-(
So many of us function below our potential on a daily basis and we let ourselves get away with it. We do this because we don’t understand what confidence truly means and how we can develop this skill – a skill that will enable us to live life to our potential.
So what is confidence?
Broadly speaking, confidence means that you believe in your ability to do things.
But more specifically confidence is two things.
General confidence is that that “I can handle it feeling” and specific confidence is that “I’ve been successful in this area before” feeling. Some psychologist believe that general confidence is a personality trait but that specific confidence is more like a STATE OF MIND and can be learned, influenced and developed. Specific confidence is the building block for general confidence and is the focal point of what the rest of this blog is about…
How can you increase your specific confidence and what is my dirty little secret?
Many of your know that as part of the BLP I do a lot of public speaking, which I love (It’s my Beyoncé at Glastonbury feeling)!
For those of you who have been to any of my events and assume that I must have been born a crazy confident lady I have to tell you truth... that is not entirely accurate.
I have earned the right to be a confident public speaker.
When I first started on this journey I knew that the only way I was going to get good at public speaking was by doing it as often as possible. But I also understood something else that would later completely changed how I perceived confidence.
Our ability to pursue new experiences isn't just about confidence!
It is about COURAGE!
Let me explain why
When faced with risk, uncertainty or fear our initial response is to feel threatened. Instinctively we want to crawl back into our comfort zone where it is safe, secure and predictable.
Courage means stepping outside of the secure and safe comfort zone we have created for ourselves in spite of the perceived fear, risk and danger… but it doesn’t mean that you have to leave all aspects of your comfort zone behind.
There is something that you can do to, I guess to expedite matters, or at least something that I do.
What is my dirty little secret?
My dirty little secret is leopard print and heels. You heard me… leopard print and heels.
I associate leopard print and heels with feeling empowered, strong and confident. It is a part of my comfort zone that I take with me when I need courage to try new things.
These things inspire help me create the necessary state of mind. A state of mind which inspires courage to try new experiences and give myself the chance to practice what I want to become confident in. A state of mind that means I can stand in front of a room full of people and have my Beyoncé moment.
(Speaking of Beyoncé - for those of you who have been following me for a long time will know how much I love squatting heavy to choruses of "Who run the world? Girls! Who run the world? Girls! ". Certain music makes me feel like a total frikin rock star!)
We need to shift our attention from our perceived lack of confidence to how to create a courageous state of mind.
For me, bringing a little part of inspires a comfortable and safe state of mind to new experiences makes me that little bit braver and a little less threatened (and fearful).
Take some time to think about what this could mean for you
Is is wearing red? Taking your time to prepare your hair? Wearing a sentimental piece of jewellery? Listening to music? Recalling a positive memory or experience?
Don't forget to share your secret tricks and hacks in the comments below and who knows, maybe you can inspire someone to feel more courageous today :-)