THE GREATEST MYTH SURROUNDING CONFIDENCE IS THINKING YOU EITHER HAVE IT, OR YOU DON'T. CONFIDENCE IS A SKILL SET. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.
ANY ONE CAN PRACTICE AND LEARN THIS SKILL.
Your journey to increased confidence is made up of small changes practiced every day. In the exact same way that you can get better at sports or playing a musical instrument you can become more confident, but you will need to make this commitment to yourself
It will take one part commitment, one part courage and one part action.
But before we take this any further I think its really very important to understand what confidence actually is and at the same time dispel any mis held beliefs too.
Confidence plays such a massive role in our ability to function at or above our potential. So, suffice it to say we need to understand what it is and how we can develop this skill – a skill that will enable us to live life to our potential.
Most dictionaries and online resources define confidence as our belief in our ability to carry out a specific task or our belief in people, plans or the future.
Having confidence can have a really positive impact on your day-to-day life, as well as your ability to achieve the things you want to do.
The cool thing about confidence is that if you feel confident then you probably are. Therefor, it is not just a feeling but also a judgment about our choices and future.
There are two types of self-confidence.
General self-confidence is that that “I can handle it feeling”. People who are generally self-confident do not dwell on negative consequences and usually view outcomes optimistically. They have high self-esteem, which basically refers to the emotional feeling we have about our own self worth. Generally self-confident people appear to take more risks, do not question themselves and believe that they can handle any problem.
Specific self-confidence is based on experience and is that “I’ve been successful in this area before” feeling. People who have specific self-confidence have experienced success and generally do not question their ability or worth in this task. People who have specific self-confidence may have low self esteem or self belief outside the area they are confident in.
Some psychologists believe that general confidence is a personality trait but that specific confidence is a state of mind and can be learned, influenced and developed. Therefor, specific confidence can be the building block for general confidence.
You have probably felt this distinction in your every day life before? You can perform very complex tasks in work, interact and converse with your colleagues with confidence but if approached by a guy in a bar you become shy and introverted.
Can you say brain fart?
It is possible to be very confident in one area (specific self-confidence) but feel like in other areas of life you have very low (general) self-confidence.
However, our ability to pursue new experiences isn't just about confidence! It is about courage, and 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. But if we want to become more confident at something we need to take action and 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.
I want to tell you about something that I do that I hope will help you too.
I want you to visualize in your mind a time when you were totally rocking it. Maybe you were out on a Saturday night or on a first date and you couldn’t explain it then but you felt a million bucks. Well, this was most likely down to your state of mind. If you think back on it did you listen to something, talk to someone or wear something and just instantly feel better.
A little trick that I practice to get me into a confident state of mind is to listen to some music and wear heels. These things inspire a state of mind that arouses courage to try new experiences and give myself the chance to practice what I want to become confident in .
These small action steps will shift our state and this is crucial if we want to take courageous action.
Confidence is not talking about what you want, it is owning it and taking action.
The best way to gain self confidence is to do what you are afraid of doing! To prepare for this action you need to exercise some mental fitness! If you don't already have a confidence boosting ritual it is time to get one!
I want you to think of something that will help you create the necessary state of mind to inspire and empower you to take action. This could be some (or all) of the following
Visualization is also known as mental imagery and is a brilliant tool that will help you bring about a specific outcome. It is the process of creating a mental image or intention for what you want to happen in your life. It makes the future clearer and is the first step toward creating it.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Music has the ability to instantly transform our mood. Have you ever listened to a super upbeat song and feel completely reenergised as a result? Create an uplifting playlist on your music player and listen to this when you need to psyche yourself up.
FAKE IT 'TILL YOU MAKE IT
If I believed that I was not going to get the job (for e.g), that belief may have led me to alter the strategies I used for interview preparation, and I would probably perform way below my best. While I may have had a good chance of succeeding, my belief hindered my performance, and I made this belief become reality. Psychological research shows that the self-fulfilling prophecy works for both negative and positive predictions - the beliefs you hold have an impact on what happens to you. In order for you to succeed at what ever you put your mind to you need a belief so strong in your self that you can overcome any set back!
DRESS TO IMPRESS (YOURSELF)
How we perceive ourselves plays a massive role in how we feel about ourselves. For me, wearing heels instantly boosts my confidence (I feel like rockstar) and even wearing leopard print will give me a little boost too. Appearances can make a difference, so throw on that work dress that makes you feel sharp because how you see yourself will influence how you feel about yourself. And don't forget even if you feel small, taking up more physical space will make you feel more confident too!
I want you to come up with one "confidence boosting strategy or ritual" that will help you feel instantly more confident and use this as frequently as possible to prepare you for when you need to take action.