7 tips for growing confidence in yourself……
Lack of confidence can really hold us back from doing things for ourselves that we feel will bring us more happiness, fulfilment and fun in our lives. When we talk about confidence we often think it’s something we either have or we don’t, but it’s this belief that can prevent us from taking baby steps towards our goals and aspirations.
Building confidence is a practice like everything else. Often we want to wait until we feel confident before we’ll begin applying for that job or promotion we really want, or starting our own business, or going to the gym or retraining or whatever it is for us.….. We fill our heads with stories of all the things that could possibly go wrong and in doing so we paralyse ourselves from taking action. We don’t look at the best case scenario, but convince ourselves that the worst will happen.
In my experience, it is by doing the thing that we don’t feel confident about, that will actually begin to give us the confidence we are looking for. So in other words don’t wait to feel confident before taking action, it is in taking that action that the confidence will come. If our goal or desire is something we really want to be, have or do we may feel a conflict internally, it may feel like we cannot move forward, but standing still can also be really uncomfortable too. Having courage is feeling afraid and still taking that step in a way that feels manageable for you.
So if you find yourself in this place what are some things that you could do to help take that first tiny step in the direction you want to go in?
- Realise that you are not alone in feeling this way. It is completely normal. People may look confident to you on the outside but it may not be how they are feeling on the inside. Have you ever said to someone they came across as really confident and they confided that they were actually feeling really nervous?
- Think of time when you learned something new. For example, learning to drive a car…… I remember being terrified of being in control of this car, however, with time and plenty of practice I am now really comfortable and confident driving…. but this took time. From your example think about some of the feelings that you had going from not being able to do something to feeling confident about it – what can you learn from that situation that you can use in your current situation?
- Write a list of some possible baby steps that you could take to get yourself moving. Once you have written your list ask yourself again ok what else could I do? Not that you will do, but that you could do. Then score them 1-10 (with 1 = this would be ok for me to do and 10 = you would be so panicked that your feelings would overwhelm you and you wouldn’t be able to take action)……Now look at your list and see what option feels manageable….. and set yourself a challenge. Pick one action and give yourself a deadline.
- Perhaps share what you are going to do with someone who will encourage you.
- Be aware of your mental chat if it is negative try and catch yourself and say something more positive to yourself.
- Be kind to yourself as you would to a child who was learning something new. Celebrate the fact that you are being courageous and putting yourself out there and not that you haven’t quite mastered it yet.
- Try and have a playful, curious attitude. See it is an experiment. You’re taking an action to see what happens, venturing into new territory as an explorer in your own life!
Building confidence is about expanding our comfort zone and doing it in a way that feels like we are stretching, but not terrifying, ourselves! To always live inside our comfort zones may feel safe to us – but it is safety at the expense of living and experiencing life and feeling alive and realising that you can do so so much more than you think you can. We all can.
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Karen Hayns MSc - Future PerfectSeptember 11th, 2017