How to build Confidence
Confidence is always high on the agenda for clients seeking coaching. In fact, whether it is in relation to career, relationships or their voice, it is generally the number one thing that people want to walk away with. Fortunately, for many this can be extremely achievable and can click into place in just a few weeks - or even days. The key thing is, if you truly have the desire to change, you will succeed. Here’s how to begin to help yourself;
The first thing to remember is that confidence is a frame of mind. What it means for one person will be different to another. It's far easier to get what you want once you know what it looks like. Figuring out what confidence means for you will make it much easier to find.
Next up, you need to decide what will be different when you have it. How does the confident you differ from the you right now? Knowing this will allow you to understand what changes need to happen to achieve your goal. Along with this, you need to figure out the areas that cause you to lack confidence. Again, this will signal areas where you might choose to think or behave differently - you might, for example, know you aren’t confident because you decided to stay in on a Saturday night when you had the option to go out. So what would happen if you made a different choice? What happens if you choose to go out instead - will that behaviour change in itself actually begin to allow you to feel more confident?
You need to identify exactly where that feeling of un-confidence lives. You will probably find that, actually, there are many areas of your life that you feel perfectly fine and normally confident about. Be specific about exactly were the un-confidence is, and you’ll be able to target that particular area and stop feeling that you are not a confident person on the whole.
Identify the areas of your life where you already feel confident, and note exactly what this feels like; how you behave and what is different about the confident parts of you in these situations. How do you behave? How do you know it’s ok to feel confident in those situations? Where does that feeling of confidence live?
Here’s my 7 step guide to boosting confidence;
- Write a list defining what confidence means for you (forget about others who you see as confident, this is about you).
- If you wake up tomorrow as the true confident you, what is different? How are you behaving? How are you feeling? What do you look like? Write this down or draw a picture capturing your answers.
- Write down the answer to this; How do you know you aren’t confident already? What exactly tells you this? Are there any areas that you are being unhelpfully hard or unfair to yourself? Are there any ideas you might have been holding onto that are out of date and don’t really apply anymore? Can you allow yourself to redress these and change your mind about them?
- Allow yourself to identify the areas in which the feelings of un-confidence live. Be specific. How does it feel? If it had a colour, what would it be? Where do you feel un-confident?
- Think of areas or times in your life where you feel or have felt really confident. Remember every detail about the situation. The place, the temperature, the people, the sounds, smells and feel of the situation. Identify where that sense of confidence lives within you, give it a colour or a shape, a sound or a name and make a note of where it is and how to get it back.
- Now imagine one of the situations that you felt un-confident in, in the past. As you begin to recall it, allow the feeling of confidence that you have just identified to grow, until you imagine really having that feeling of confidence. Play out the situation in your mind with this new confidence and see what happens. Do this 2 or 3 times. Is there any advice that the confident you would like to pass on to the un-confident you?
- Finally, now imagine a situation in the future that you had previously thought would have been a situation where you would have felt un-confident. As you imagine it, allow this new sense of confidence to flood through you. Play out the situation until it has reached a successful conclusion. Do this every day for a week with a different situation.
The thing is, there is no holy grail to confidence; it’s about what you let yourself be, by ditching old unhelpful ideas you used to hold about yourself and allowing the confident version of you through to your whole life. Forget about trying and putting in lots of effort and instead allow yourself to be mindful and aware of your situation and what you say to yourself and give yourself permission to be the person you really are.