Confidence is one of those tricky subjects.
When you have too much confidence, you might run into trouble with not completing projects in time, over estimating your ability and the project on hand, step all over people for your own interest, be perceived as conceited and arrogant, etc. Too little confidence and you are too scared to move forward in life. You allow other to step over you and you never challenge yourself to learn or achieve a new skill. You are perceived as weak and not someone who can pull with the team.
There is a very fine balance to not come across as full of yourself or a doormat.
Confidence cannot be gained from the world around us. It comes from within. What do you tell yourself? What limitations do you put on yourself? What lies are you telling yourself about your competence? And that conversation goes to both ends of the spectrum. Lie about your ability and you set yourself up for failure even before you start. Or, you have it well within your ability to succeed, but you never even try.
We all need a little arrogance from time to time, but it needs to be healthily balanced with the reverse. The greatest trick is to find the sweet spot on the pendulum. There where you move through life knowing who you are, your abilities and being comfortable with yourself. There, were we push ourselves outside our comfort zone.
How do reach that point?
1. Be honest. What affects you and how do you react to it? How do you react when you do not “succeed”? What is it that leads to you doubting yourself? Unless we know how we react to outside events and stimulus, we will never know where our strengths and “weaknesses” lie. Weaknesses are not necessarily a bad thing – I do not like baking and I can bake a cake, but I will never be a master baker as it is not my passion. But because I do not like baking, I do not tell myself I am a useless baker. I cannot bake cakes. If someone else shows up with a magnificent cake, I do not see it as a weakness on my side. I can tell you, I will run first to taste it. It does not matter, we all have our interests and talents. Know them.
2. Mind your self-talk. Do you criticize yourself every day? How do you talk to yourself? Do you give constructive criticism, or do you outright tell yourself you are useless? The way we speak to ourselves, will determine how we react in the world. If you did not make it this time, what were the factors that prevented you? Not everything was a mess, focus on the good points, learn where to improve and move on. Your thoughts and your words are equally important, but I think, our thoughts carry far more energy.
3. Connect with people who support you. People who support and love you will be honest. Speak openly and honestly with them. Do not talk to people about your “failures” who do not have your best interest at heart. Those who love you will encourage you, they will give constructive criticism, they will boost you where you need boosting. They will look, with you, at the bigger picture. Call them, go and have a coffee, and ask them to be honest and objective.
4. Trust in yourself and your voice. You know, in your heart’s heart, what you can and what you cannot do. You know instinctively what skills you can learn and acquire to help you on your path forward. You can be assertive, sometimes that is exactly what is needed. If you always stand back and blame other people, you will never achieve something. This is like learning to walk. Every new challenge in our life is a “learning to walk stage”. Trust your own ability. Speak up and claim your spot.
5. Leave the comfort zone. Unless you are willing to be uncomfortable and feel a bit exposed, you will not grow, and you will stay stagnant. In the comfort zone nothing happens – nothing grows. We all have ambition. Some are greater than other, but it is a human trait. Stepping out of the known, forces us to look for new ways and skills. It opens our minds and we think about things differently. Challenging yourself, opens a whole new world to you.
6. Be kind to yourself. You do not need to beat yourself up when something did not go according to plan. Maybe, side-stepping will bring a better outcome. There is never only one way – be kind when it did not work your way the first time. Be kind to yourself in your words and thoughts. Be kind to yourself in time. Do you take enough time to build yourself – emotionally and physically. Ask for help if you feel you have limiting beliefs that hold you back from achieving your best outcome. Confidence comes from knowing yourself.
Self-confidence is something we learn from ourselves.
We cannot gain self-confidence from outside of us. Yes, the recognition once you have achieved your end goal, is wonderful, and it is just that last confirmation to tackle another challenge. But while you are walking the path, it will be your own confidence that will pull you through. And your confidence depends on your self-talk.
Confidence is a light that shines inside you, high-lighting the “good” and the “bad”. How you interpret what the light shows, is up to you.
Transformation Life Coach
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