Following on from yesterday's blog, one of the reasons we do nothing to move out of our comfort zones and act to become unstuck from the rut which we find ourselves in, is because we lack to the confidence to do so.
Can you think of a time when you felt you needed a boost in your confidence? Maybe you wanted to change careers and go for another role but how many jobs have you talked yourself out of applying for because you haven't been for an interview in years or you were convinced you weren’t experienced enough? What about selling yourself in interview? You knew you could do the job, but you felt that weren’t good enough for that company or the competition was too great, so you kept quiet and didn’t push your strengths. Or where you were so nervous before hand, you practically said nothing throughout the entire interview? I guarantee you that every single person has experienced this at some point in their life.
Have you ever been too scared to try out something new, even though you wanted to? Maybe you have thought about starting up your own business but don't have the confidence in you know how set up or run a business or that it will be a success.
What about when meeting new people, do you keep yourself off to one side, not daring to strike up conversation with anyone? Or having you been avoiding asking someone out on a date because you think you'll be rejected.
Or what about how confident you feel in how you are as a person? Do you lack the confidence to demonstrate your knowledge and experience? Could you do with a boost in confidence during public speaking or doing presentations where the focus is on you? Are you the person you want to be, a person other people like and enjoy spending time with? Do you feel confident that you are the best version of you, and you are proud of who you are and what you do? There are many real life, everyday situations where having greater confidence can be beneficial.
Being more confident is not about you bragging, telling an exaggerated story or lying, it is showing up in the world in a way which shows the best of you.
If you want to explore where you might be lacking in confidence, try out the Confidence Star worksheet which you can download below, in the form of a PDF.
It helps you to highlight where a lack of confidence might be an issue for you, and therefore, where focusing your attention might be beneficial. It will also highlight areas where you do feel confident.
Why is confidence so important?
Well, confidence plays a role in our success as there is an interplay between competence, confidence and success. You can have all the confidence in the world but if you don’t have the ability then you won’t be successful in what you want to achieve. Equally, you could have bundles of ability but lack the confidence. Having both the confidence and being competent leads to a successful outcome. And the key thing is, you can learn to develop both. Boost your confidence to step into a new learning environment, practice a new skill, try out a new experience. The more you do, the more adept and competent you become and this feeds into you feeling more confident…and guess what, you see it paying off and then it goes into this feedback loop. So, to achieve a successful outcome you need both competence and confidence. Of course, as with anything it is going to take time and effort. No one is going to wave a magic wand and suddenly you’re bursting with confidence and become Superman or Wonder Woman. You’re going to take your existing skills and give them a small boost so that you can start to build upon them and turn them into big changes.
Now there are probably many people thinking confidence is something you are born with and if you haven’t got it, then you haven’t got it and never will. That’s not true, confidence is something you acquire, through the things you do, who you have around you – supporting you and encouraging you, what beliefs you hold and how you view your experiences. As you learn, practice, take feedback, experience more, you gain more confidence because as we have previously stated you become more competent, and you can draw upon these previous experiences.
Equally there are situations or occasions where you are more confident than in others. Go back to your Confidence Star and think about the scores you wrote down; are there areas you feel more confident? If you were born with no confidence, would it not be the case that all areas would score zero? And yet, it is highly unlikely you have scored zero for all sections? In the nature/nurture debate, confidence is one of those areas that fits in the nurture side, it is something you can learn, develop and change…which is a bonus for us because it means that if we are wanting a boost in confidence then we can do something about it. As you change over time, so does your confidence.
If your Confidence Star highlights areas in which you feel your confidence is lower, then what is really going on here? What are the real issues at play and how might you address those? Use the results from the Confidence Star to help you decide which areas to focus upon and what needs to change in your life.
Take tiny steps to change how confident you feel. Just think, if you were just 10 % more confident in the areas where your attention needs to go, what difference would this make in the number of opportunities you come across, the number of connections you make, the possibilities or solutions which would be present? How would a 10% boost in your confidence change your world now and over time? What would be different for you?
Boost your confidence by:
- Developing your self-belief. Use your confidence from some areas of your life and transfer this to the areas where you are not as confident. After all, you are the same person, it is only the context or environment that is different. Accept who you are and who you can become and believe you are a confident person.
- The past only determines your future if you allow it to. Use your past successes to help you grow your confidence today.
- Put the work in and practice. Don’t forget the link between confidence, competence and success. You would not have got this far in life if you had none of these.
- Gain support and learn from others who project confidence.
- Act and speak with confidence and see what happens.
Remember, you are not born confident, it is something you gain as you grow. Don’t hide in the shadows, shine bright and be the star of your show.