Confidence is something that many of us would like more of. And sometimes the people we perceive as having lots of belief in themselves, quite often don’t feel as sure of themselves as we think they do.
I remember a friend telling me years ago that it was quite obvious I was confident. The way I held my posture and how I walked down the street spoke volumes to her about my self worth.
She was shocked to realize that I did in fact doubt myself enormously.
Fast forward to now of course that has changed. The way I feel about myself and my value has certainly transformed.
And my clients have experienced the same.
I remember distinctly one beautiful woman who appeared to be incredibly strong and confident, but she felt very unsure of herself. After working together she felt transformed. Her way of describing it; surface confidence became real and deeply felt confidence.
Interesting isn’t it.
But a good insight to have and it kind of makes us all real and human. Because it reiterates so much that nothing is ever as it initially seems. We are all dealing with something.
Our levels of confidence play a massive part in how we experience life and what we achieve. If we have low levels of self-belief, then it affects the way we behave and communicate and how other people see us.
This means it will affect how others treat us too.
And we can only “fake it until we make it” for so long., eventually it catches up with us. Personally I’m not a big believer in that concept anyway, I believe in being genuine, real and authentic.
But that doesn’t mean you need to stay small or hide hoping one day your self-confidence magically appears.
There are certain actions you can take to feel more confident about yourself.
Getting to know yourself well builds self confidence
A popular personal development phrase these days is, “value yourself”.
We possibly know that as we value ourselves more then other people will too. It is a naturally occurrence, because what we project reflects back at us. All we ever really see is a mirror.
But what does valuing ourselves really mean?
Personally I believe it means we can actually see our true value and feel confident in who we are. And our actions demonstrate how we feel about ourselves. We are prepared to honour ourselves more.
But it’s difficult to value who we are, when we don’t really have full clarity of our identity.
When we know who we are however, it makes our self belief more sustainable. We begin to see our contribution to the world, just by being ourselves.
In your quest to build confidence, spend some time exploring who you really are, without your labels of mother, friend, father or daughter. Or any other labels that you tend to identify with.
What are your qualities, strengths and gifts? We all have them and they are different for all of us.
Clarity of personal core values is essential to building a strong sense of self
In the work I do, I spend heaps of time helping my clients get clear on their true values. And this is because our values sit at the core of who we are in this lifetime.
If we don’t have a deeper understanding of our own core values, it’s quite easy to feel offended by other’s behaviour. It also means we are more likely to doubt ourselves too or become over forceful in expressing our opinion. It is the sure fire way to holding ourselves back.
As we gain a full appreciation of our values, we begin to see that we are unique. There is absolutely no one else quite like us. It also means we begin to comprehend that there is no one else like everyone else around us. This brings more awareness.
And if this is the case, then of course we have a contribution that no one else has. It gives us a very strong sense of self and we know what we stand for. This means we feel more confident and are more likely to speak our truth without the self-doubt. Plus we do it in such a way that we are actually heard instead of feeling rejected.
Getting clear on what you want ignites enthusiasm
Easier said than done when you lack confidence. However, once you are clear on who you are and what you value, this becomes so much more fun.
But it is more than just writing a big list of wants, although that is a key part too. Your list needs to include anything that you think you might like to do. Or you have wanted to do in the past but not done.
And there is even more to this.
Exploring what you want and then checking for alignment gives you much more motivation to start doing. This is because those ideas are directly in line with who you are and what’s important to you.
It’s a lot more inspiring than just writing a list of bland goals or resolutions and forcing yourself to get moving. And the motivation to move is vital in the next step.
Stepping out of your comfort zone – the powerful action to build confidence
And this doesn’t mean just once, it means repetitively. It massively beats just sitting, hoping, wishing and waiting for the confidence to show up.
Sounds simple, but not always easy because this is exactly the point when we are most likely to doubt ourselves.
Even after years of doing this, I still have small feelings of doubt whenever I do something new. But that’s very different to deep doubt in ourselves.
And if we focus on continuously challenging ourselves in this way, it absolutely gets to the point where it feels easier.
Doing new things is the number one way to step out of your comfort zone and build confidence. It’s the willingness to feel discomfort in an attempt to feel more comfortable and it requires effort.
However, when the actions you take are in full alignment with who you are and what’s important to you, it feels more effortless.
Going to a new dance class or the gym or applying for a new job, networking, or joining a voluntary organization or charity. These are all perfect examples if you have never done them before or haven’t done them for a long time.
Doing things you love and you’re good at helps you feel confident
We often spend so much time trying to improve ourselves that we forget to do things we are already good at.
Allow time for you to pursue the things you love.
Activities you are good at utilize your strengths and they energise you. You also enjoy these activities and pastimes. And you can’t help but feel confident when you are full of energy and doing something that lights you up.
The bottom line is this
There is a big difference between looking confident and actually feeling it. We can all “act as if”, but that doesn’t mean we feel certain within ourselves.
Confidence isn’t a one-time thing, we don’t build it once and then it stays all by itself. It is absolutely the result of committing to constant and never ending growth.
Sometimes we find it difficult to see the wood for the trees and there are other road blocks like limiting beliefs that can get in the way of feeling confident. Coaching can help you with this and can have a profound effect on the length of time it takes you to build your confidence.
You can book your complimentary session HERE to see if coaching is a good fit for you