Has a lack of confidence ever held you back?
Have you ever thought about doing something but deliberated “If only I had the confidence to try…” or “I’d never have the confidence to change that…”
Confidence is not something we are born with. What if we could choose to be confident? Imagine feeling positive, empowered and optimistic all of the time? If having confidence helps us to believe, achieve and succeed in life, developing and strengthening our confidence is of huge benefit t o us all. The good news is that confidence can be learned and strengthened throughout our life. Nurture triumphs in this nurture vs. nature debate.
Where do I start?
Confidence is our belief in our ability to meet the demands placed on us in a particular situation and is developed over time through our experiences and by the people in our environment. Albert Bandura, a Canadian psychologist said that confidence can be learned as long as we are willing to give it a go.
Converting your “I can’t’s into I can!”
At it’s core, having confidence is an active personal investment, so:
- Listen to that Supportive Inner Voice
It’s the experience of learning and doing that creates confidence. Chose your supportive inner voice to nudge you on your way! Step out of that comfort zone. Say things like “ Give it a try…” or “What’s the worst that can happen?” Or even “This will help me in the long run…” Encourage and reassure yourself, show compassion.
- Praise your effort and not the result!
We show compassion to our children when they miss out on team selection. We say things like “I’m sorry it’s not what you wanted it to but look at what you achieved!” We teach them that once they ‘do their best’ that it’s ok. However, we, as adults tend to get attached to outcomes or results and often beat ourselves up if we miss out. We need to practise reframing and resilience, choose to take the good and learn from a situation and then, bounce back.
- Contribute/ Participate
Take part in your discussions and groups. Don’t be a passenger! Despite what you may think, your thoughts and opinions are valuable to others. Challenge yourself to offer one idea or suggestion in your next group or meeting. You will feel great afterwards! After all, it’s the experience of participating that will boost your confidence.
- Surround yourself with people who care
Your relationships have the capacity to boost. They also have the capacity to keep you stuck. Your commitment to surrounding yourself with supportive people sets you up for growth and success. Our world is filled with virtual ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. Ensure that you have meaningful connections. Take a moment to consider the key people in your life- are they supportive and encouraging? Don’t settle for less that you deserve.
- Recharge and Renew
We live in a society that’s driven by goals, deliverables, tasks and activities. Quite often, pushing ourselves when we are exhausted can rob us of our confidence as we are running on empty. It’s also counterproductive. Let’s remember to stop and take time out. There’s nothing like a fresh perspective to have you in tip- top mental shape!
So, make that personal investment. Make that commitment to yourself and watch your confidence grow! “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think…” A.A. Milne
Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. For more information, contact her directly on Gillian@changegrowsucceed.com