On a scale of 1-10 how confident would you say you are right now?
Be honest…do you have a number?
Well….. to be fair, it is a bit of a trick question.
Because I didn’t ask you about the context!
I bet you’re confident at making you own coffee or tea just the way you like it!
I’m sure you’re confident enough to walk outside to get the mail without getting lost or falling over.
In fact, we could go on all day about the things you ARE confident with. But if I asked you if you are a confident person what would you say? Most likely you would start explaining the area where you don’t have confidence.
It is far easier to look at our failures than our strengths
It’s weird right?
We downplay ourselves far too much. It’s too easy to focus on deficiency instead of our sufficiency.
Susan was an extreme case of this. All I heard out of Susan’s mouth were all the things that didn’t quite measure up. She was so rarely positive with anything.
She was too short…
There was no way she could speak in front of people…
“Everyone” else was better at things than she was….
No man was ever going to love and marry her…
To be honest, I struggled with so much negativity.
It forced me to a new level of maturity. I had to learn how to encourage and inspire her to look at things through the eyes of what God said about her.
I came to understand that Susan had little confidence in herself. She had never learned how to overcome the negative and shift her outlook with faith. The more she focused on what she didn’t have the more she isolated herself from the life she wanted.
But over time Susan chose to be an overcomer. She realised she had the power to DECIDE to shift her attitude and mindset.
The confidence she needed was on the other side taking action.
Develop Your Confidence
#1 – Try Despite The Fear
You can’t be confident in anything unless you try something!
Your ‘comfort zone’ forms over time. The brain is so powerful that your subconscious is always learning how to keep you safe. It’s both a good and a bad thing.
In this context, it’s bad because it’s preventing you from trying the unknown or what you fear.
Confidence builds when you have the courage to take action and learn by the experience. It doesn’t happen by thinking things through.
ACTION: What have you held back from because of fear? Ask yourself ‘what’s the worst that can happen’? and pull out the fear into the open. You can find a way to take a step despite the fear.
#2 – There is No Failure, There is Only Learning
Often times we are so afraid of failing that we don’t want to tell anyone what we want to achieve in case we fail.
But the value of failing is that you now have that experience. You know what doesn’t work or how you could do it a different way.
Life is a series of lessons. No one does it well every single time. It’s inevitable that some things aren’t going to work out, you may even embarrass yourself. Reflection on experiences is where you have the opportunity to learn.
It’s the only the action takers that ever accomplish anything. The dreamers always dream and never commit to change or risk. Failure itself can’t stop you but the learning can empower you for more.
ACTION: What have you failed at? Make a note of 5 things you learned from the things that have not worked out. What lessons are there for you to consider? How can you do things differently in the future?
#3 – Confront Your Inner Critic
Confidence is all an inward thing. Others never see you exactly how you see yourself.
You are your own worst critic.
Your perception of what others think and feel is all an interpretation. If you ask 10 people what they see in you, each of them will come up with different things. Some of which you might never have seen in yourself.
Even if you have to pretend that everything is ok and step up to do the next thing, do it! Remember, when you choose faith, you are not alone – God is with you.
Taking action and creating momentum has the power to build up confidence.
ACTION: Write down 50 things that are great about you. It’s going to be a challenge because you’re more wired to look for your flaws. Focus on the good, your potential and accomplishments. Start to allow yourself to silence the critic and speak life instead.
#4 – Get Over Yourself and Focus On Others
There are needs and people and situations that you are the perfect solution for.
There is something only you bring to the world. A gift, talent, strength that God gave you for a particular purpose.
No one else can do what you can do, exactly how you can do it.
Loving someone else as much as you love yourself is the golden rule! So if you like it when someone adds value to your life then isn’t it the most unselfish thing to do the same for others?
Even if you think you don’t have anything to offer. Do it anyway, surprise yourself and watch your confidence start to build. Generosity expands your life and fills you with fulfilment.
ACTION: What need in others can you help meet? What can you do to help people have a better life? Start to write down actions you can take to serve others and help them get results or solve a problem.
#5 – Work With Your Strengths
Don’t try to be like other people.
The world needs you, in all your authenticity and in your strength zone.
Sometimes we’ve spent so long trying to do things a certain way, we can be oblivious to what we’re better suited for. An example might be, after years of training to be a doctor a person finds their real strength is in being an author.
This is where I recommend that you do an assessment to understand how you best take action. The best one I’ve found, that helped me was the KOLBE assessment. It does cost a small amount but the information you gain from it will set you free from trying to do things you shouldn’t.
Using your natural instincts and energy will go a long way to increasing your confidence. You will start to see a whole new level of results in your life. You can stop trying to force yourself to be happy in something you’re not.
ACTION: This is a great time to ask people for feedback. Find out what people think your strengths are. How do they see you in action. Write down your own list of things you think you’re good at and where you are at your best. When you do you have the most energy and how do you re-energise. What do you LOVE doing and what wears you down. Start to get to know yourself in a new way so that you can design your life around what you want your life to look like in the future.
CHOOSING COURAGE COMES BEFORE THE CONFIDENCE GROWS
Susan made huge strides in the time we spent together. And I must admit, so did I.
Both of us developed confidence in different areas.
It wasn’t always easy – in fact, sometimes it’s quite hard to get past yourself and allow the process to happen.
But a life of fear and holding back – in any area – is no life at all.
The ‘what if’s’ and the ‘but’s..’ are never as bad as your imagination tells you.
Make the development of your confidence a priority and do everything wholeheartedly!
Can you relate with Susan? How are you going to focus on developing your confidence?