How to begin your journey to confidence so you can cultivate⏤ease, energy, and power.
“You don’t work on confidence, you reclaim it. Confidence is the positive consequence of returning to a deep inner connection.”
Does this sound familiar:
- I don’t speak up. Just in case I get it wrong, or am misunderstood.
- I second guess myself all the time even though I am 90% right with my hunches.
- I don’t trust my own opinion and need to ask others for their input.
- I nit-pick the smallest things, even though they are no big deal in the grand scheme of things. I criticize myself relentlessly.
- It makes me nervous to share my findings with other professionals or mentors….”What if they think it’s dumb? What if they think less of me?”
- I avoid conflict.
- I avoid taking risks.
- I get jealous of others success.
- I have tension in my neck, shoulders, face and jaw.
If any of this sounds familiar, don’t fret.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
You can create confidence.
How much energy would you have if the voices in your head would calm down?
How much more could you accomplish if you trusted yourself?
How much more peace, happiness and presence would you have if the burden of constant second guessing dissipated from your life?
I was in a consultation today with a potential new client, and what stood out to me was the individual’s excitement and hope that confidence can be taught.
She did not know that before we spoke.
I felt inspired to write this piece because I want others to know that they too can create and grow confidence.
Let’s unpack the concept of confidence to make it tangible, rather than this elusive thing some people have because fairy’s blessed them in the womb and god shone down on them when they were born.
(btw, that doesn’t happen)
- the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
- the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
- a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
After beginning this article about reclaiming confidence, the question in my mind was why do we lose our natural, inherent worthiness in the first place?
Natural worthiness which is lost over time translates into feeling less confident in general, and feeling the need to measure up or earn validation in order to feel good enough. Confidence becomes transactional rather than unconditional at some point in our development.
When did confidence become contingent on other people’s opinions? And why did we lose it?
You are right!
As a trained psychotherapist this might sound like a cliche, but it is true, we become conditioned from a young age to perform rather than be ourselves then society supports this and we accept it as “reality”. The natural, human joy of sharing who we are and what we have created stops being fun when we feel we are being judged and that there is “good” and “bad.” Before grades in school and competitions we simply created to create, played to play, and perhaps ran up to other kids and introduced ourselves openly just to connect.
Have you ever observed how children happily play show and tell? They feel free and are excited to share themselves with the world. They are proud of their existence and therefore also proud of their creations. It is just natural. Where did that kid go?
He or She or They are there, buried beneath the armour we build up after being hurt or rejected in life. We are not taught how to navigate these big emotions when they arise, so the emotions calcify in our psyche as walls to protect us from future hurt.
The problem is, these walls also keep our natural self from receiving from others and really being seen.
So we always feel like we have to be on, get it right, make people like us, or measure up in order to feel confident.
There is another way.
Who would you be if you were unconditionally confident?
- No condition would waver your inner confidence.
- You would never question your worth.
- You would simply show up, do the work, be able to focus, and course correct as needed.
- You would leave work at work and enjoy all the other moments in a day without hyper over-thinking strangling the joy out of your life.
Competition and Confidence
Comparing and competition can at times boost confidence and be a healthy way to expand and excel. More-often the comparison from competition and trying to win can eat away at us when we don’t have a deep, unshakable inner connection to who we really are. We can become controlling perfectionists unable to play or relax in life.
How can you begin to create confidence in your life?
- Be you no matter the consequences. You are a centred mix of youthful joy, wonder, curiosity, and energy with wise, mature, skilled, professional discernment.
- Question your reactive thoughts and judgements. Try putting all your thoughts on paper and really look at them. Are they real? Do you even care? How old/what age do they feel? What do those thoughts or emotions need in order to feel complete again? Then choose your thoughts and actions from who you really are, not what you are reacting to.
- Show up for yourself. Don’t betray yourself. If you want to run in the morning GO. If you want to take piano lessons take them. If you don’t want to go to a party, don’t. If you don’t want to drive your friend to the airport, don’t. Doing things that over extend you or are not in your highest values robs you of power, and therefore robs you of the energy you need to feel confident.
- Don’t let the fearful voices in your head scare you out of your life.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh
- Confidence can be re-created and re-claimed when we take back our own dominion over our thoughts, emotions, thoughts, actions, and behaviours. For example:
- “How would a confident person write this email?”
- “How would a confident person go on a date?”
- “What would a confident person eat?”
- You get it.
You can’t wait to become confident before doing something.
Confidence arises the more you show up for yourself.
Confidence is something you can conjure up and grow no matter what your circumstances are.