Confidence – Become Your Own Superhero!
‘I want to be more confident’ is a common goal clients bring to coaching.
Whether its confidence at work to speak up in meetings, dipping the toe into the dating pool, or perhaps its finding the confidence to find a more fulfilling job, feel more comfortable with our bodies or confidence to say no instead of yes.
Whatever the situation that piques our doubt and fear we can all recognize that feeling of dread and shrinking back into ourselves.
I know I used to feel unconfident about expressing myself through writing and at any cost would avoid writing and certainly would never have dreamed of blogging- it just felt too ‘out there’ and vulnerable. I was incredibly apprehensive to blog as it was out my comfort zone, I had built up all sorts of stories and ‘what ifs’, as to why I should avoid writing .
Feeling unconfident can make you feel like you’re the odd one out- everyone around looks so self assured and able to handle anything, it makes us question if it’s just us that feels this way, which in turn makes us feel worse and even less comfortable.
So we do what we can to avoid situations that make us feel that way
And before long we are in a life that is a shadow of what it could be- we grow small.
Behind the feeling of unconfidence lies fear.
Fear we aren’t good enough.
Fear we don’t belong.
Fear our incompetence or weaknesses are going to get found out.
Fear happens when we are out our comfort zones and the more we succumb to fear and shrink smaller, the more fear permeates into our lives so our comfort zone just keeps shrinking and we feel less and less able to escape it- it feels like fear is everywhere.
So here’s the thing- Fear will always be present in our lives when we are pushing through our comfort zones and growing.
Everyone feels fear in certain situations
Unconfidence can be reframed as a indication we are close to the edge of our comfort zone and beyond our comfort zone is the unknown.
Ways to tap into your Superhero
- Use your body- research shows that when you act like you are confident and practice a powerful poses that conveys confidence your mind and body don’t know the difference. By getting in a power pose (think Wonder Woman or Superman!) makes you act more confidently in situations- practice a power pose for two minutes before situations that make you feel apprehensive and anxious and see the results!
- Become aware of the internal messages you tell yourself- what does your inner critic say to you? When we are aware of our inner critic messages we have a chance to choose if the messages we hear internally are true and then start thinking up alternative encouraging statements.
- Reflect- ask yourself, when was a time I did really well? Develop a confidence scrap book- full of images, letters, certificates and other things that remind you of what you can achieve and how well you have done so far- when you are feeling like you need a boost-get the scrap book out and remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
- Visualise- when you are going to be in a situation that makes you feel unconfident, imagine the best outcome and everything going well. See it as a film being played out in your mind. Our mind doesn’t know the difference between us actually doing something or visualizing doing something – research shows we can produce new networks in our brain and strengthen our muscles just by visualizing- the key is repetition- to keep running through the visual in your mind when you can.
- Practice focusing on your breath- when you are in a situation that makes you apprehensive and anxious focus on your breath, I mention this a lot in my blog posts because it works- believe me!
There are many books, articles and self help information on improving confidence, the key is finding what works for you.
I believe working with our body and getting to the heart of the stories we are telling ourselves is key. It’s reassuring ourselves that fear is normal and that confidence comes from pushing past the boundaries- by putting ourselves out there, despite the feeling of dread, so that we can live a life full of no regrets
I coach men and women with issues like this, if you know anyone who would benefit from my blog please share this. If you know anyone who would benefit from coaching click here.