Have you ever doubted your own abilities and has that kept you from achieving your full potential? You are not alone. We all experience a lack of confidence sometimes. Whether it is going for that interview or looking at a career change, public speaking, starting your own business or some other aspect of life.
Confidence can be described as having faith or belief that you are able to do or achieve something, thus a lack of belief or faith in your abilities can lead to a lack of confidence. Confidence is a state of mind which determines your way of being and cannot be fixed by merely learning and practising a skill.
Your self-confidence is linked to your own thoughts about yourself and your abilities. If you can change the way you think about yourself and talk to yourself, you can build your confidence.
Recently I was challenged to step outside my comfort zone when a friend of mine asked me to stand in for her on her Monday Motivation radio show. If ever there was a time, I felt inadequate, it was then. After agreeing, my brain just flooded me with negative thoughts and shook my self-belief. Thoughts like, “I cannot do this – I am not good at talking like this – what if I made a fool of myself?” threatened to bring me to my knees. To add to the flame, some childhood fears popped up. It is amazing how our childhood insecurities, if not dealt with properly, can affect us as adults. I immediately started to remember the oral presentations in primary school that went wrong. I could not articulate myself clearly at that time – what kid could? Our experiences as children have a major impact on us as adults. We need to understand the context of that childhood experience so as to not let it affect us negatively when we are all “grown up”.
Virgil says, “They are able because they think they are able”. Well, I did not think that I was able, but challenged myself to just do it, even though I was so afraid. The script I wrote was revised about 40 times. Then after 4 bottles of water and a large packet of jelly sweets an hour before the show, I managed to get through the session quite well and I enjoyed it so much. I reminded myself that our own limiting beliefs and self-talk will keep us from experiencing a full life.
Underlying our lack of confidence generally is fear – fear of failure and fear of rejection. Also, the need to be perfect, which is quite subjective to our own world view, and comparing ourselves to others. These are a few of the specifics as to how a lack of confidence shows up. They can keep us from having a fulfilled life and achieving our goals and again, this cannot be fixed by learning and practising a skill.
So, here are a few tips on how to build your confidence:
1. Obtain the relevant technical know-how, in other words, familiarize yourself with the unknown. This will give you some comfort and in turn build your confidence, allowing you to believe that you are able to accomplish the goal
2. Listen to your self-talk. If it is negative, start thinking more positively and remember there is no such thing as “I can’t”. This will take time, so be patient with yourself and make a conscious effort to change. Perhaps start a daily journal, noting what you appreciated about yourself as well what others appreciate about you
3. Look at your strengths and how you can use them in various aspects of your life
4. Appreciate that you are different to others and don’t compare yourself to them. While we appreciate others and their talents, each one of us adds a different dimension to life. And the work is much richer for having your unique self as part of it. Shine in your own way
To build your confidence you may need to do a MindFlip on how you think about yourself and view yourself. By changing your way of thinking you can change your way of being and that will reflect your confidence in your abilities.