There are environments that I am very comfortable in now that would have been fear inducing in the past and perhaps it’s the same for you? It has taken time and effort to become the more confident me, and there are still situations that I encounter that make my heart beat faster. Confidence is one of the things that my coaching clients often want to work on, everyone else can appear more confident and self-assured, that’s because they are comparing how they feel inside with how others look on the outside, not a like for like comparison.
In his research, Bandura found that confidence is one of the most enabling psychology models. It is the optimistic self-belief in our competence or chances of successfully accomplishing a task and producing a positive outcome. No wonder we all want more of it.
Here are my 5 tips on developing your confidence and self-knowledge in order to be a change maker in your work and life.
- Accept yourself and drop value judgements
As a coach one of the skills that we are taught to develop is that of being non judgemental. This isn’t easy, because as long as I can remember I was taught that things were either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and so to let go of that value judgement requires a big shift in thinking.
What if you were to drop your value judgements and simply saw “what is” it could totally transform your experience. It might even lead to new discoveries about yourself.
For example: I used to be very conscious of my voice, some people found it too calming. Instead of putting a value judgement on it and deciding that was bad, I could decide that it is “what it is”. Then identify how I would like to change it and if so why. Having worked this out I am much more able to move forward in a positive way, more aware of how I want things to be and more accepting of how they actually are.
The less you judge yourself, the less you’ll judge others, and as a result the more confident you’ll be in who you are.
- 2. Get excited not stressed
When I was interviewing contributors for my online programme, James Adeleke founder of Generation Success said to me “Fear is just another name for excitement.”
We are happy to be excited but not to be afraid, so if we reframe it as excitement that it will be easier to deal with. The same can be said of stress, stress is a natural and positive reaction. It motivates us to take action and be creative in short bursts. Long-term stress, however, makes concentration and planning difficult. Research shows that thinking about stress as “necessary” or “unnecessary” instead of “good” or “bad” reduces many of its symptoms. Psychologists have another name for the positive, exciting kind of stress – eustress – which you experience doing things you really enjoy. If you saw more situations as helpfully stressful how would that help your confidence? For example before I go on stage in front of a large audience to deliver a talk or workshop, I may be nervous or stressed, but I have come to understand that this is helpful, the adrenaline pumping shows that I care about doing a good job and will help me be at my best, and as a result I come across confidently.
- 3. Sharpen all expressions of your life
It doesn’t cost a thing to clean and iron your clothing, de clutter your home and tidy up your garden, wash your car, straighten your wardrobe, drawers, and desk, but doing these things can really enhance how you feel about yourself. I spent yesterday sorting and throwing things away from my spare room, which had become a bit of a dumping ground. 9 refuse sacks later, it is back being a useable space. When I woke up this morning and looked at it, I was very pleased with what I’d done and as result left for work with a smile on my face. It may seem like a small accomplishment, but all of these small achievements help to boost our self-esteem and as a result our confidence, where will you start?
- 4. Instead of saying ‘I’ll try’ start saying ‘I will’
Much has been researched about how our language shapes the way that we think. If we want to feel more confident, we have to think more confidently and if we want to do that, we must use language that builds our confidence. Work on becoming more aware of the words that you use. Start using a new vocabulary and attitude and start talking about the things that you will do, rather than the things you plan to try. Replace “I have to” or “I should” with “I want to” or “I get to”. For example, if I say that will try to start a PhD by the time I am 50, or I say I will be studying for a PhD at 50, I am giving my brain quite different messages
- 5. Talk to strangers
You can also always practice self-confidence skills, body language, and creative expression with strangers anytime you want. Strike up conversations and small talk during your everyday routine. It’s great to practice your fundamentals with people who you have very little stake with. When you are in a group and feel uncomfortable, remember that there are others in the group who feel the same way. People love to tell you about themselves and everyone wants to be included and accepted. The best way to get acceptance is to give it.
If you enjoyed these juicy morsels, then sign up for our 7 Day Ultimate Confidence Boost
You’ll receive a tip and a challenge a day for 7 days, and some great resources
Access to a secret Whatsapp group to discuss the tips, your challenges and achievements and a webinar on how to regain confidence after you’ve had a setback
Starting on the 15th January, 2019
It’s currently free to join, just sign up here.
Joining the 7 Day Ultimate Confidence Boost will also give you an insight into what it’s like to be coached and can lead to further coaching or joining our online programme, the Happenista Project.
What are you waiting for?
* Plus…Take part in our Confidence Survey – it should only take you 5 mins!
Read more from Jenny about how to develop your confidence.