Guest Post by Debbie Anderson of Enabel Excellence – Mentor & Executive Coach
Confidence. Many people struggle with it. Lack of confidence is mainly driven by fear; fear of making a mistake, looking foolish, fear of the unknown. Let’s get this clear right now; struggling with confidence is perfectly normal, it is our brains way of protecting us from what it perceives as a threat.
Good to know, right? But what if you find it difficult to move beyond the fear? Being told by others, who are trying to help, that “you just need to be more confident” is not very insightful. If you don’t know how to develop your confidence it is going to be very hard to take that first step.
I have struggled with lack of confidence throughout my life. I have now got to a place where I recognise where it comes from, and I have strategies that I use to help me overcome my fears. But what if I had these strategies earlier on in my life? What if I had the benefit of coaching to help me define these strategies? I wonder where I would be now if I had the gift of knowing what to do to challenge my lack of confidence in my 20’s.
As an Executive Coach I have observed that there is often a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what coaching really is, so here is my definition: A coach is an equal thinking partner for their client. Through listening, questioning, observation, and feedback, the coach supports their client in defining their vision and assists them in focusing on the development of their specific goals, actions and the motivation required to enable change.
How does this relate to confidence? If you do not have the opportunity to talk with someone or journal your fears, your unarticulated thoughts can become an echo chamber in your mind, paralysing you, stopping you from making change. A coach can be an invaluable non-judgemental sounding board, creating a supportive space where they will listen with curiosity and will reflect your views and experiences back to you to help you grow your understanding and self-awareness.
When deciding on whether a coach will be of benefit or not, consider the following:
Rate your confidence level in each situation on a scale of 1-10 (1=low, 10=high).
- If your confidence is 5 or above, what’s stopping you? Ask yourself, “what is the worst that can happen?” and go for it!
- If your confidence is below 5 ask yourself whether you will be able to overcome your fears yourself. If not, this may be the time to seek out a coach.