Your lack of confidence - its effect and how to boost it.Jun 29, 2020
So why do so many of us struggle with a lack of confidence?
Whether that be confidence with our bodies,
Confidence over what other people think of us
How we’re perceived
Meeting new people
Showing up online
First off it’s not our business what other people think of us – so long as we’re not running around the world being a complete **** we have very little control over it.
We’re not going to be liked by everybody and that’s fine. I was talking to a client the other day about why we have this expectation and desire for everyone to like us, when we don’t like everybody. It doesn’t make sense when you flip your thinking around it.
It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or them – it just means they or you don’t resonate, don’t gel. It could be different values, different motivators, different interests – it doesn’t really matter. We’re just different, unique people – equally valuable & equally lovable.
So where does the lack of confidence come from?
For a lot of us it’s from experiences we’ve had, comments that have been made to us, expectations put on us. We can often end up feeling we’re too…..
What happens is we try and fit ourselves into a box of what we think is expected of us & what will make us “just right” and when it doesn’t quite work we feel like we’re doing it wrong – that we’re wrong.
Nearly all my clients have wanted to improve their confidence in one way or the other.
For me one of the fundamental keys to increasing confidence is reaching a place of self-acceptance.
When we accept ourselves, we can grow in confidence by pushing through what has previously been comfortable. This in turn makes us feel better about ourselves and our confidence grows even more.
As I reached a place of acceptance and deciding actually I’m OK I was more prepared to push through that comfort zone. I ended up walking on the seabed, parasailing & swinging through the jungle when I met up with my eldest daughter on her travels. Previously these activities would have been a flat no. Read more here.
Taking Small Steps is the Way to Go
It doesn’t have to be massive changes though – taking baby steps is great. And don’t judge yourself for what you find daunting just because other people may not. I’ve written before about the fact I sing in a choir – never been an issue for me, it’s an environment I’m familiar with having been in orchestras from around age 10 to 18. For other people it would be really daunting to be in that environment and putting themselves out there.
Try and think about why you lack confidence. What are you telling yourself that makes you feel this way? Are these things true? What evidence do you have? Do you equally have evidence that supports an opposite point of view?
An example of this for me is my voice and speaking in public. Funny when I’m comfortable singing in front of people🤷🏼♀️. I’ve written about this before too - I was self-conscious about my voice and over the years had convinced myself I wasn’t good at public speaking. When it came to breaking this “story” down it wasn’t based on facts. I ignored all the evidence that proved I could do it – presentations at university, presentations in the workplace, speaking at my mum’s funeral. It may not be where I am most comfortable, but I can do it. Working through that has enabled me to start speaking to camera on social media and each time adds another piece of evidence that I can do it. (Read more here)
Decide to Take Action
I’m not saying it’s easy. You do have to decide and want to take action. I was fed up of being on the side-lines on holidays – taking the photos, holding the bags etc. but ultimately the only person who could change that was me. We were on a family holiday in Italy a few years ago and I decided I’d had enough and went kayaking with everyone else – for me a big deal. The fact I did was a real boost to my confidence.
I adopted the mantra in 2018/2019 of “say yes, be brave” – so I kept saying yes to opportunities, to events, and then worrying about it afterwards😂. What it meant was that I didn’t overthink or worry before giving the answer.
What I’ve found is that taking action in one area of my life has increased the confidence in other areas too – not something I necessarily expected. Saying yes to physical activities made me more confident in talking to people I’d never met – what was the worst that could happen? They might not like me! I’m not aware of that being the case so it doesn’t really matter but I have met some lovely people over the last few years who I’m still in touch with.
I worked with a coach for a while which helped me unpack my lack of confidence and fears around it. For me much of this lack came from issues around body confidence and my size, but it doesn’t really matter what the cause is. Do I never feel nervous or worry about new situations – of course I do but I’ve learnt to deal with what I know. To disrupt the “what if” trains of thought that can keep us limited and to know that if something isn’t great or goes wrong it doesn’t actually matter too much.
If we can reach a place of self-acceptance and self-love and be prepared to take action we can overcome it in stages and enjoy a fuller life.
Take the first step - who knows where you could end up😁