If I had the confidence I would … [fill in the blank]
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been sharing with you some personal and professional stories from The Breakthrough Formula. And this week I thought I’d share with you one exercise that’ll help you gauge where your self-confidence levels are on The Confidence Spectrum.
So give yourself ten-minutes now and discover if your confidence could use a boost.
Ready? Let’s go…
Answer these questions as honestly as you can without over thinking them.
How do you view yourself?
No honestly, how do you view yourself?
Make a note now, write a few lines, a paragraph, or go for it and fill the page.
Then read it, back what does it say?
Do others view you the same way?
The answer to the last question is probably NO.
It’s really easy for us to view ourselves in a negative light. It's easy to see our flaws, our imperfections, and all those things we dislike about ourselves that others rarely see.
Now give yourself an appraisal, just like your manager would at work. Write it down. And read it back to yourself, what does it say?
Compare the two and tell me is your view of yourself honest?
Distorted? Positive? Negative? Supportive?
The bigger the discrepancy between how you view yourself and how others view you the lower your self confidence is likely to be.
Your self-confidence does not need to be really low in order for you to start feeling out of control. For you to start feeling anxious. For you to start being held back in your life, your work and your relationships.
Your confidence will take a dip every time you view yourself in a negative light. Or believe yourself to not be capable to a given situation or to keep telling yourself you don’t know the answer.
Your confidence level dives when your grumble at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself your not worthy, likable, bright or that you are or have been a bad person at one time or another.
Your self-confidence is a reflection of how you view yourself, your self-esteem, and your self-evaluation. It’s not based on how others see you.
Nor is it based on the truth.
Your self-confidence has to come from within for it to be long lasting and worthwhile. Having someone ‘give’ you confidence is all well and good but…
Let me explain.
Now I have a lovely husband, he is very kind and supportive BUT if he tells me I'm lovely or I look nice in that outfit and I feel like rubbish, I won't listen.
I won't believe what he says
I'll dismiss it.
I go with my own thoughts; after all they are stronger, more reliable, more predictable.
So if I think I look rubbish and then I’ll feel rubbish regardless of what he (or anyone else) says.
Supposing I did listen to him, well relying on others to lift yourself self-confidence won't help you long term.
Only ever in the moment.
So it’s good I don't rely on him (or anyone else) for my self-confidence, what if he wasn't there one day or was so busy he didn't compliment me or add any value to my sense of self?
Where would that leave me?
Self confidence has to come from within, you need to view yourself positively, be supportive, and be kind, process all that you do. Even when you don't get the outcome you think you want.
Your self-confidence needs to be constantly charged up, just like the battery on your phone. You easily keep that charged without thinking about it too much don't you?
That's what I want you to be doing with your self-confidence. Keep topping it up like that battery on your phone until it becomes second nature to you.
Here's one thing you can do everyday.
Everyday from now on make sure you process the effort you've put in to your day.
Whether that’s being on time for the school run, work or college. Planning your meals, packing your healthy lunch. Answering your emails, making those calls. Getting on top of the ironing and walking the dog.
Each thing your process in a helpful and supportive way will boost you confidence levels and change the way you view your self.
Process it, process it all.
My clients often dream of being more confident but fear they can only have that confidence if they loose weight first or pass an exam, get a pay rise and drive a better car, live somewhere different, have lots of friends or get lots of likes on Facebook or Instagram.
So you can imagine the relief when I tell them they can have all the confidence they desire without the added pressure of achieving the above first.
And usually the things in the list above naturally follow on or no longer matter to them.
It’s not their fault, this gross misunderstanding of where confidence comes from, its not your either.
If no one has ever taught you this stuff how would you ever know?
We aren’t born knowing, the same as we aren’t born with or without confidence. Its learned, it acquired as we go through life. During our time together we re-learn confidence one step at a time, and we build it from within first and foremost.
Confidence comes quicker than you could ever possibly imagine. My clients often report feeling much more confident after our initial consultation and by session four their faces are somehow lighter, brows smoother, shoulders more relaxed, their posture changes.
They quickly and easily find their own confidence and it’s a wonderful thing to see the transformation-taking place.
The exercise above, I hope you have a go at it. To start with you may find it difficult, processing all the tiny little things you do. and are in the habit of dismissing. That's probably because you, your family and society in general expect you to do these every day things and it can be hard ‘blowing your own trumpet'.
But think about that for a second why do you not process every little achievement you make?
Was it because you were brought up believing no one likes a big head?
Or that it’s not socially acceptable to boost about your achievements?
Maybe verbalising your achievements might make someone else close to you feel bad. So you end up stopping altogether. And you start to dismiss these tiny little day-to-day things. And wait for the bigger stuff to materialise or someone else to compliment your achievement.
You don’t need to open the window for all to hear and shout out I am amazing today I’ve cleaned the oven. Although in my house cleaning to oven would be an amazing thing to have happened. You just need to tell yourself you’ve done alright. With the time you had, the information you have to hand in that moment and the energy levels you have to day, you’ve done your best.
A realistic, positive and supportive appraisal of the day.
This little set back you might be experiencing, this lack of confidence is easy to beat, you just need to know how and that’s what we do in The Confidence Spectrum, one of the seven pillars we walk through in The Breakthrough Formula.
Make a start with that exercise today and let me know how you get on with it, I'd really love to know and look forward to hearing from you.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org