How to Gain Confidence and Channel Your Self-Doubt
“How can I be more confident?” “What can I do to gain more confidence?” We all want the elusive secret.
We think, “if only I felt more sure of myself, I’d go up to strangers at cocktail parties. Easily get in front of a room and give a talk. Score the promotion at work, instead of watching that guy in the next cubicle get it instead. I’d have more money, be a leader, live the life I want.”
But here’s the conundrum:
We don’t have to feel confident…to do what it takes to be confident!
I’m going to show you an escape hatch to get out of this tricky self-doubt loop.
First, let’s discuss the thinking that creates it.
“I’ve never been confident! So how could I ever be?”
When we lack something in our lives, we see the world through a scarcity mentality. We think of all the times we didn’t have something. We see all the evidence of where we weren’t confident. Sure, we may find a time when we were more confident, but we rationalize it as the EXCEPTION, NOT THE RULE. Like the saying goes, “seek and ye shall find.”
“That person was born with these skills. They’re a natural at it!”
People assume because someone is confident in one area in their lives, they’ve always been that way. Well, that’s just not true. No one is born confident. Confidence is a learned behavior. But it’s not a skill you master by brushing your teeth. In order to have confidence, you have to take a leap of faith to create evidence. You become confident by proving to yourself that you are.
“Success has made them confident! If I could do that or have that, I’d be confident too!”
Haven’t you ever met someone who was successful or wealthy who: 1) wasn’t confident? and/or 2) was obsessed with what people thought of them? So if you’re thinking, “if only I had that job/ that partner/ that body, everything would just fall into place and I’d be confident,” spoiler alert: there’s no guarantee of that. It might turn out the opposite.
“If only I was skinnier, wealthier, smarter…I’d be more confident!”
Lack of confidence is also rooted in perfectionism. We can quickly get caught up in comparing ourselves against others. For example, we look at our Facebook news feed and see the fantastic things going on in other people’s lives. We compare the news feed to our lives and focus on all the things we lack. We think if we only had those things, we’d be happier. This comparison mindset leads us to believe nothing we ever do will be good enough. Well, it’s all a huge trap and slippery slope. Even if you had what you thought you lacked, you’ll never be satisfied because there is always another level you’ll want to reach. The key is to learn to be comfortable where you are now, take action and create your own unique journey.
Now that we’ve busted some myths about confidence, here’s what you’re probably wondering next: I’ve been confident in the past, so why didn’t it stick?!
Can you relate to any of these three situations?
You’ve walked up, spoken to a stranger and had a fantastic conversation. But six months later, you feel paralyzed and can’t do it.
You’ve successfully spoken to a group of people at work. But now you feel petrified about doing a presentation.
You’ve received a promotion for all the great work you did. But you feel completely unsure in your job when you are asked to lead a new project.
WHY does this happen? Confidence is a reflection of how you feel in the INSIDE. It’s a feeling and perception that is closely tied with your emotional state. It comes down to having a feeling of abundance (versus scarcity) in your life (whether you have it or not).
If you believe you lack confidence, you can’t be confident. Your feeling of lack is directly correlated to your lack of confidence. Think about it, what area of life do you not feel confident in? If you had that handled, how would you feel…more confident, yes? If you felt like that wouldn’t it be easier to take the next “leap of faith?”
So now you are wondering, what’s solution? Where is the escape hatch from this self-doubt loop?
Here is your confidence hack. Think of this as “power posing” for your mind. “Act as if.” Act as if you were what you wanted to be ALREADY. What would that person act like? Think? Feel? You aren’t lying to anyone or yourself, or making things up. You are assuming you are in abundance, and finding authentic ways to act like it to create the evidence you need to feel confident.
You want to approach your boss for a raise. Think, “What would a confident person do and think? They would know their worth to the company and in the market. They would come in prepared. They would fight for a compensation increase.”
You want to meet the person across the room. Think, “How would a confident person approach a stranger? They’d have direct eye contact. They would have great body posture. They’d ask questions, listen, smile and laugh.”
You have to give a presentation to 50 people. Think, “How would a confident person approach this situation? They’d prepare, practice and believe they are the expert on the topic. They’d get the audience involved. They’d show their passion and excitement. They’d have eye contact with the audience.”
An important question to ask yourself right now is: “What am I acting as if will happen in the most important areas of my life?” You will often get what you expect to happen.
Here is your three-step solution:
- Identify one thing you want to happen right now.
- Model your thoughts, actions and feelings like someone who has what you want.
- Get the evidence you need to feel confident.
So go take action and make your confidence real!
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