Confidence is a tricky beast and so I thought I’d share some tried and true strategies that have helped my clients so you can get a confidence boost today too.
I have a client who I will call Bella. She is an amazing woman. She is fearless and continues to astound and amaze me with the life situations she takes in her stride that would have the vast majority of the rest of us cowering under the duvet. Cancer? Take that. Sick parent? Deal with it. Divorce? Get it done. Solo parenting. Boom. She does not miss a beat. The woman is indomitable. But then, here’s an interesting thing. Like so many women who have had a career break, re-entering the workforce has her freaking out. Her confidence is really shaky and it just goes to show that a crisis of confidence can happen to the very best of us. And let me tell you, this woman is truly one of the best.
Confidence can be a very fragile flower. It needs tending, watering and nurturing. If it gets ignored it can wither on the vine. Life can knock us around a bit. Though we might feel really confident in one area of our life, we can feel horribly insecure in another. We might rock it out without a thought in the office, but we might feel eye-wateringly under-confident when it comes to dating. Or we may be confident and secure in how our body looks and moves, but self-conscious and under-confident in our parenting skills. Or vice versa.
Life is easier with robust self-confidence. Here are four techniques I used with Bella to raise her confidence that you can start applying today:
1. Mirror your high confidence areas. Look at the areas where you DO feel confident in your life. What words describe you in that situation? Strong? Empowered? Capable? Efficient? These are all transferable skills. You ARE that person in the office, it stands to reason you CAN be that person in the bedroom, boardroom or at the school gates. Channel the person you are in your most confident situations and know that you ARE her wherever you are.
2. Channel a superpower. Think of someone who is super-confident in the situation where you find yourself under-confident. Then channel them, take a moment to absorb the essence of them and “borrow” their confidence temporarily. After a while, you will find it just comes naturally. I have to admit I used this technique a lot when I did my first few live TV appearances. I was freaking OUT (to put it mildly). But I knew it was a great opportunity to spread wellness and goodness more widely and I wanted to do it. So, I thought about one of my role models (a very cool and composed kickass business coach from New York) and I thought: how would Marie handle this? She would be open and warm with everyone she meets, she would be confident in what she was saying, she would hold her head high and pull her shoulders back, she would think “of course I should be here doing this thing!”. The more I channeled Marie, the more my confidence grew. This smart woman can be confident on live TV, and I am a smart woman, so why should I be any different?
3. Don’t fall into the trap of comparisonitus. Bella had well and truly fallen down the rabbit hole of comparisonitus. With her fledgling career she was looking at all the very established people in a similar field and looking at all the ways she didn’t measure up. Of course you don’t: they have been in the business for 3 years, 8 years, 20 years! Do not fall into the trap of comparing your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 15. It will suck the confidence right out of you. Instead, turn it right around: seeing loads of smart women succeeding in that industry just shows what a demand there is in the market. What it demonstrates is how eminently do-able it all is. Take confidence from that fact. Also, none of them is you. You are bringing something unique and special.
4. What would you do/say if you KNEW you could not fail? It’s a good question to ask yourself to get out of your own way when you are feeling underconfident. If you could approach the situation with confidence and without fear, what would you do or say then? Who would you be? Put your fear to one side as much as you possibly can (it’s just an uncomfortable sensation, it’s not REAL) and act as if that is the truth.
Whenever you are feeling under-confident, pick one of these 4 strategies to challenge and change that self -perception. Pick the one that resonates the most for you and put it into practice. Go get ’em, Tiger