What you need to do instead …
Let’s start with what you need to do instead of following those easy steps to get more confident. First, you need to ask yourself, is it confidence that you are after? Don’t get me wrong, it could be purely confidence. However, in most cases, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Confidence is often confused with self-esteem or a strong sense of self. Sometimes, people are suffering from anxiety, which could play out in a loss of general confidence, but it’s not exactly confidence they need to work on.
Confidence is based on beliefs about yourself, your capabilities, and goals that are realistic in your mind/experience. This definition includes being prepared to do what it takes to reach success and goals you’ve set for yourself. For example, you felt confident that you could finish the task on time, or, you were confident that you could complete your first half-marathon.
This explains that people are not born with confidence, but that confidence is built up over time starting in childhood. That’s a first hint BTW, that the 5 easy steps won’t work since building confidence typically takes years. But not to worry, there’s no need to give up now. Keep reading
Self-esteem is based on a more general feeling that you are okay as a person. You feel you can be your true self, you trust yourself and you have a positive sense that you’ll make it through all the good bits – and the curve balls – that life throws at you.
Often, it is the underlying low self-esteem that prevents you from feeling confident. Low self-esteem can undermine any area you would normally feel confident in. If you ever felt lower in confidence than you are used to, it’s worthwhile to explore self-esteem.
Self-esteem can be shaken up by significant events in your life. For example, I remember having a very low self-esteem when my marriage broke down. I’m grateful to this day that I mustered the courage to work on myself after separation (and later divorce) and that my self-esteem recovered. BTW, I had no confidence whatsoever during that time either.
If it is indeed low self-esteem that is the reason for your lack of confidence, it’s best to work on increasing self-esteem and then build up confidence on this solid foundation of a healthy self-esteem.
You may be wondering how to improve self-esteem. The solution may sound difficult at first. However, once you get into it, things will become easier. It’s like most things in life, practice does help.
How mastering this first can qualify you for all the easy steps later
Improving self-esteem involves the ability to see yourself in a positive light. I’m not just saying this, I mean it. Chances are that people with a low self-esteem see themselves in a rather negative way. They often struggle with negative and repetitive thoughts constantly pulling them down.
I can assure you that all the buzz about positive thinking has its merits. It makes a difference how you talk to yourself because you are with yourself 24/7. Your mind never stops, not even when you sleep. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship there is.
That’s why it is so important to be the master of your mind, and don’t let your mind run the show. It is rarely pleasant, when the mind is in charge, since its focus is doubt, fear and criticism. Don’t get me wrong. I think the mind has important functions and it helps us to avoid pitfalls in life. We just can’t let it run our entire lives.
Use your mind as a tool for problem solving, calculating risks, and entertaining purposes (when all your mobile devices are flat). Don’t let it be the boss. We could get very philosophical here and ask, are you the mind? Spiritual people can easily answer this question with a resounding no. However, for those who are not spiritual inclined, it may be a little stretch to grasp this concept.
We are not the body; we live in our bodies. We are also more than our mind, and certainly more than our emotions. Who are we? It’s tricky to put it into words, but most of us get the idea that we are more than body, mind, and emotions. Even though, it’s hard to describe, we could conclude from this excursion that if we are more than the mind, the mind should not be in charge of us. Therefore, we need to find a way to master our mind and give it useful tasks to do.
Since we are also more than our bodies and emotions, it would be great to master those also. Sounds like a lot of mastery. Is living even fun then? I can detect a lot of self-discipline.
Spot on! However, self-discipline or mastery of our mind and emotions does not mean we can’t have fun in life. The opposite is true. Mastery allows for relaxation and enjoyment of the gifts that body, mind, and emotions have to offer.
Think about your – now mastered and positive – mindset (just an optimistic view of the future). It could come up with the best ideas to enjoy your life. Because you also learnt about the secret language of the body and your emotions, everything about you is in harmony. You can finally see yourself as this amazing human being that you are.
Self-esteem increased – check!
Now, it’s easy to follow the aforementioned easy steps to gain more confidence, because they are easy. They are easy from the solid foundation of a healthy self-esteem.
How to decide on the best path for you
I’m not gonna smooth talk here. There’s work involved. And, chances are that your mind will try to talk you out of doing this very important work. If you are not yet the master of your mind, it will do anything possible to stay in the comfort zone. Even though, and that’s the irony, the comfort zone is not so comfortable after all. It’s better to call it the familiar zone.
So many people stay in the familiar zone all their lives, and silently suffer, coming up with all sort of reasons why their life sucks. You’ve heard it before,
- it’s just the way it is
- life is tough, get used to it
- you can’t have everything
- everybody has to carry their load
- one day …
Don’t buy into this negativity. Life, and especially your life, does not consist of constant suffering, only occasionally interrupted with a nice holiday. No, change it, make the best out of your life, and start by calming your overactive mind down.
If you are unsure how to do this, let me know, and we can have a chat (obligation-free, just for your own clarification). If you are sure what you want to do about it, great! Go for it!
For those, who think they could use a structured program to achieve greater self-esteem, more confidence and self-mastery, I offer various ways to work with me. You can choose between two programs or book a one-to-one open coaching intensive package.