It doesn’t make sense to say, “I am not confident.” Confident is not an identity. Confidence is a skill, it’s an attitude; a way of doing things.
Think about it, there must be something that you’re confident in doing- something that allows you to get in the zone and free your mind, whether it’s playing a sport, teaching, baking, whatever it is that you enjoy doing. But we often get so caught up in focusing on what we’re not so comfortable with i.e. meeting new people or public speaking, that we jump to labelling ourselves as ‘not confident.’
Did you know that 80% of our thoughts are negative? We have so many limiting beliefs about ourselves, most of which we are not consciously aware of. What we’re also not aware of is just how much those beliefs limit us and our capabilities.
Imagine if one of your beliefs was “I will never find anyone I want to marry.” What would you miss out on in your life by continuing to think and act this way? What about “I’m just not good enough”? How many opportunities would you let pass by because you were so sure that you couldn’t step up to the mark?
As a Confidence Coach, I work with women to help them identify their limiting beliefs in different areas of their lives and support them in unlocking their true potential. For some of these women, an increased sense of confidence and self-worth has resulted in them being promoted at work, leaving toxic relationships and speaking comfortably in front of colleagues, to name a few.
Of course, this is a process and takes time. Because you’ve spent so many years doubting yourself and finding ways to justify these thoughts, replacing them with alternatives that encourage you will initially feel uncomfortable. But in the same way that you’ve provided evidence for your limiting beliefs (i.e. I won’t get this job because I was rejected from the last one I applied for), you can do exactly the same for your new, encouraging beliefs that will enable you to move forward. Why? Because your beliefs are not facts. They are thoughts that have been created based on your experiences and view of the world. For this reason, you are 100% in control of whatever it is that you want to believe about yourself and what you can achieve. I challenge you to start becoming aware of your inner dialogue, and when you find yourself being pessimistic, think about the impact of those thoughts on you, and which beliefs could empower you instead.
If you want to feel more confident about yourself, start from the inside. Of course, a promotion at work, making ourselves look good and taking up new hobbies can all boost how we feel about ourselves, but then what? The inner chatter will begin to creep back into our minds once we’ve accomplished these goals. By developing a mindset that is both encouraging and empowering, and can be applied to different areas of your life, it will naturally lead you to step out of your comfort zone. Invite more opportunities, and of course, increase your confidence. Win win!
We don’t know that we’re going to pass our exams, have a successful career or start a family, but by believing we can, our vision pulls us towards our dreams and influences our behaviour in a way that opens so many doors for us. You have no evidence to believe you can’t, so why not start believing that you can?
Written by Aliya Rajah
Confidence coach for women