I am blessed to get to work with people on their confidence every day as part of my career. The lovely clients I speak with, often who are naturally confident, share they have lost their confidence or had it recently knocked in one area or another. Time off work, ill health, returning after a break, getting negative feedback, having to deliver a presentation or attend an interview, feeling you’ve been rejected, comparing yourself with others are just a few of the reasons people say they’ve lost their confidence and want it back. But what do they mean by confidence?
Confidence is transitional, it can be great in most areas of your life and knocked in just one. Yet because of the focus you give it in that one area, it can become all consuming and cause you daily distress.
Confidence is a doing word and is not to be confused with self esteem (though they are indeed linked). Confidence is outward, it’s about action, it’s about calculated risk and it can be re-learnt even if it gets knocked. Self esteem is more inward focused.
Some of the first questions I ask my clients are:
What do you mean by confidence?
What do you want to be more confident in/at/about?
It’s important to get them to be specific. Some people say, “I want to be confident at everything”, my response would be “great, give me 3 things that at this moment you want to be confidence in and you’re not”. I then ask questions to help get clear and specific. This is really important if you are working on your confidence. If you are general with your language it is difficult to get clear about what needs to change. When you are specific your brain can start to work out a way forward.
Here’s a few tips to help you feel more confident.
- Be specific! (we’ve covered that one), here’s an example: “I want to be confident at delivering a presentation next week on Monday to 10 people at work for 1 hour” – we can definitely work with that. We know where we are headed, we can discover your strengths, weaknesses, fears, worries, get a plan, zap the mind chatter and move you towards the goal fairly easily, if you want to achieve it.
- Remember a time when you were confident and notice how it felt. Stand confidently, (it’s an upright feeling), feel how good it is in your body, speak to yourself confidently, walk around like this as often as you can every day. Research shows if you practise anything often enough it becomes a habit, stepping into an old confident state is a great first step and it’s fun too.
- Remember that confident people can handle anything. Don’t confuse that statement with arrogance, they are very different. Confident people know there’s always a way forward, they accept things might go wrong but they know they learn from their mistakes and do something different next time they try the goal.
There’s so much more that can be done. Feel free to download my 85 tips on my website if you haven’t already and pick your favourite tips. Then ask yourself: How can you use this information to help you when your mind chatter kicks in and threatens to knock your confidence? Get in touch and let me know.
Pam Lidford is a confidence coach and trainer and is here to help you with any personal or professional development goals you may want to work on.
Pam Lidford / Confidence Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org / 07703 271261