Does this sound familiar?
“They are just naturally confident, that’s not me.”
“I haven’t felt confident enough that’s why I haven’t done it yet.”
I could keep going, but I think you get my point. We tend to see others as naturally confident or possessing some super-power that we lack. We also tend to see ourselves as needing something more before we can take action. I recently conducted a research survey about the perceptions of what holds us back, and overwhelmingly the main reason given was “not being good enough.”
So let me dissolve some myths about what holds us back and that elusive “confidence” we are seeking.
We are all humans, therefore we all have the same structures in our brains. Granted everyone is exposed to differences throughout their lifetime that influence how the brain re-wires itself, but the underlying structures are the same in me as in you and the most confident person you know.
If that’s the case, how do other people appear to be more confident? They have learned to work with what they have and apply tools to bypass their internal systems of self-doubt. We all have the same internal systems and thanks to the power of neuroplasticity you have the ability to re-wire these internal connections.
Now about that “I need to feel confident statement.”
Do you always feel like getting out of bed in the morning? No, but you do it anyway right? And once you get moving, have a coffee and a shower, you’re probably feeling pretty good and ready to start your day. This is the same when it comes to confidence. You may not always feel confident but when you do it anyway, the feeling of confidence appears. There’s a difference between the feeling of confidence and confidence the action. Even the smallest actions add up to big progress!
What does “confidence” mean to you?
Confidence is an interesting topic. We want to have confidence (like it’s a tangible thing), we can feel confident (as an internal state), we seek confidence (like it’s a destination), and we can have confidence in something or someone (as a quality of being). But what does it actually mean to you? Once you capture and possess this elusive confidence what will it do for you?
Take a moment to ponder this.
Now, what if you lose this thing called confidence? What about if confidence only shows up in some situations but not others? Do you go back to square one and have to find confidence all over again?
So what if you shift your idea about confidence so that it’s not something to be gained or lost, but rather, something that is always a part of you and it just needs to be discovered.
Does that feel different? What comes up for you when you shift your thinking about confidence?
If your brain is arguing with you about this shift, don’t worry, that actually means you have a normal brain. This might be a new shift that your brain isn’t comfortable with. That’s ok, don’t try to argue with it. Just observe what your brain is doing when you introduce a new way of thinking about confidence: You don’t need it because it’s already there.
This is a step out of your comfort zone. This step is alerting your inner system that there’s something new going on and to be on alert. So if your brain is starting to protest just observe and thank it for functioning properly.