What is self-confidence? Well, the dictionary definition is ‘Confidence in one’s own abilities’, and it shows up as the feeling that we ourselves hold about our ability, power and judgement.
Often people think of confidence as something only a lucky few are born with, but this is not true! Everyone is born with confidence. We need it as children to learn basic skills, how to walk for instance – we have the confidence to pull ourselves up and let go of the furniture, until we are able to put one foot in front of the other without falling over. We’re confident in our ability to walk. We go on to learn how to talk, read, ride a bike etc and become confident in our ability while becoming competent in the skill as we get better at it. And taking this a step further, to include academic ability, it’s been shown in studies that children with a greater belief in their own abilities often perform better at school, even if they were actually less intelligent.
So what happens to many of us as we grow up? We learn how not to be confident. This can happen as a result many things – other people criticising us, having negative self-talk, developing a negative body image (because of what society says we should look like) or having negative people in our lives. And there are many more things that can erode our confidence. As a result, we learn how to become afraid before trying something new. We learn how to become anxious and feel stressed when facing uncertainties and challenges in our lives, and this in turn leads us to limit our abilities with false beliefs. It’s these new beliefs which are responsible for the lack of self-confidence, and not your true self. This is a world-wide problem, not restricted by age, gender or race, but its effects can be devastating to your happiness, your performance and even your health.
Confidence is not a fixed attribute and the great news is that the brain is a learning machine. Lost confidence can be re-learned. It’s the outcome of the thoughts we think and the actions we take. It’s not based on your actual ability to achieve a goal, but your belief in your ability to succeed. Nothing is more powerful than confidence, and being confident can change everything – your work, your relationships and your feelings about yourself. It’s your confidence – you have control over it and no-one else. Think of it as a muscle – if you don’t exercise it regularly it will become weak. And just as when you start to go the gym you don’t expect to achieve perfect muscles in a day, regular workouts over time will start to build your strength until the results become visible for all to see. It’s the same with building your confidence. Small, incremental changes, repeated and developed over time, will lead to massive changes in your life.
Confident people make better choices and better choices lead to better results. Make a decision today not to give self-doubt the power to keep you from pursuing your dreams.
Change your thinking – Change your life.
I am dedicated to helping you identify your strengths, boost your self-esteem and raise your confidence to new heights. My Confidence Coaching Program is suitable for both business and social situations. So for more information about how you can improve your confidence, contact me here