Acting Our Way to Feeling More Confident
Colette Stevens offers her tips on what actions you might take to boost a sense of confidence
“Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are two ends of the scale, you need both. They balance each other out.” Barbara Streisand
I was with a friend the other day, a successful business owner, who wanted insights into feeling more confident. She’d been asked to speak in front of a class of 35 hard to please 5 year olds – a tough gig right?
Anyway, it got me thinking about how often the topic of confidence comes up with people that I work with. Many bright, successful people, who appear on the outside to have it all sorted, can suffer from internal narratives of self-doubt and insecurity. A lack of confidence can be a real stumbling block in preventing people reaching their true potential.
So what might help unlock that much needed confidence boost? A factor that comes through in the research is the importance of the “competency confidence loop”. This means that each time we try something new, we will either fail or succeed. We always learn something new, and it is only through the act of trying and willingness to try, that we stand the chance of creating the feeling of confidence. Which means – you can’t simply think yourself into feeling more confident without taking action!
So if you have a big project coming up, and you are looking to boost your confidence, here are my three tips that could help:
- Take Action – even when it feels hard!
The feeling of confidence only comes from the willingness to try, you won’t wake up one morning suddenly feeling more confident about “the thing” without doing something differently. Tap into courage, and the feeling of confidence will build over time, through learning, reflection and repeated action.
- Create an alter ego – what would the “super power” you be doing?
By creating an alter ego you can create some distance from the you that feels scared of this new task. Can you think about someone who is great at this activity/task, let’s say their name is Susan. Channel being more “Susan”, think about what would Susan do in this situation, what would Susan be saying, how would Susan be feeling? – and become the version of yourself who feels more confident in this situation.
- Mindset reframe – No regrets
If this was easy you’d be doing it already, and so confidence is usually forged when things are tough. Don’t have regrets, no-one wants to look back on their life and say “I wish I had…”. Instead, focus on the great feelings that will come from stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Cultivating confidence isn’t about eliminating self-doubt entirely, but rather learning to navigate it with resilience and self-compassion. Remember to embrace your strengths, acknowledge your achievements and the growth that comes with taking on new challenges.
Building confidence is an ongoing process. So take action, and celebrate your unique qualities for creating a more confident and fulfilled self.
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