“I want to be more confident!” – sound familiar? Well here are some things to consider when this thought pops into your head!
- Confidence is a very bad goal to have in itself
Nobody ever feels confident all the time. To think they do would be a mistake, and to aim for a state of ‘confidence’ is often missing the point. Instead, ask yourself what you would be doing if you had this confidence that you seek? Perhaps you’d speak up for yourself more, or take the chance on a new job, or go on more dates. Get curious about what you would actually DO with this confidence and have that as your goal instead.
- Remind yourself of the things you do feel confident about
While we may have a whole list of things that we’re not confident about, we also have hundreds of things we know wholeheartedly that we can do. This could range from being confident about being a good friend, at knowing how to bake cookies or knowing how to read a map. Remember that once upon a time you didn’t have a clue how to do these things, but you do now. Confidence is not a one time only thing. You can practice, you can grow and you can become confident in anything you want. Trust in that, couple it with point no.1 and you are half way there!
- Decide what to think ahead of time
If you are dealing with confidence issues around dating, for instance, decide ahead of time how you are going to think and feel if a date doesn’t go to plan. Practice it. What will you make it mean about yourself, in a good way? For instance, if you’re on a date and the conversation dries up you might choose ahead of time to think “this is normal, conversations often dry up on dates, and that’s totally ok”. Or if your confidence is around public speaking you might decide ahead of time that once you have finished speaking, no matter what happens you will think “I’m proud of myself for doing that”. Confidence takes practice. And that’s ok.
- What would you tell your best friend in the same situation?
We’re often our own worst enemies. Imagine you were your best friend, what would you tell yourself? Chances are you would use a lot kinder words than you are telling yourself right now. What we tell ourselves matters. It REALLY matters. Look at how you could start changing your language to yourself. This could start small, such as “it’s ok if I’m not feeling so confident right now, that doesn’t make me a bad person, it makes me normal”
- Increase your tolerance for being uncomfortable
I’m not confident in group situations, I don’t really like them and I try to avoid them as much as possible. But there are many group things I do want to be involved in. I don’t suddenly have to be ‘confident’ to do this. But I do have to acknowledge and embrace the fact I might end up in an uncomfortable situation and accept that that’s ok. If a group situation is going to get me the goal I want, for instance feeling connected with friends/family, celebrating something special such as someone’s wedding, or networking to grow my business, then embracing the potential discomfort is 100% worth it. This discomfort will not kill me. I don’t have to be 100% confident before I do something. I can do it anyway.