Confidence seems like one of those magically desirable yet ever-elusive traits that all of us entprepreneurs (or wannabe business owners) need more of. But what if tapping into more confidence was all in within your power? What if it was just a matter of making a choice?
In today's episode, we'll discuss the most important thing I teach all my life coaching clients and how it can help you gain confidence aplenty. Then I'll teach you what you can do TODAY to go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Confidence is defined as a feeling or consciousness of one's powers AND faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.
A lack of confidence is one of the key stressors of newbie entrepreneurs. Everyone thinks that if they were just confident enough, everything would be easier; being conscious of their own power and believing that they'll do things right seems elusive and unattainable.
But the important question that no one asks is this: HOW do we gain confidence?
What do you think? Is it from people telling you you're good at something? Is it from evidence that you know how to do things? Or from former success? Specialized education? Experience?
The truth is, confidence does not come from outside of you. It comes from within. When we THINK confident thoughts, we feel confident.
It's time to learn a little about the self-coaching model. We'll talk more and more about this in future episodes, but the important thing to learn here is that we tell ourself stories all day long.
Our brain's stories, or narrative, is how we interpret the world around us. Something happens, and we have a thought about it. A guy cuts you off in traffic on the way home, and you think "what a jerk". Your kids start to fight and you think "these kids drive me crazy". Your husband forgets Mother's Day and you think "he's so insensitive sometimes".
In reality, our stories are RARELY facts. They're simply how we interpret our surroundings. Sometimes this narrative serves us very well, for example, I told myself the story that having a large family would be amazing, and ended up with 10 kids who I love and enjoy.
Sometimes, however, our stories do the exact opposite and cause us suffering, pain and grief. Sometimes our narrative is simply the result of what we were taught as kids or what we see our friends doing. Most of us just don't even know that there's a better way.
So let's get back to confidence; the feeling of confidence relies on whether or not we have thoughts that create confidence.
Here's a personal story to illustrate: I've had many opportunities to teach adult sunday school at church. My first time, I was only 18 or 19 and facing a room full of older men and women who I felt knew a lot more than me.
But I told myself that I had everything I needed to be a great teacher. And I created the confidence to become one. I'm currently teaching Sunday School again and battle feelings of nervousness and insecurity every time I teach, but instead of leaning into the thoughts that might cause these feelings (they know more than me, they're not gonna agree with me, etc), I lean into confidence-building thoughts like "I love doing this", "this is such a privilege", "teaching people about God is a blessing", and more.
So what do YOU need confidence for? Showing up on social media for your business? Calling a supplier? Applying for a loan? Talking to your husband about your ideas? Whatever it is, forget the confidence for a second and ask yourself what narrative you're entertaining about that activity. These might be subtle, pernicious thoughts that take some time to uncover.
Do some journaling or sign up for a free call with me and I can show you how to dig into your brain and find these thoughts.
The sooner you uncover the stories you're telling yourself, the sooner you'll be able to question them and loosen their grip on your brain. You get to ask yourself, "Is that even true?" "Do I want to keep believing this?" "What if I'm wrong?"
So that's step number one: dismantling the anti-confidence narrative that we've been holding onto so tightly.
The second step is acknowledging that confidence is never just deposited into our laps. It is EARNED. In fact, it's a lot like faith.
There was once a time when you didn't believe in God. You maybe wondered whether or not you wanted to have faith in this Being you'd never seen or heard. And then you made a choice - a choice to seek and learn and grow through exercising your faith. Sometimes our faith is so strong, we can move metaphorical mountains with is.
Sometimes it feels weak and confused and struggling, but we KNOW how to strengthen it. It's not giving in to the doubts and seeking for more.
Confidence is exactly the same! we PRACTICE confidence in order to gain more. We do the scary thing, not because it's not scary but because we want the next thing to be less so.
Yes, essentially we fake it until we make it. What we're really doing, is giving our brain evidence to bolster the belief that we ARE confident people.
I send out email pitches and make phone calls and do trainings that scare me, not because I'm oozing with confidence but because I WANT to be.
Just like anything worthwhile in this life, confidence requires work. So stop waiting around for it, and EARN it.
Here's this week's challenge: journal what a confident "you" would look like. How would she dress, talk, walk, work? What one thing can you do this week to emulate this confident version of you?
Now go out and confidently live the life of your dreams.
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