How Confident Are You?

How Confident Are You?

Over the years, people often said: “Oh Wendy, you’re really confident” and yet it’s really only in the last couple of years that I’ve really begun to feel a sense of ‘inner confidence’. In my experience as a hypnotherapist, I’ve seen many people who on face value would appear to be confident and yet their lack of inner confidence either generally or in specific situations has caused them to develop phobias, anxieties or become stressed and has held them back from going for the next promotion or following their dreams.

So let me ask you some questions:
  • How confident are YOU?
    • Do you feel confident in all situations or only in some?
    • Do you ever suffer from anxiety or stress either generally or maybe when you’re going into a particular situation e.g. an interview, a social gathering, flying, giving a presentation etc. ?
    • Do you have any phobias?
    • Do you experience panic attacks?
    • Maybe you don’t feel able to ‘speak up’ with a particular person at work or at home?
    • Are you ‘body confident’ or do you feel you want to hide certain parts of you away?
    • Are you proud of yourself, your body, who you are and the things you do?

Believe you can improve your confidence and you will

Generally, I am a confident person and yet many years ago, although I was definitely ‘the best person for the job’, I went for an ‘internal’ interview at work and as I opened the door of the interview room, my heart started to race, I couldn’t breathe or speak and I thought I was having a heart attack. As I sat facing the panel of 3 interviewers (who I knew…), I couldn’t answer any of their questions.. the words simply wouldn’t come out of my mouth and I can still recall the look of horror on their faces as they tried unsuccessfully to progress the interview.

Afterwards, one of the managers came to me and said: “Wendy, what happened? You always seem so confident – I couldn’t believe it was you in that room… We’re so sorry but we couldn’t score you because you couldn’t answer the questions…” Obviously I didn’t get the job!

Sadly, the same thing happened in two subsequent interviews. I’d prepared, I knew I was a strong candidate and yet as I put my hand on the interview room door, my confidence completely vanished and I was left a jabbering wreck as the ‘panic attacks’ struck again.

I’d suffered similar issues throughout my childhood. I was ‘top of my class’ throughout infant and junior school and yet I failed my 11+ exam. Nobody could believe it – the Headmaster called my mum into school to discuss what had happened… Apparently I’d written the best essay of all children across the Borough and yet I’d not answered any of the maths questions. Why? Because I’d sat in that exam and my mind had gone completely blank – I couldn’t remember anything.

Years later, whilst taking my O’levels, I remember a feeling of horror as I sat looking at the History Examination Paper and barely being able to see the words, let alone answer the questions. History was my best subject – I’d had a brilliant teacher who bought the subject to life. I was definitely expected to achieve an A (they didn’t do A* then)… I remember sitting for 40 minutes without being able to write anything and a teacher who was ‘moderating’ came up to me to ask me if I was ok… then suddenly the words flowed and I managed to answer several of the questions in the remaining time. I achieved a B and yet the disappointment that I’d not achieved the expected ‘A’ remained with me for many years…

My parents, my manager, my teacher all thought I was ‘confident’ and that I would pass my exams, be successful in my interviews and yet….. I didn’t believe it. I was ‘confident’ on the outside, but clearly not confident on the inside…

I remember feeling a sense of inferiority and being intensely worried that I’d let people down and failed to meet their expectations. I’d lost my confidence and developed fears that I wouldn’t be ‘good enough’ and hey ho… what you BELIEVE about yourself is the RESULTS you get.

The extreme nature of my panic attacks in an interview situation became my catalyst for CHANGE… I recognised that although I came across in most situations as a ‘confident’ person, I didn’t have the inner confidence and belief in myself and therefore when I was put ‘under pressure’ in situations like exams and interviews, I triggered my ‘fight or flight’ response. Although I didn’t physically run out of those rooms, that’s exactly what I wanted to do….

We aren’t born with our level of confidence. It’s something we learn, often through our childhood experiences or from particular situations that we face in our lives.

  • Some people grow stronger and more confident as their life progresses and yet others will loose either their overall confidence or their confidence in particular situations.
  • Even the most confident person, can be rendered a quivering wreck in certain situations, if they have developed a significant fear e.g. fear of flying, fear of spiders/snakes, fear of public speaking etc.
  • Some of our more extreme ‘phobic’ responses, are developed in a single incident and yet these can plague us throughout our lives and impact massively on our confidence.
 Recognising where we are with our confidence, is the first step to making a CHANGE… Yes, it is possible to boost our confidence and overcome our fears that hold us back in our lives or simply make us feel ‘bad’ about ourselves.
  • Acknowledging that I had to overcome my ‘panic attacks’ in an interview situation led me to seek help from a hypnotherapist to develop new beliefs about myself and to develop new strategies to change my ‘automatic response’ which was triggered when my hand touched the interview room door.

Overcoming my fears and increasing my inner confidence, enabled me to progress to become a Senior Manager in business and I was successful in every interview I subsequently went for…

I became so fascinated with the ‘power of our minds’ that I subsequently trained as a hypnotherapist myself as some of you may have read in previous posts. I love to help people overcome their fears and develop their ‘inner confidence’ because when they do, they begin to really shine and their lives expand as a result.

A lack of confidence either generally or in specific situations, holds us back and is often as a result of an ‘inner fear’ that we’ve created and a ‘belief’ about ourselves i.e. our ‘Limiting Beliefs’. Our lack of confidence, fears and limiting beliefs are all connected and can be completely overwhelming.

If we fear flying, we may never ‘go abroad’ for our holidays or go for the ‘best job’ because it means we’d have to fly…. or maybe if we ‘fear spiders’, we don’t go to places where we think we may see them… In some more extreme cases, people become agoraphobic and won’t leave their home because of their lack of confidence or they start to ‘self harm’ and sadly as I’ve witnessed with a family member, their lack of self confidence led them to stay in mentally and physically abusive relationships… In many cases, we limit the opportunities in our lives as a result of our lack of confidence in ourselves…

Although we all have our differing levels of confidence, we can all learn new skills and strategies to boost our confidence both on the outside in terms of what others would see and more importantly, on the inside… our ‘inner confidence’.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to run a series of posts, focussed on HOW TO BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE… This can truly be life changing and no matter what your current level of confidence is, there is always room to increase it further as I’ve discovered along my journey of self discovery.

If you take some time to work through some of the weekly exercises, you’ll feel your confidence levels rise and wow – who knows where that new level of ‘inner confidence’ will take you… Definitely up to the next level of your life!

I aim to post my Confidence boosting tips and techniques over the next few weeks on a Monday so pop back for your weekly ‘confidence boost’!

I’d love to hear about your personal experiences and whether you lack confidence in any particular situation or area of your life as I may be able to include some specific tips to help you so Please LEAVE A COMMENT… if you think there is an area of your life that you lack confidence!

grow your confidence and change your outcome in life

 

 

 

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30 Comments

  1. June 28, 2017 / 5:23 am

    I have definitely experienced times of high anxiety and even though I know I was the best person for the job, I couldn’t speak up for myself and ultimately lost out on a potentially life changing promotion.

    • Wendy
      June 29, 2017 / 12:56 am

      I was exactly the same when I was younger and although people ‘thought’ I appeared confident, I wasn’t on the inside. I’m sorry you lost out on that promotion…. however, these things do make us stronger and in the long run, I know you’ll look back and realise that you’ve grown much stronger as a result of that ‘set back’ because it’s clearly set you off on a new path of self discovery.. xxx

  2. May 15, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    I feel confident most of the time until others start doubting me over and over. I find that it’s mostly due to a low self esteem issue that some people have. To put someone down makes themselves feel up or better. It’s a challenge for me to see how far I am dealing with my own insecurities. Good post 😊

    • Wendy
      May 15, 2017 / 11:53 pm

      Once again… you’re right Mr P.. You’re definitely making a habit of it! haha.. Seriously though – it’s true that often people will judge and be critical because of their own insecurities.. I am confident a lot of the time and yet there have been definite ‘moments in life’ where the confidence has really only been on the surface and not from the inside.. xxx

      • May 16, 2017 / 4:37 am

        Haha, maybe I am lol. And so are you wise woman. We should all look at how to improve ourselves and not look to critically at others. That would be too easy I think. Have a great day W ☺️

        • Wendy
          May 16, 2017 / 9:03 am

          Yep Mr P – spread love and kindness.. couldn’t agree more! Wise Woman.. hey – I’ve gone up in the world.. it used to be Wicked Witch (still is according to hubby.. haha) xx

          • May 16, 2017 / 11:29 am

            Haha yes. Cause you’re so kind ☺️

          • Wendy
            May 16, 2017 / 3:05 pm

            Well.. maybe sometimes .. xx

          • May 16, 2017 / 4:23 pm

            Yes….maybe….😝

  3. May 14, 2017 / 11:41 pm

    You go, Wendy!! 🙂 The last line of my ministerial blessing (did you know I’m a minister??): “Take your steps with confidence, knowing that the Traveler is with you every step of the way.” The Traveler is a consciousness of loving, like my Inner Master. Thank you SO MUCH for this reminder. Have a great day, and blessings to you and to this series of confidence blog posts. Debbie ps – Happy Mother’s Day!

    • Wendy
      May 15, 2017 / 12:29 am

      Hi Debbie.. no I didn’t know you’re a minister.. How lovely to be in the position of helping others which I’m sure you do amazingly! You’re words in the blessing are so inspiring – thank you for sharing them with me! … and thank you for the ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ which I very much appreciate. I hope you’ve had a lovely day too Debbie! Many blessings sent with love xxx

  4. May 14, 2017 / 7:00 am

    An excellent post. I too suffer from anxiety but oddly never in those situations that require the ‘confident armour’ – interviews or public speaking. I am absolutely fine with those. I get anxious about things I can’t control. Anyway. Enough of me. This is a superb post and your story adds great weight and pathos to it.

    • Wendy
      May 14, 2017 / 7:49 am

      Thank Osyth… Anxiety is often about that feeling of being ‘out of control’ in situations.. Yes – I hadn’t thought of my anxiety in the terms of ‘confident armour’ and yet I remember that I did ‘feel out of control’… I hope over the series, I can give some tips that may help.. Even if we’re confident in lots of situations, there are often areas of life that we can gain more confidence.. I hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend Osyth? xx

      • May 14, 2017 / 7:51 am

        Very lovely thank you …. the sun is shining between thunderstorms so we have the sparkle and shine of real weather! X

        • Wendy
          May 14, 2017 / 8:18 am

          Wonderful.. the sun is well and truly shining here in ‘sunny’ Manchester this morning.. so it looks like fun in the garden with my 2 gorgeous granddaughters is definitely on the cards.. xx

          • May 14, 2017 / 6:34 pm

            Xx

  5. May 14, 2017 / 1:01 am

    Hi Wendy (third time lucky here) as I mentioned I feel confident and comfortable when one on one but often feel uncomfortable in a large group or when I’m suddenly the spotlight of attention. That’s when I tend to withdraw. Wonderful post and I look forward to more great posts from you on this topic. Much love and talk soon. xo

    • Wendy
      May 14, 2017 / 8:22 am

      Thanks Miriam.. it worked which is a relief as I wouldn’t have a clue where to start ‘correcting’ the ‘comments’ field.. haha! I’ll definitely try and cover some tips for being more comfortable in groups and the spotlight.. and hope it can help.. Hope you’ve had a great day.. xxx

      • May 14, 2017 / 12:05 pm

        That’s great Wendy. Yes I’ve had a lovely Sunday though it’s not been a typical Mothers Day. Hope you’re having a great weekend my friend xo 🙂

        • Wendy
          May 14, 2017 / 4:41 pm

          The ‘not so typical’ is probably a really good thing Miri.. I’m glad the day has gone well! We had a lovely night last night and a sunny morning here in Manchester… Lots of love and fun with my gorgeous girlies.. Big hugs… xxxx

  6. May 13, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    I recently discovered that apparenly most of the people I know have come to the odd conclusion that I am confident. In fact, I apparently come off as *too* confident, sometimes, and people think I can be a cocky know-it-all. I was gobsmacked. I (used to be) the most UNCONFIDENT person I knew… yet, I was SO good at all the brass & bluster, no one knew.

    It was actually a paper mask.

    But life is good… I’m learning true confidence, the kind that comes from not only knowing who and what I am, but LOVING who and what I am. I don’t have to pretend anymore. The false bravada still comes out when I begin to feel insecure, or out of my depth, but it’s beginning to fade.

    I’m super excited, and take your blog post as a little wink from the Universe to myself, letting me know I’m on the right track (but I’m still coming back to check out this series, never know where you will find inspiration!).

    Thanks for sharing, Wendy! <3

    • Wendy
      May 14, 2017 / 12:00 am

      Hi Amanda – I think you’re absolutely right – it’s definitely a wink from the Universe! It never ceases to amaze me how and when those little messages appear… It sounds like you’ve come a long way in the Confidence stakes. Yep – we can all put on our masks and ‘look’ confident, but the true confidence comes from knowing and liking who we are from the inside out. Then we really start to shine. I hope you’re able to find some nugget of inspiration in this series.. I’m delighted we’ll be sharing the journey over the next few weeks xx

        • Wendy
          May 14, 2017 / 8:22 am

          Fabulous! Have a lovely day xx

  7. May 13, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    This is such an amazing post! I am confident only in some situations, I suffer from extreme anxiety and constantly have panic attacks! Thank you for this post (:

    • Wendy
      May 14, 2017 / 12:04 am

      Well thank you so much Theresa Marie.. I’m delighted to meet you and having suffered from panic attacks and moved to the other side, I do empathise.. it’s such an unpleasant feeling. The brilliant thing is though that it’s possible to overcome the anxiety and the panic attacks and become a much stronger and more confident person.. I hope you find some little gems in this series that will help you shine brightly from the inside… xxx

  8. May 13, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Brilliant i feel as if my earlier life was quite similar to yours. I still lack confidence at times…but i ferl the fear and do it anyway and i afgirm myself into the right mindset and take baby sreps forward.

    Great post i really loved and look forward to your upcoming posts.

    • Wendy
      May 13, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      Fantastic Bella – well done to us both for ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’!! I sometimes slide back and recognise now when I am and take those steps forward again.. It sounds like you do too! x

  9. May 13, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Thanks for sharing your story Wendy. I would love to get more confident in social situations and getting back to dating. I have been on my own now for too long! I look forward to your new series. 😊

    • Wendy
      May 13, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      Brilliant!! Thanks Brigid and I’ll definitely include some suggestions for you to consider.. Good for you.. yep – feel the fear and do it anyway! xx

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