Sometimes, we become ‘experts’ in the things we ‘don’t want’ in our lives and as you may already have guessed from previous posts, I’m a great believer in ‘what you focus on is what you get’…
If you’re lacking confidence generally or in a specific area of your life, it is most definitely as a result of what you are thinking!
The thoughts we have and those we run over and over in our minds. will be the ‘results’ we experience in our lives, therefore the ‘key to unlocking our inner confidence’ is to change how and what we are thinking!
I used to ‘fear’ public speaking and my thoughts ran along the lines of:
“I’ll never be any good at giving presentations”
“Who’d want to listen to me when there are amazing speakers in the world like Tony Robbins, Andy Harrington etc. “
“What if I have a panic attack when I’m speaking in front of people?”
Was I right?
You bet I was! I ‘never’ could be any good at giving presentations if I continued to ‘never give them’…
Actually, the truth is… and I don’t admit this often (as hubby may tell you…) I was VERY WRONG!!
- Would I really ‘never’ be good at giving presentations or in reality, was this a skill I could ‘learn and develop’?
- Would ‘nobody‘ want to listen to me or could there be somebody who may actually be interested in my view on something?
- Would improving my level of skill and practicing self hypnosis and starting small and building up to larger audiences reduce the risk of having a panic attack?
I’d generalised my thoughts and in doing so, I was ‘holding back’ and therefore I was proving myself right by the ‘action’ or in the case of public speaking the ‘inaction’ I was taking.
If I stop doing things because of my ‘wrong thoughts’, those ‘wrong thoughts’ will ALWAYS prove me ‘right’!!
Often it’s also our fear of moving away from our ‘comfort zone’ combined with our ‘fear of failure’ that holds us back.. We make ‘excuses’. in order to prove ourselves right?
- We become 100% confident in our ‘assurance’ to ourselves and others that we aren’t ‘confident’ about doing something!
- Have you ever noticed yourself contradicting someone quite ‘forcefully’ when they tell you that they think you’d be ‘good at something’? You answer with a very ‘confident’ voice … “No you’re wrong – I’m rubbish at that!!!”
Public Speakers University
The difference between those who lack confidence and those who exude confidence. is the ability to act above and beyond and despite of the fear.
Everybody will feel some form of fear at some point in their lives. Some of us allow the ‘fear’ to consume our thoughts and we keep telling ourselves how ‘rubbish’ we are and convincing ourselves about what we ‘can’t do’. Our subconscious brain will then be determined to fit in with our habitual negative way of thinking and consequently, we feel less and less confident….
In contrast, People who ‘exude’ confidence, may have the same initial thoughts and fears but instead of allowing those thought patterns to control their actions, they take action to prove themselves wrong. They may try something and ‘fail’ – they don’t give up though, they’ll simply try a different way. They don’t ‘give in’ to any ‘negative thoughts’ – they kick the negative thoughts back to the side-lines of their playing field and they continue to play the game of life! If they don’t achieve what they set out to do at the first attempt, they’ll continue to try until they eventually succeed.
I’m sure you’ll have heard the story about Thomas Eddison who having tried over a thousand different ways to invent the ‘lightbulb’ and never giving up, eventually succeeded. When he was asked why he’d not ‘given up’ after ‘failing’ so many times, he responded that he’d not ‘failed’, he’d simply learned a thousand ways how not to create the lightbulb, paving the way for his subsequent success……
To ‘Gain Confidence’, we need to remind ourselves that we were ‘born confident’ and then copy those childhood instincts.
- When a baby learns to walk, the baby watches those around him, makes his first attempt to walk and inevitably falls down. However, unlike many adults, the baby doesn’t give up.. he simply continues to try until eventually one day, he finds his balance and teeters across the room. He keeps practicing until he masters the skill of walking… and then there’s no holding him back, as I’m sure many of you will have experienced as you’ve chased around after the ‘teetering toddler’!
If we were ‘born with confidence’ and we had the ability to learn to walk, talk, feed ourselves etc. etc. etc. without ‘giving up’ at the first hurdle, we know deep down that we still have that ‘inner confidence’ within us. Instead of allowing the ‘habit’ of ‘negative thinking patterns’ to control our behaviour, we need to ‘mimic the baby within us’ and re-discover the ‘confidence building thoughts’ that we had as a young toddler.
That ‘baby confident’ way of thinking hasn’t disappeared completely. Everything we were born with, remains within us and is simply ‘buried’ under a mound of rubbish that we’ve built up over many years in our mind and which was often established as a ‘thought process’, as a result of the things we were told as children.
In some cases, we picked up on the ‘lack of confidence’ we witnessed in our parents or maybe we were told that we weren’t ‘good at …..’ something or we weren’t encouraged to keep trying something new etc. We often ‘learned’ our ‘lack of confidence’ from people around us and particularly from parents and teachers i.e. the adults in our lives – and adults are ALWAYS right aren’t they?…..NOT!!!
Top Tip: Think about the language you are using when you speak to children in your life and never tell them they’re ‘rubbish at something’. Watch this Facebook clip – it’s a wonderful example of how we can change the course of our children’s lives, by how we communicate with them…
Now it’s time for us to re-establish our ‘toddler’ thought process and to take action to ‘build confidence’. By taking action, even if we fall down, we can pick ourselves back up and try again!
Building Confidence Exercise 2: FLIP IT…
- Over the next few days, become ‘consciously aware’ of the thoughts in your head. Each time you notice yourself telling yourself that you ‘can’t do something’ or that you’re ‘rubbish at something’ or that you ‘don’t feel confident enough to do …..’, stop for a moment and write the ‘thought’ down.
- At the end of each day, take a couple of minutes to read what you’ve written and then re-write the statement in a positive way. For examples:
- “I’m rubbish at learning new things” could be ‘flipped’ to “My learning skills are improving day by day”
- “I’ll never have the confidence to stand up and speak in front of people” could flip to say “I’m learning new skills that are helping me to gain confidence in public speaking”
- Keep repeating the new statement to yourself every morning and every evening over the next few weeks. If you catch yourself falling back to the old ‘habitual negative pattern of thinking’ simply ‘flip it’, to the new phrase that you’ve written down. Once you catch yourself out enough times and ‘flip’ to the new way of thinking, it won’t be long before the ‘flip it’ thought becomes the ‘natural thought’ and your confidence will start to grow.
- Our subconscious mind will believe whatever you tell it, whether it’s the ‘actual truth’ or an ‘imagined truth and therefore by ‘flipping’ the ‘negative thoughts into a ‘positive’ statement you can start to build a new pattern of thinking, which enables your subconscious mind to start finding the evidence and suggesting actions you could take, which support your new way of thinking.
Following this new ‘thoughts process’ and ‘taking small ‘baby action steps’, will make a massive difference to how you view yourself and your level of confidence and you will start to believe what you can do instead of what you can’t. As a result, the subconscious mind will then look for opportunities to help rebuild your inner confidence!