Can you remember your first driving lesson?
If yours was like mine, it was one of the most nerve racking and tense experiences of my young life. Fists so tight, the whites of my knuckles piercing through my skin, as I gripped the steering wheel. Afraid to make any decisions for fear that I’d stall in the middle of the road, creating a mass pile up.
Yet, as I drove more and more, the grip on the steering loosened and my driving became for glide than grind!
Confidence is the same, when you have low confidence everything feels hard and nerve racking. Just speaking to people fills you with a sense of dread and don’t even think about doing anything with an uncertain outcome, it will just add to the hurricane of emotions that are going on inside.
Yet, when you are confident, everything seems easy. Sure, you may face challenges still just like an experienced driver can still encounter a tough journey. However, it is easy because you are certain you can handle what you are facing in the moment and anything you might face in the future that you don’t know about, yet.
This is really the nature of confidence. It is not that you will never experience challenge or face situations you find tough. It is that you encounter them and have an expectation that you can handle what happens.
Whilst there are multiple components to experiencing real confidence, I want to provide you with 3 easy steps on which to start to be more confident.
The brain has evolved to search for difference. In the environment, you want to notice what is different in order to assess whether there is a clear and immediate threat.
Too often people will say they want to be more confident, but are stumped when I ask ‘how do you know when you are more confident’. They have focussed so much on what they don’t want (feel anxious and shy) that they haven’t actually acknowledged what will let them know when they have more confidence.
Here are 3 questions you can answer that will help you be clear
1 What will your thoughts about the world around you be?
2 What will you notice about your body and your posture?
3 What feelings will you be having and where in your body will they start that lets you know you are being confident?
It is a much better use of your time to play around altering your thoughts and behaviours in the quest for increasing confidence than it is to wait around and ‘hope that the world changes’ before you can increase confidence.
There is something very enlightening in taking 100% ownership in your ongoing development. By acknowledging that you have all the resources be a confident individual and nothing external from you needs to change first, you can understand that increasing confidence can start right now.
Real confidence forms part of your identity. Your identity is influenced partly by your experiences. So in order to get past the ‘fake it till you make it’ perscription, it involves you have experiences on a regularly basis that you can recognise as being evidence of your increasing confidence.
Start by having one experience a day that shows an ‘aspect’ of confidence then gradually build it up as you see fit. These experiences can be something as simple as having a conversation with a check out assistant if this is something you wouldn’t normally do
Being more confident doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavour. I approach it in a systemised way in order to make sure that every experience you have goes some way towards an ever increasing confidence.
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