We forget how unique we are and, often, other people or external events can knock our confidence. I have known this for myself, for other professionals, men, women, directors, business owners, lawyers and so on. No one seems immune from the odd confidence hit.
The topic of mental toughness or “resilience” has always been of interest to me, especially as I recall the days of university exams, incredibly late nights in the office as a lawyer and personal health scares to name a few of my experiences. Stress led to confusion around my capabilities, I doubted myself and assumed others were more confident than I was. There was a knock on effect of the confidence dip – as you’d expect.
A hit to your confidence can be triggered by stress or can even cause stress. I’ve seen how it is important to understand why or how your confidence came to be hit. Then the unravelling can begin to support you in managing your thoughts, emotions and behaviours (that includes language) for greater self-confidence.
Why is it so important?
Where one “feels” stress, it can affect, amongst other things, clarity, focus and decision making. If you know something is not right, if self-doubt kicks in, you can choose to go with it or work on it.
Confidence has been identified as one key component to mental toughness – or resilience - which in turn has its impact on happiness and performance ( Dr Peter Clough et al, University of Hull/Manchester Metropolitan University). Taking steps to boost your confidence at work, it is reported, will support you in ample aspects of life overall.
Much has been argued over stress, how real it is and how people manage what (to them) is stress, such that it doesn’t impinge on their confidence levels, what they achieve or how they behave.
Everyone I meet, albeit with their individual ways of expressing it, wants to boost their confidence in some area or other that, at that time, is of importance to them.
This raised confidence in turn can provide clarity, focus, self-belief and positive action. However, balance is key – we all perhaps know someone who appears to be over-confident.
What immediate steps can you take to boost your confidence?
Before you embark on this, I recommend:
- have an open mind
- be entirely non-judgemental, of yourself and of others
- give it a go and practice at least for 30 days, as there is nothing to lose.
These small steps here will, after a week, take less time each day than standing in a queue for your coffee! (maybe!)
1. Express gratitude for 3 things daily, however small – being grateful for what you have, the opportunities presented to you, your health, the resources to support you and so on. Reflect on what these things are in your life and what is meaningful to you. Scientists now confirm that expressing gratitude daily (especially in written form) can enable you to embed more positivity into your subconscious and help you to feel better. If you feel better, you’re likely to feel more motivated and behaviours are more aligned to what you really want.
2. Be authentic. Invest time in learning more consciously about yourself. Fully understanding your values and boundaries, dreams and ambitions can boost you as you find your purpose and embark on the direction needed for you. If you would like a template, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As you are more yourself – and trust in that - your confidence thrives.
And here’s an extra tip:
3. Write down what you have achieved or overcome over the past 12 months and then the past 5 years. Look at the history of achievements, build yourself a bible of these to remind yourself what you are capable of. My clients tell me this is invaluable.
Do these tips sound a little strange? Perhaps a bit self-indulgent? I invite you to give these a go, for at least a month and see what happens. Be open-minded and non-judgemental. What have you got to lose? I’ve worked with people who demonstrate exceptional talent in aspects of their work and life. Occasionally, a challenge or objection kicks in. Clarity helps to address these and make better choices. So give it a go.
I help people who are ready to dive in to identify and act upon their potential for the success they desire in life and in their career. I work with individuals and businesses. Mental Resilience training is a must for all businesses and, if you'd like to understand the part it can play in the growth of your business, contact me today.