Updated: Mar 28, 2020
Confidence is freely available to everyone in unlimited amounts.
To grab yours, simply decide that you want some. That’s it. That’s all you have to do.
Because confidence comes from making the decision that you want to be confident.
And this is where people get stuck.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “I don’t want to appear arrogant”, or “I’m afraid to sound cocky and over-confident”, I’d be a very wealthy woman! Because confidence isn’t arrogance. Nor is it cockiness. Arrogance and cockiness are the domain of insecure, under-confident people who use brashness and competitiveness to mask how they truly feel.
Real confidence is about being who you are and being comfortable with it. Real confidence is about showing up in your day to day life and being your genuine, real self. It’s about the end of approval seeking behaviour and the beginning of accepting your imperfections. It’s about being you. It’s the Shangri-La of human existence.
To build real confidence, you are going to have to get up close and personal with your inner critic. The one that tells you you’re not good enough, or you can’t launch your business. The one that tells you you're not cut out for this, or you should take another course just to be sure. It’s the voice that says you’re incompetent when you screw up, unworthy when you gain a few pounds, and unattractive as you age. It’s the voice that tells you everyone is smarter/richer/thinner/more experienced/ more worthy than you. It keeps you locked in your past and tells you your future can only be a replica of it.
Your inner critic uses words such as ‘should’ and ‘should not’ in almost every sentence. It’s a critical, opinionated, loud-mouth that rams ‘failure’ down your throat and it wants to keep you small. It kills your dreams, ambition, and passion. It’s the thief that steals our courage. It murders your soul.
And we listen. We listen because it uses fear as a stick to beat us with.
If that was enough to make you feel you want to throw in the towel, just hold on for a second.
Because there is another voice inside us that we often allow our inner critic to interrupt. This other voice is the voice of reason, common sense, and kindness. It’s the voice you would use to speak to a child or someone who is in physical or emotional pain. It’s the voice that tells children they can be anything they want to be. It’s the voice that says you can run a successful business and nail your goals.
And it trusts you.
It lives in the moment. It doesn’t care about your past. It believes your future is determined by the action you take today. This voice allows you to be you. It allows you to show up as your real, true, imperfect self. It doesn’t beat you up. It appreciates and understands you. And it wants you to realize your dreams.
This voice is at the root of all success. You can attend training, take courses, collect degrees and diplomas, and spend your life gathering knowledge. But until you tune into this voice – until you tap into your strengths - success will always be just out of reach.
So how do you hear this voice over the din being made by your loud-mouthed inner critic?
You’ve tried ignoring your inner critic but the harder you try, the louder it screams.
Rather than fight it, you’re simply going to remove its’ power.
Here is a simple activity you can do transfer power to your voice of reason.
Three times per week, spend thirty minutes writing down the stories in your head. At the end of your day, sit down with a journal and just start writing. In fairly short order, you’ll start to see patterns. You’ll be able to associate events with your inner critic, and your inner critic with events (those are known as ‘triggers’). Once you see patterns – and you will – you can begin the process of consciously changing them.
When you hear that inner critic trying to slow you down, ask yourself these questions:
1. What is the worst that can happen? (It’s never anything close to what your inner critic will have you believe.)
2. What is the best that can happen?
3. What am I going to do to make that [best thing] happen?
4. Whatever the outcome, ask yourself, “What did I learn that I can use to be even better next time?”
Notice the absence of criticism and berating from your inner critic. By transferring power to your voice of reason – your wisdom – you stay in the moment, listen more intently, evaluate what you’ve heard and saw, and use that to plan your next move. No failure, no self-flagellation, no fear. Just calm, considered action to bring you closer to your goal.
I realize that this sounds agonizingly simple. And truly, it is. It just takes practice.
It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to achieve. You can do it only when you have the courage to try, the clarity of mind to learn, and the confidence to keep going.
That will build your momentum. And from there, your success will come.
It's mindset - not strategy - that will get your business off the ground and thriving.
and learn how to be become a mindset master and get your business off the ground.