How can I be more confident?
It’s a question I’ve been asked more times than I can count. So let me try and answer it definitively. But first, let’s dispel a few myths.
I personally believe there is a lot of rubbish being talked about confidence.
The Problem with Aiming for “Being More Confident”
I feel that we have the focus in the wrong place. When it comes to confidence the focus seems to be very much about getting us to a destination, a place where we are invincible and fearless, ready to take on any task that we are faced with. Like a Superwoman, she’s unshakeable- you can throw her into a foreign country, with strangers, having jumped out of an aeroplane to deliver a challenging business presentation and a vocal solo and she’ll handle it all with aplomb because she oozes confidence.
Do you actually know ANYONE who fits this definition of confidence? I only know one or two, and to be perfectly honest I think they may have a bit of a personality disorder… so let’s redefine it!
Having confidence is not about being a confident person ALL THE TIME.
Let’s face it: we are all different. We are introverts and extroverts. We’re bubbly or serene. We all have totally different personalities so this idea that a “confident person” is one type, one size fits all, flies in the face of our individuality.
We don’t all need to become some sort of bubbly social butterfly who is always chatting up strangers and singing karaoke. Of course, that’s great if you want it, but our focus at One of many is to develop a confidence that fits with who you truly are.
So if confidence isn’t being a fearless daredevil who’s ready to leap into the unknown without so much as a backwards glance, what is it?
You feel confident in relationship to something
Confidence is how you feel when you’re asked about the everyday tasks you carry out without a thought.
Let me ask you something: “Can you tie your shoelaces?”
Did you answer yes?
Notice that feeling you have about the answer to that question? Unless you never progressed past velcro straps on your trainers, that feeling– that is confidence.
You see, confidence is something that comes in relation to a certain task we want to be doing.
It’s not a permanent state of being. It’s how you feel about your ability to do something.
How much confidence is enough?
When talking about confidence we also have a tendency to think about it in terms of something we are lacking. But I believe that most of us have enough confidence to do most things we desire, it’s just that we are looking for it in the wrong places.
Let me ask you this: can you walk into a shop and ask where they keep the milk?
If you have enough self-esteem for this- you have the makings of all the confidence you need. Some people can’t do that. They may have debilitating social issues, like huge anxiety or agoraphobia. But if you have enough self-esteem for this, you have the makings to be able to do most things.
If I have the confidence where do I find it?
For most of us, the reason we don’t feel confident to do stuff is because of Imposter Syndrome. It’s that icky feeling that we’re going to get found out, that we’re not qualified or good enough for the task at hand. This is something that I have suffered from massively in the past and my remedy for this is simple and here it is:
For me, it’s my Mum, my sisters, friends and my team here at One of many™. These people all encourage me to push myself to do things, they are my cheerleaders.
The Three Steps to Confidence
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
Now, this is a probably a little controversial because most personal development coaches will tell you confidence comes from within but I believe that it really can come from outside of you. When you surround yourself with people who have high expectations of what you’re capable of, you just sort of get on with doing things! If you allow yourself to, you learn to live into that space that they are holding for you.
- Ask “Do I have the skills and knowledge I need?”
So what happens when everyone around you believes in you but you still think “there’s no way I can do this thing!” Because let’s face it- that still happens!!
The next step to accessing confidence for a situation is to do check to see if you actually KNOW how to handle a situation. Ask yourself:
- Do I know how to do this?
- Do I have the knowledge and skills?
- Have I got what it takes?
Because I know way too many people who expect themselves to be confident at something with no education. I teach public speaking a lot. And so many people say “I could never do that”. But they’ve never been taught how! They don’t know what they would say, how to structure a talk that gives them confidence, how to deliver a talk etc. So of course they’ll think they can’t do it. If no-one taught you to tie a shoelace you’d have no confidence for that either!
When trying to feel more confident gaining education around what it is you’re trying to achieve can be a really great place to start.
- Choose the right Women’s PowerType for the job
Once you have educated yourself on what it takes the next step is to decide who will take on this task. Now, I know you’re probably thinking well it’s me of course and you’re absolutely right but what we’re talking about here is deciding which part of you is the best woman for the job.
At One of many™, we talk about the five Women’s PowerTypes™; The Lover, The Mother, The Queen, The Warrioress and The Sorceress. Our PowerTypes are the parts of us that we call upon to help us at different times.
We can all play the clown in the right situation, we can be the caregiver or nurturing mother, depending on the situation. So what I’m suggesting here is we can consciously draw upon any one of our PowerTypes for confidence.
Imagine this …
You have just started a new job and you’ve been invited to the office party and you’re feeling nervous about stepping into a room of unfamiliar people, wondering if you’ll have the confidence to talk to new people.
This would be the perfect time to bring in your Queen PowerType. The Queen is serene and graceful, she is the type that walks into to a room and owns it, she doesn’t do guilt and is totally assured of her place in her realm.
Well, we all have the Queen within us, it’s just a question of accessing that power in your body and consciously using it as a tool to gain more confidence in a situation, in this case bringing her to the party!
The same goes for all of the five PowerTypes, you just need to know what part to access and when is the best time to do it.
If you’d like to learn more about using your Women’s PowerTypes, do check out our free Soft PowerCasts here.
So to summarise:
- Redefine confidence to something you have in relationship to a task, not as a permanent state of being.
- Seek out people who believe in you more than you believe in yourself and find your confidence there.
- Make sure you have the education you need for what you’re trying to do
- Access the relevant Women’s PowerType to pull off the task!
And let me know – what do you do to make yourself feel more confident?
You might also like to read...
Latest posts by Joanna Martin (see all)
- 5 reasons why leadership training doesn’t work - June 14, 2018
- What to do when you feel isolated - June 13, 2018
- Criticism or judgement? What to do when feedback hurts - June 7, 2018