Changing Your Confidence Levels
I was (virtually) getting to know a client. As usual, I ask about their backgrounds and once we get to know each other more, I ask them what is it they would like to work on in a coaching session. There is always a moment of hesitancy when I ask people that question. It’s like they are ashamed to admit it or scared to say something wrong or perhaps even worse, something shameful and embarrassing. Depending on the person, at times I have to pull it out of them more. That is fine. That is a part of the role I play. The biggest step is that the person sought out a coach in the first place. So what I do is I list out the things most people come to me for – wanting to change something about their lives or themselves. Then my clients taps into the word that resonates with them the most. More often than not, it’s confidence.
Most people feel they could use a bit more confidence in their lives. There is not a single person that thinks confidence is harmful. Arrogance yes. Overconfidence yes. But just the mere, simple confidence in oneself and abilities, we all think that is a beneficial thing to have in our lives. A lot of people doubt themselves, most of them unwillingly. It’s exhausting going through life constantly putting yourself down and not having your own back. Life throws us stones and puts hurdles in the way, it doesn’t get easier to handle them if we worry about not being able to manage them and get through. Wouldn’t it be liberating knowing we are here for ourselves? Accordingly to a simple search in Google, the Cambridge Dictionary defines confidence as: “the quality of being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future“. That sounds like a worry free life full of certainty and stability. It’s the feeling of knowing, in one way or another, everything is going to be ok. Who doesn’t want that? There is not one single reason to not want that feeling in your life. Imagine going through life feeling like I imagine Brad Pitt or George Clooney feel like. Knowing that everything is going to be alright and everyone they meet will like them. And if not,that things will work out none the less. We all could use a dose of confidence in our lives. When I look at confident people I see a sort of lightness and comfort I crave more of in my life. I too am a person that had to work on gaining confidence, and will have to continue working on it for some more time. Here’s what I learned on my path. There are three components, I call them “The ABC to confidence”:
A – Acceptance
The key and the first step to confidence is acceptance. Self acceptance. Learning and loving the fact that you are who you are. You don’t have flaws. You just have things you may not be as good at as others. Which also means, there are things that come easier to you than they do to others. The world would not function if we all had the same skill sets. Your life wouldn’t function if someone wasn’t good at math and thus because an engineer and created a phone, and it wouldn’t be as fun if there weren’t actors that were talented and made amazing movies that you could then watch on your phone. A lot of discontent comes from people wanting to be good at something they are not. What gives us the feeling that we should have the same talents, same interests and same skills as others? We all have a place, there is enough space for everyone in this world. You can only be the best at being yourself and best at the skills you were given. Cultivate them and embrace them.
B – Belief
A big part of confidence is having faith in your own capabilities. Believing that everything will work out one way or another. This is a mindset change we need to go through. More often than not, things don’t go in our favor in life. It takes a blind belief knowing that this was for the better. That what is meant for us is in our lives. We are who we are meant to be and where we are meant to be. Look – what’s your other option? Just assuming every lost chance and every inconvenience was created so you could live a life full of suffering and discontent? You can live that life. Or you can choose to believe that things will work out and are for the better. It’s really up to you to believe.
C – Compassion
Have compassion for yourself. We tend to find compassion for others but rarely for ourselves. It’s one of the hardest things to do to forgive ourselves for past mishaps. We see so much fault in ourselves, and we don’t take the time to show ourselves some love and understanding. Allowing ourselves to fail, to slip up, to not be perfect gives us the room to learn from the experiences. It gives us the opportunity to look back and find a lesson from the situation without judgement or self punishment. Also have compassion for when you try and don’t succeed. This will help you heal and grow, which is a foundation for confidence. It’s through past experiences that we build confidence, because we know what we are able to handle and just how much we are able to endure.
When you are confident, it’s not that you know everything you do you will succeed in. It means knowing that you have the ability to do something and that even if it doesn’t work out, that you will be fine. It’s about believing in your capabilities, not about thinking you can be the best at everything. But understanding what are your limitations as well as your strengths and being able to use both to get through situations in life.