Updated: Nov 10, 2021
How do you know if you're confident or not?
People tell me I am confident all the time.
Initially this used to really confuse me. Because I had plenty of reference points, in which I felt the complete opposite in life.
When I entered into this coaching malarkey, I soon realised I got to choose the labels I give myself or accept from others.
I also learned that we are no one whole of anything. A jigsaw puzzle of parts and emotions, in which some times a part of me can be confident and sometimes it might just want to hibernate.
The concept of confidence can be defined as the feeling or belief in someone or something.
We tend to generalise this concept, "She's confident", "He's shy"... Our lazy language making sweeping statements about the complexity of our miraculous mind, again!
In personal development, confidence is about "self-concept" the way in which you "sense" your Self in the world. This connects to our "Identity" the labels we reward or afford ourselves with. The currency we exchange for a sense of being. The hashtag's others make in statement of how we behave.
Confidence is commonly formed on the comparison of our self to others, or the difference between the "Us" past and the "Us" present.
Think of anyone within your family circle, social circle or work team. And I bet you can form a sliding scale of personalities and self assurance.
Where do you put yourself on that scale, in the comparison of others?
It's too simplistic to say you are introverted or extroverted in relation to confidence.
I know some very self assured introverts and PLENTY of self-scrutinising extroverts.
The feeling and the struggle is real. And it's the feelings (that come from our self-concept on confidence) that cause us the most issue.
Of course, the internal self chitter-chatter about "Not good enough" or "Making a fool of yourself" doesn't help. But the escalation of the feelings, is where it starts to disrupt.
"Feeling" un-confident is often a smorgasbord of emotions that make up the ingredients for the lack of confidence. A medley of emotions. A pickle-jar of problematic feelings.
What's' your recipe made of? Maybe a dram of anxiety, a spoon full of frustration. An ounce of shame and a dollop of nostalgic grief?
On the flip side of this. What does confidence actually feel like to you?
Put it on your radar, remind your mind and body of the juicy, gooey fabulous feelings of being "With Confidence" .
Play this little game with yourself? If confidence were a person, you invited over to tea, what or who would they be? How would they behave?
(remember be fully on board with these character traits for your fictional confidence being. Because your mind is going to run a mile, if Ms Confidence gets too drunk, falls asleep under the table, kisses the bosses wife and gets rejected from her taxi ride home for excessive profanities)
To change the feelings about "confidence" or lack there of, you may need to do some tinkering on the ol'self conceptualisation.
What is my self-concept? What am I telling myself, about myself?
Who do I see myself as, in this context?
Hopefully you can muster up some kind words, that self-affirm a part of you that radiates some confident, good vibes.
So if you find yourself wanting of the confidence gene. Lets contextualise some of the things that may have scuppered it for you?
Some likely things that "knocked" your confidence.
Your family dynamics and social structures growing up.
Conditional and unconditional love rules.
Expectations VS reality experiences
Trauma & Adverse life experiences.
Past VS present comparison (self)
'Them' and 'Me' comparisons.
Lack of opportunities (to explore confidence)
If this is you, I am guessing you are keen to know how to make more confidence happen?
Remember what defined your past does not have to define your future. Everyone's journey to confidence will be different and here are some ideas to get you exploring and discovering your way forward.
Find your definition & make it clear- our brain finds stuff with clarity.
Practice -learn to be confident. With how you think, feel and do your life.
Sense yourself - know who you are and discover ways to feel proud of that.
Create changes that amplify your happiness-Happiness within supports self-concept.
Manage your feelings- Learn to deal with the excited and unhappy feelings that come along with life experiences.
Know your parts - understand the jigsaw puzzle parts of you and avoid sweeping statements about your "self-concept"
Grow your comfort zone - do stuff that upskills and builds self-belief.
Receive compliments - accept nice words from nice people. Just say "Thank you"
Change your story- You can be anyone you want, if you decide you are going to be more confident, take the actions and create a vision that supports that.
Be with your confident self - take time to notice the moments when you feel at your most confident. And be patient and kind to heal the parts that feel vulnerable too!
If you are struggling to make sense of feeling confident and its impacting your health and happiness. You can find out how coaching together can help you make change. Book in a Free discovery call or zoom here or visit https://www.jkchangework.life/personal-change to discover more.