Have you ever wished you had a bit more confidence in certain situations or looked at someone else and thought – Wow – I wish I could be as confident as them. Have you ever thought that some people are just more confident than others and it’s not your fault – it’s the way you were born?
If so, I hate to be the one to tell you, but – that is just not true. Self confidence is not genetic – it is a learned behaviour and that is a good thing. Because it means if you want to be more self confident you can be. You just have to learn how.
But before we get to that – let’s have a look at the giveaway signs that someone is lacking in self confidence. And bear in mind – it is a movable feast. Very few people have no self confidence at all in anything they do. You might be a confident driver for example, but go to pieces at the thought of public speaking. Or you might be confident in your ability as a parent – but go to pieces when asked to reverse park (oh you KNOW I am talking to YOU now and ask me how I know about that one – especially when Mr C is sitting next to me!).
First of all then – let’s do a test. Have a look at the list below and see if you are ever ‘guilty’ of any of these.
- Justifying your mistakes. You drop a drink and you find yourself coming out with – ‘it’s because I am tired/the floor was slippy/the glass was at the edge of the table.’ Self-confident people know that people make mistakes and you are allowed to make mistakes. It doesn’t require excuses.
- Confident people don’t need the input of others to make a decision, so if you find yourself seeking others approval before making a decision, you may need to work on your confidence.
- Reacting to criticism. Someone lacking in self confidence will immediately react to criticism with excuses or justifications or arguments to persuade the other person that they are wrong. A confident person looks at the criticism, decides if it is justified or partly justified and if so, takes action – and if not they ignore it, smile and walk away.
- Body language. People who lack self confidence may stand or sit with arms crossed as a psychological barrier, and they will generally be poor at holding eye contact with others. They don’t really want to ‘be seen’.
- People who lack self confidence may either try to blend into the background – by dressing in a neutral way – or they may go the other way and put on a big front with wacky hair or glasses for example – so they have something to hide behind. Self confident people don’t need to hide behind a persona, and neither do they try to blend in. They are just who they are.
Recognise anyone you know?
The connection between lack of self confidence and poor self-image/poor self-esteem
Of course, often self confidence is tied to poor self image and / or poor self esteem. This is a huge subject and so not possible to cover in a short blog. This is a much bigger issue than lacking confidence in a job interview, or in presentation situations. This lack of self esteem linked to lack of self confidence pervades every area of your life and affects you on a daily basis – consciously and often sub consciously. Do you feel more confident wearing black / a certain outfit / a type of clothing. Well, that could be related to poor self image. Perhaps you would never venture outside without full make up on. Again – could be you think its because you have high standards but actually might it be masking a little issue around your self image?
It reminds me of one of my friends who was stunning, in fact men (& women) would stop in the street and stare, and on a few occasions people actually came over to us and said “you are the most beautiful person I’ve seen / you are so beautiful”. I’m ok with saying they were talking to her not me! Here’s the thing, she had her mirror out all the time, checking she looked ok – why? Well you might think because she was vain, however it was the opposite. She was insecure about her looks….WTF!!! This was because of an incident that had happened in childhood were she had been told she was ugly.
Self esteem – big issue for a lot of my clients – especially the perfectionists out there. Were you shouted at as a child for dropping food on your new top/breaking something/forgetting your homework? If you felt as a child you were not living up to the expectations of others, you may subconsciously feel inadequate and not good enough. Which translates into a lack of self esteem and self confidence as an adult.
It’s a major subject and one we will come back to time and time again in these blogs, because you don’t know what you don’t know and so I want to shed light on examples just like these. Once you become aware of these knock on effects and once you know what could be holding you back – you have a choice to take action and do something about these barriers, beliefs and blocks that are holding you back.
But for today – what can you do to start to improve your confidence?
Firstly – know that no-one is good at everything, but anybody can be good at one thing. If there is something you want to be better at then remember there ARE things you can do well (think of one – yes right now, I dare you). And if you can do one thing well, then you can do something else well too.
Secondly – stop thinking about what you are NOT. OK you may not be 5 foot 10 and with waist length blond hair. You may not be able to speak 3 languages fluently. You may not cook like Nigella. Who the hell cares? It is all this comparison to other people that is holding you back. Just be yourself – after all – everyone else is taken. And be the best version of YOU, not a muted copied version of someone else.
Thirdly – learn to love yourself (easy Tiger ….not THAT kind of “self-love” although ….I know another time right!). Start by LIKING yourself. Write down all the things that are GOOD about you – whether it is the colour of your eyes, the fact that you are kind, or the lovely singing voice no-one ever hears. And learn to like all of that, and then you might be able to start to love yourself – faults and all – mistakes and all – imperfections and all. If you love ONE other person in this world then you are able to love someone with faults, imperfections and who makes mistakes (because everyone does you know). And therefore – if you can love someone else who is imperfect, you can love yourself.
But you know – you really don’t have to work this out on your own and you don’t have to do it alone. Come over to our Facebook page – Find Your Why, where you will learn about the Live, Love Laugh Lounge and the Man Cave, where our WHY’s women and men are all on hand to support you.
If this resonates with you and you would like to connect I am offering a free 1:1 with me to help you to find WHY you might be stuck – please book a session with me today by clicking here: https://calendly.com/cheryl-29/20min
In the meantime whatever you are doing today, remember to Live Love and Laugh every day and continue to be you in your own unique way!