The last two weeks has been quite a challenge for me and my self-confidence felt like it was going up and down like a rollercoaster.
You see last week I made the decision to find a permanent office with a very expensive price tag attached. I found that one minute my little inner voice was saying “c’mon you got this, you can do it” and the next minute that little inner voice was saying “what the hell makes you think you can do this, are you crazy? Stop the ride I wanna get off”
I found that little inner voice to be challenging and supporting me in a very positive way one moment and then almost tearing me down and undermining me the next.
I think many people experience this same difficulty. We would like a much more consistent voice telling us what we “can do” and to turn down the voice that tells us what we “can’t do”.
For many of us, confidence seems to be this illusive entity, like trying to catch a puff of smoke. We constantly ruminate with self-talk and ask ourselves, “how do I be more self-confident”? We recognise that having confidence assists us in all aspects of our life – to build relationships, achieve our goals, increase our performance, work outside our comfort zone and be successful at work. Confidence and being confident is something we all aim for. When we have self-belief we find ourselves being more positive and have a “can do” attitude. When we have lost our self-confidence, we know we want it back… and fast.
So how can we build our self-confidence?
1) Act Like You Mean It
When we observe another individual to be confident, their body language is often demonstrating this quite clearly to those around them. How do you look when you communicate? Do you look like you mean it? Do you:
look down at the floor or upright, shoulders back
nervous and fidget or eye contact and steady
hunched / slouching or standing up straight
hesitant voice or strong clear voice
tense and monotone or relaxed speech
When it comes to confidence, we can “fake it ‘till we make it”. We can demonstrate the behaviour, communication and body language indicative of a confident individual while we are waiting for our self-talk and goal setting to catch up with us.
2) Build a Pyramid
Consider a goal and how you would like to build your confidence to gain success.
Think about what you might like to achieve – for example give a presentation in a team meeting. Then put this goal at the top of the pyramid.
Then start at the bottom of the pyramid with small steps and work your way up – eg
· Bottom line: research my topic and get very familiar with my topic and content.
· Next line: Meet with team members who have successfully presented at team meetings and ask for tips.
· Then after that….formulate a killer presentation.
· Then present in front of my family.
· Join Toast Masters to gain more confidence in public speaking
· You can then finish with your final goal… To give my presentation
You try now. Consider your own goal. Put the final outcome at the top of the pyramid and build in the action steps from the bottom. Put in as many action steps as you need to.
Remember – each action step should push you a little further than the previous step but still be achievable.
3) Ask yourself “Above The Line” Questions.
When we find ourselves “below the line” we have an opportunity to reframe those statements and ask ourselves questions that enable us to promote accountability, positivity, action and outcomes.
4) Visualise the Outcome
If we experience doubt, we will often see ourselves failing. If we want to succeed, we need to build a picture that demonstrates the tangibility of success. The goal is to use your mind and thoughts to create a picture of something you would like to achieve or be, so that you can:
See what that looks like
Imagine how you would feel when it is done.
5) Strengths Spotting
You can learn to spot strengths in yourself every day. You can use these observations for self-reflection and by recognising and using our strengths every day, we build our confidence in our ability to achieve results and reach our goals.
Try these strength spotting tips and recognise that as they happen, chances are you’ll be using your strengths in some way:
Energy – What activities give you an energetic high when you are performing them?
Authentic – When do you feel most like “the real you”.
Easy – What activities seem to just come naturally to you and which are you just good at without even really trying?
Attention – where do you just naturally pay attention, without being asked?
Motivation – What are the things that really motivate you? What do you do simply for the love of doing them?
Time – when does time just seem to go quickly without you even noticing?
Learning – when do you seem to just pick things up and have a rapid rate of learning?
Tone – when do you notice your tone of voice goes up a pitch with excitement?
To Do Lists – the things that always make it on to your to do list vs the things that never do.
Words – Listen to the words you use. When you are saying things like “I love to…” or “I feel great when…”.
So now it’s your turn to listen to that voice which tells you that “you can”, and I hope your roller coaster has more ups than downs.
Want to know more about increasing your self-confidence? Send me an email at email@example.com to enquire about coaching to build your self-confidence and your interpersonal confidence.
Michelle Bakjac is an experienced Psychologist, Organisational Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Facilitator. As Director of Bakjac Consulting, she is a credentialed Coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a member of Mental Toughness Partners and an MTQ48 accredited Mental Toughness practitioner. Michelle assists individuals and organisations to develop their Mental Toughness to improve performance, leadership, behaviour and wellbeing. You can find her at www.bakjacconsulting.com or firstname.lastname@example.org