Confidence doesn’t come from a place where there is no fear, but from a place where you push past that fear. – Alice Dartnell
Average reading time – 13 minutes
As a life and success coach, I know that your confidence and mindset are deciding success factors for anyone achieving their goals. The good news is, anyone can get more confidence and improve their mindset. You just have to learn how.
I am passionate about helping busy professionals like you, especially in these two areas. Because I know so many of us are not achieving our potential and are wasting time not living the life we want. This used to be me, by the way, so I am not saying that to be critical but because I know it can be changed!
A lot of people wrongly think that confidence is just something you have – you are born with it and that’s that. There is nothing you can do, it’s just the luck of the draw. Well take it from someone who has had some terrible confidence knocks in the past, thanks to things like redundancies, depression, an eating disorder, body image issues, cultural struggles etc… Confidence is something you can learn, and for me, it stems from my mindset.
I think it is no coincidence that when my mindset was bad and low, my confidence levels matched. And the more I work on my positive ‘growth’ mindset, the more confidence I acquire.
And I will let you into another not-so-secret secret… You know another funny thing I notice? The more I practice, the more confidence I have. Funny that!! Perhaps the old adage of “practice makes perfect” is utter rubbish (and let’s be frank, no one is perfect) but it should have been “practice makes confidence” (although I appreciate it lacks the alliteration but hey as I said, no one’s perfect).
Anyway. My point is confidence comes from your mind, what you believe in yourself. When I am working with clients to improve their confidence for whatever goal, I often get told that their lack of confidence comes from their worry that they don’t know if they can do something. I.e. their mindset is one of “I can’t” rather than I can. You need to change your mindset to start improving your confidence.
A few years ago, I had an amazing experience and got to go to Japan for five weeks. The purpose was to immerse myself, to connect with my Japanese family, to learn a bit of the language and the culture. But I’ll be completely honest with you – I was totally bricking it before I went!
The previous year, I had gone to Japan to see the family for the first time in 18 years. Whilst it was an amazing trip, it was also one that was fuelled with emotion, pain, regret, and sadness. Here I was in my late 20’s, and I didn’t know half of my identity and family who were on the other side of the world. I was lost in a language barrier and cultural differences. It was possibly the loneliest two weeks of my life. Yet it was also the push I needed to reconnect with a lost family and the step I needed to repair a damaged relationship with my Japanese mum. So, I vowed I would come back the next year but this time for five weeks (two weeks just wasn’t enough time to immerse myself).
A year later, true to my word, I was on that plane on my own, bound with a suitcase full of British delights for my Japanese family (what nationality isn’t going to like a McVities Hob Nob!). But as I said, I was bricking it. I wasn’t full of confidence and assertion. Fear, apprehension, and uncertainty were in its place.
Did I do it though? Yes of course I did.
Every day my confidence grew just a little bit more. Confidence doesn’t come from a place where there is no fear, but from a place where you push past that fear.
Coaching a client the other day, he came to the realisation for himself that he needed to engage with positive affirmations and mental prep before he did any sales calls. Alan* told me that whilst in some areas of his life he had “oodles of confidence”, he lacked it when it came to his work sales calls.
Alan knew rejection was normal in sales calls, but the fear of it was knocking his confidence. This probably sounds familiar to you as fear of rejection is something a lot of us suffer. He decided a little mental prep, positive self-talk and positive affirmations would massively help him before every sales call. He seemed really happy with this action! But then rather reservedly, he asked, “erm, do you ever do anything like this for work or before you speak to people?”
Of course I do!
This is where I explained to Alan, that confidence is like a muscle, and it takes practice and time to grow. The crucial thing too though is that it needs continuous conduct. I.e. you have to keep at it.
You can’t expect to gain confidence in an area of your life and then never have to work at it ever again – if that was the case, top doctors would stop learning medicine, sports stars would jack in the training and people would never lose their confidence once they had it, and you know they do sometimes!
So, remember this about confidence – work on it, regularly, consistently and never stop.
Are you the type of person to be your own worse enemy, or struggle to recall your strengths?
At a workshop I hosted in Kent on the topic of “confidence and mindset for success, one the participants shared a story of how good it made him feel when he recently found some old sports trophies and medals, so much so they were now proudly displayed in his office.
I love this because it totally backs up the point I always make when it comes to confidence… We’re too harsh on ourselves (I get it, by the way, I am always being told I am my number one critic!). And we often fail to give ourselves credit, that pat on the back or to take a moment to remember our achievements.
Displaying them physically (certificates, pictures, memorabilia) is a great way to nudge your memory on to times when you were successful and confident. But you can also do this by simply recalling a time you had confidence and projecting that ‘self’ to the situation you are not feeling confident.
Ask yourself, what did I do, say, feel, think, carry myself, act etc. Take that learning for any situation you are not confident in.
Chatting to Angela, an attendee at one of my confidence and mindset workshops, she told me that she lacks confidence when it comes to job interviews. “I am just no good at them. I am useless when it comes to interviewing” she said, “this is why I am so worried and lack confidence”. Err, no wonder when you have that attitude!
What follows the words “I am…” is so crucial to your self-belief thus your confidence!
Tell yourself, you are stupid, useless, a failure, or whatever negative ideas you are feeding yourself, then, of course, you are not going to feel confident! Confidence comes from what you tell yourself!
How on earth can you say things like “I am no good at X…” then expect to be confident at it!
Start being your own cheerleader, and using confident words to express “I am…”
*as a life and success coach I am bound to Code of Ethics as set out by the Internal Coach Federation which includes strict client confidentiality. Therefore all names and examples are slightly modified to protect the client.
Constantly running around here and there?
Never have enough time for you? Can’t say no?
End up always being the one that takes on too much?
If you have said yes to ANY of the above, then call me and I can help!
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Let’s Work Together
If you are serious about wanting to make life-long changes and positively transform your life, then I would love to hear from you to see how I can support you.
I have helped a range of people on a huge variety of goals – from suffering with confidence loss, to publishing a book, to enabling a change of direction in life, to small business owners struggling with staff – but my main focus is to support the busy professional who is trying to juggle it all.
Below are links to other blog articles that you might be interested to read.
If you asked me what was one of the things I was most proud about in my corporate career, apart from moving up the ladder fairly quickly, it would also probably be my work-life balance.
Many of us get hung up on failure, or even just the thought of failure, and it can be so debilitating that it stops us from trying again and living the life we want to. But in fact, I strongly believe that failure is a good thing and that we could all do with a healthy dose of it once in a while.
This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com.
Copyright 2020 Alice Dartnell Limited