Every now and then I have a bit of a crisis of confidence. It could be anything from being able to ring a particular method in #bellringing, or something to do with work, or within a relationship with someone. This morning, I was slightly shaken by the fact that I went into the office for only the second time since the middle of January. I have become comfortable with working from home, the thirty second commute is a dream, I get so much more done during the day. As an introvert, interacting with people face to face is often an issue, particularly when you work in the health sector during a pandemic.
The whole process of getting ready for work, finding an office appropriate outfit, remembering to pack a lunch bag, allowing enough time to travel, finding a parking space, walking through an open plan office to my office at the back, the thought that I’d have to go over to the main building later to look at something with a group of people, the thought of the commute home, particularly on a day that I want to get home promptly as we were going out for dinner for C’s birthday.
Although most of this could be put down to anxiety about needing to do all those things, my confidence was a little shaken because I haven’t seen the people who have moved into the open plan office whilst I’ve been away, so don’t know who they are. Despite my own desire to move on from managing my team, I need to go back there today to do some activities with them. Do I still hold the same place with them now that I no longer manage them, how will they take to me being back amongst them?
I haven’t listened to Tonya Leigh for a while, but the latest podcast I heard was about situations that rocked her confidence. She shared that it’s easy to feel confident when everything is going your way, when you’re hitting your goals and creating the results you want. But when those times don’t happen we can resort to things like over eating, she says these are the times when you need the most confidence, when you are at your least confident.
Part of being successful is being rejected and failing over and over again, as I mentioned the other day in the blog with the Richard Branson book. Obstacles are there to grow you, to guide you and part of the process of learning. Often we give up on ourselves and feel something has gone wrong, tell ourselves we don’t have what it takes, and everything is against us.
TL says that what separates those who create the results and those that don’t is stubbornness. Self confidence is the feeling of trust in one’s own abilities, qualities and judgement. When we lose confidence we start to feel self-doubt, insecure, self-pity, this is when we need to practice confidence the most. To be willing to believe in yourself even when its hard, even when you’re not getting the result you want yet, to overcome the obstacles rather than avoid them.
We need to change the narrative for the future we want, and to embody and practice what self-confidence truly is. Its not about being perfect or what happens when things don’t go well, its about who you are when things don’t go well, when things get tough.
TL offered five things she uses to help when her self-confidence falters:
- Understand why you are not feeling confident – avoid looking at the external things that you feel aren’t making you feel confident and look at your thinking about your abilities, do you trust yourself and your own judgement?
- Practice little wins – we often look to the past to affirm our self-doubt, but you can begin to practice little wins to refer to, to show yourself you can trust yourself, you have good abilities, you have good judgement.
- Do the opposite of what insecurity tells you to do – when you feel insecure it breeds an action or inaction that proves yourself true. Doing the opposite, take action, stay committed, you create something incredible that doesn’t exist in this moment. You don’t need to know exactly how its going to pan out before you take action.
- Look for evidence it can be done – we look for all the reasons why we can’t do it. As long as you think you can’t do it, you won’t even try. Or when you try and it fails you allow your brain to spiral. Look for people who were rejected but still made it, for those who created the result you want and let them inspire you.
- Envision the confident version of you – ask yourself what your confident version of yourself is thinking, how does your confident self feel about this situation? What would your confident self do?
We have a choice to be the insecure version of ourselves, or to step into the confident version or ourselves. Whatever you practice the most is what you’re getting the best at. If you practice confidence over time this will become your default. We can still suffer from self-doubt but if we recognise its just our brains creating that feeling, we can show up and take action, believe in our dreams to drive and inspire you to keep practicing confidence.