Confidence is like muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. The opposite is also true. Think about it for a minute. The less you exercise your muscles, the more they reduce in size and strength. In the same way, the less you risk and the less you are prepared to have a go, the more you reduce your confidence.
Your confidence can drop in very subtle ways almost without you being aware of it – you know the way a very outspoken person in your family or workplace can take over conversations and make decisions or statements you don’t agree with. But for a quiet life, you let it happen. Or you don’t like conflict and don’t like to offend anyone, so you go along with the status quo, even if it’s against your better judgement. Maybe at work you hold yourself back because you hate the limelight.
Little compromises like that can seep into your system until you wake up one day and suddenly realise you can’t stick it anymore and you want to do something about it.
But you question yourself and find yourself hesitating, because your confidence is dented. Or maybe you’ve been asked to make a presentation. You really want to do it well, but you’re doubting yourself. If you’ve been holding back so much, it has to feel strange to step out into the limelight. You are not alone, it happens to the best of us.
Another typical example of dented confidence comes when a partner has left, or your position has become redundant. After a while, if you have no other focus, your confidence dips. Perhaps you’ve been at home with your children for a few years or you’ve been with the same company for a while and you want to strike out and are thinking about entering the workforce again. You may find that your confidence could do with a boost.
The good news is that you have loads of opportunities to build your confidence muscles every day, whether you’re in a shop looking for good service, or you need to say no to someone who makes too many demands on you, or you want to feel better about yourself and stop compromising.
Five ways to build confidence
- 1Say no to whatever it is you don’t want to do or accept
- 2Collect rejections – the more no’s you get the less it bothers you
- 3Change your mind twice a day – it’s OK
- 4Think about what you want – do it – it’s a great way to boost your confidence
- 5Share your opinion when in company – bring yourself out into the open
Enjoy the confidence you gain
‘Coaching helped me crawl out of my comfort zone and take control.’ TJ Plant Manager, Multinational