How do you picture self-confidence?
Is it like a strong mountain, or a duck swimming with serenity in the lake next to it?
Maybe it's like a dam, strong enough to hold back the waters of external pressure and control what gets through?
Perhaps confidence is more subtle, like having the ability to grow in hard environments.
What stands out to me today, is that self-confidence is an inner strength that grows out of my beliefs about myself. When I believe I have the skills to accomplish a task, I am more confident about jumping in. When I believe I'm worthy of love, I accept the love offered to me by others, and I enter into social situations more readily (if you know me, you know that my enjoyment of others quickly compensates for waning confidence). When I have self-confidence, I stand up taller. I make better eye contact. I smile more. I speak my mind. I might even take a risk or two (ahem, like starting a life coaching business). I used to think that being affirmed by others was essential to developing self-confidence. I was sure that because my wife believes in me, I would find it easier to believe in myself. I'm learning that while it feels really great to be affirmed by others, it isn't enough to make up for deficits in my self-confidence. That is something I need to cultivate inside myself by identifying my core beliefs, discarding those that are untrue, and replacing them with ones that will sustain me on a consistent basis. This kind of work is important to me as a person, a mom, and as a coach. In my own life, cultivating a strong sense of my own value and capacity enables me to embrace new opportunities. As a mom, I want my kids to know their inherent worth and understand their unique place in the world. As a coach, I want clients to move forward with confidence into the own lives, dreams and ambitions. I can encourage clients all I want (and I do), but ultimately, real change comes when clients identify their core beliefs, and then consider whether those beliefs are true and helpful. When negative or limiting beliefs can be replaced by truthful, positive, and empowering beliefs, all sorts of change is possible!
It is a joy to do this work personally and professionally. If you think your own beliefs about yourself may be keeping you from pursuing your dreams, drop me a message through my website or my Facebook page.