Everybody has their own definition of what confidence looks like and what it should feel to them. One definition is a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.
People have a feeling of certainty- that you can succeed at something, that you know something for sure. That you trust yourself to be able to do something well.
We all have confidence in certain areas of our lives. I bet you could list a few areas that you would feel confident in and you wouldn’t doubt yourself.
And yet when it comes to certain tasks we go jelly and resist the opportunity being handed to us! We have all been there.
So what stops us from taking that opportunity that would be good for us, for our career, and our business?
80,000 thoughts stop us from taking that next step!
There are approximately 80,000 thoughts running through your head every day, 60% of these are repetitive and most of them are unconscious. How many of those thoughts are negative, restrictive, protective, and keeping you in your bubble or comfort zone?
Do you ever notice when you are on autopilot, you don’t even realise where you are or what you are doing? You are just doing it? I don’t know the number of times I have driven the road from one end of Cork to the other side and I wouldn’t even know if I passed a certain town or village. I just drove along, distracted by other thoughts.
Well, your brain works like that regarding opportunities too. Energy flows where attention goes.
Your brain works on experiences you have in the past, good or bad, and categorises them automatically according to certain filters and continues in this process unless you consciously decide to change it. In the past, these unconscious thoughts were there to protect you, think of when cavemen existed and they needed to remember what was friend or foe, what was nutritious or toxic, safe or dangerous.
These days things are slightly different and our needs are different but our unconscious brain works in the same way in that it stores all the information up and lets you know what is safe and what is a threat based on your experience at the time. So for example, if you had a bad experience at your school concert at 6 years old, then this may have been stowed away in your unconscious for many years and inadvertently impacted on you during your life. This could show up at various stages of your life and hold you back from the life you want to lead.
1. Stop to listen to your thoughts when you are in the moment?
Notice your language, notice your thoughts as they arise. You can do some journaling, which is keeping a notebook of the thoughts that are going through your mind based on different experiences. Notice if there is a pattern, is there regular language that you used such as “just” “only”, “wouldn’t be able” “always” “never” where you play things down, where you play small, where you create doubt in your mind. This is your inner critic, also known as your limiting beliefs.
Then you need to challenge these thoughts. You need to be ruthless! Check the truth in these thoughts, do a complete fact check on them, a bit like an investigator. Be your own advocate.
Because your unconscious mind can be wrong; those thoughts that served you yesterday may not serve you today or tomorrow. So be prepared to challenge them and change them according to the direction of your future dreams.
2. With Awareness comes choice.
Once you become aware of the inner conversation going on, you can make a choice on who you want to believe. Always keep the choice with the choice -maker, sometimes the inner critic will want to take charge, but this is where you decide who is in charge.
3. Trust your inner potential.
Remember that you are capable of many wonderful things, as long as you make an active choice not to listen to the inner critic.
Henry Ford once said “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right” and it is so true! If you told me 5 years ago that I would be a businesswoman, collaborating with amazing women, doing webinars and podcasts, I would have probably laughed at you!! But by keeping an open mind, looking for opportunities that support my values, and challenging my negative self-talk, the world is my oyster. And it can be yours too!