Building your Confidence Muscle

Do you feel great when you feel confident?

Do you perform well when you feel confident?

Would you like to consciously build you own confidence?

You and I both know that confidence is an asset.

Yet how often do we doubt ourselves and feel inadequate?

If your answer to building confidence is “Fake it till you make it”

Know this – that’ a myth. It may help you through one or two situations but is does not build confidence.  Why? Because its inauthentic, it feels out of integrity and it fuels your self-doubt.

Another myth is that confidence is innate. We are not born confident. We become confident as we learn and grow.

Confidence is like a muscle.

Feed it properly and exercise it well and it will grow strong.

Yes – we can build our confidence muscle and here’s how:

Step 1: Take action.

Remember – confidence is a muscle and you build muscles through practice. Confidence is linked to what we do. I grow; you grow – by doing and learning.

Do you think I was confident when I started coaching? No, I was terrified. The best thing about the course I did was that we were “forced” to coach. We had to have a certain number of hours under our belts before we could qualify. I lacked confidence when I opened my practice, so I have away 2 free sessions to everyone. Everyone came for 2 free sessions and then disappeared. I stopped the free sessions and continued coaching. By coaching I became a better coach.

By doing we develop mastery.

How do we learn? My making mistakes.

Confidence comes from building mastery through practice and learning through feedback.

The first step to building confidence is being in action.

What stops us from taking action?

STEP 2: Build a positive mind-set

Our tendency towards the negativity bias stops us from taking action.

Look at the talk around every dinner table, in every school car park and every conference room:  it’s all gloom and doom about our beloved country.

I’m surprised you’re still here!

When things go wrong in our lives we blame.

When we fail we criticize ourselves more harshly than razor wire wrapped around a new-born baby.

Does any of this build our confidence?

We need the second step: be vigilant about developing a positive mind-set.

Instead of blaming, ask yourself – what can I do to make a difference? How can I learn and grow?

Instead of seeing failure talk about feedback and focus on implementing what you have learnt.

Instead of problems see opportunities. How can I use what I am going through as an opportunity for growth?

Years ago I was on a course that taught me something precious: every night as you lie in bed falling asleep, think about where you are winning in your life. This simple exercise has helped me to feel motivated and inspired to carry on , to do more and to learn more. I still do it, almost every night. If I forget for a while, and the negative bias creeps back (it does because it’s easy to focus on where things are going wrong) then I simply go back to this mind-set practice again.

Focusing on where you are winning is a mind-set that sets you up for success and confidence building.

If you’re not good at focusing your thoughts, write about where you are winning. As you fill your journal with wins in your life, you’ll be able to look back at all you’ve achieved . The confidence muscle will grows and develop.

Making sure your mind-set serves you rather than hindering you smoothest the path for growing that confidence muscle.

Part of this positive mind-set involves Step 3.

Step 3.  Choose to believe in yourself.

Believe that you are capable, believe that you can learn, and believe you can grow.

You are capable of learning and growing, aren’t you?

A belief is a merely a thought.

Here are two thoughts: 1)  I am capable.  2) I am not capable.

Choose one thought and put it in your head now. Say it to yourself.

Which one did you choose?

What are the implications of the thoughts you choose to believe in?

If you chose “I am capable”: You are much more likely to take take action.  You take action. You practice, you get better and stronger. You make a mistake. You take the feedback you learn and take more action . Hey! Your confidence muscle is growing!

If you chose “I am not capable”:  You don’t take action.  Why would you? You don’t learn, you don’t grow. You become incapable. What happens to your confidence muscle? It shrivels.

Choose to believe in your capability, your capacity for learning and growing and grow that confidence muscle.

Three steps will have you glowing with confidence:

Step 1: Take action – become a master through practice, learn through feedback

Step 2: Develop a positive mind-set:  Opportunities not problems; Growth not blame; Feedback not failure

Step 3: Choose to believe in your self – your capacity for learning and growing, your capability for success.

Confidence is a muscle. Confidence grows by building mastery through practice and learning through feedback.

Go now and grow your confidence. Glow with confidence.

With confidence,
you have won before you have started.
Marcus Garvey

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About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.
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