Self confidence is the act of choosing to believe we’re enough whatever the outcome.
Self confidence is inspiring, but the biggest difference our self confidence makes is in transforming the lives of people around us and those we might never meet. It’s about being the source of inspiration which in turn, gives others courage to face their challenges.
Each person you come into contact with can see, sense and feel your belief in yourself - there’s an energy about you.
Sometimes we might experience resistance when taking the next step with projects, ventures or initiatives. Our reptilian brain responsible for keeping us safe in earlier times, can play havoc with self-confidence; impacting our decisions and actions. Stephen Pressfield in his book: War of Art, describes these as the “obstacles of ambition”. Obstacles that hold us back from making a difference, even before we start.
I’m fortunate to work with talented, switched on women, making a difference in their respective fields. What I’ve learned through my work is:
No amount of talent or experience excludes us from moments of doubt or overwhelm.
Confidence is situational, the more experience you have, the more confident you feel. In contrast, self-confidence is a decision to back yourself, knowing you will bring your best judgement and abilities to handle the situation, whatever that might be. Needing to know and control the situations we experience stunts personal growth.
Letting go of relying on "knowing" is a freeing experience and fosters an environment that supports personal growth.
Sometimes it's easy to say and more challenging to do. So how do we take the next step for the “thing” we want to do, that seems overwhelming? Here’s five steps to moving past moments of low-self-confidence:
Step 1 Know thyself
What are your top values? To help you hone in on what you care about and the difference you’re making, have a look at the global goals for sustainable development (globalgoals.org). If you were to choose only one to align with - which one do you choose? This is a clue to your deeper core values. The clearer we are about what we really care about is helps us assess if we’re on track to making a meaningful difference and deciding what to say yes to and say no to.
Step 2 Create perspective
Is this “thing” you want to do (or need to do!) in line with how you want to make a difference or what you want to achieve? If your answer is yes, that’s feedback you’re on the track to fulfilment. If your answer is no, that’s feedback you may want to shift focus, or acknowledge it’s necessary to complete so you can free up time and resources,to make a difference thats meaningful to you.
Step 3 Get clear
Let’s play devils advocate… What’s the worst case scenario that can happen by taking action? Take a moment to map out (specifically) what the worst case scenario looks like, feels like and might be like. How would you rate this out of ten (ten being the worst possible outcome)? By getting clear on what the least desirable outcome could be, rather than letting a general sense of foreboding prevent you from moving forward, removes any fear of the unknown - so you’re making more of a difference.
Step 4 Now Imagine
Imagine yourself recovering from this worst-case scenario (WCS). Notice what needed to happen; is it do-able? If your answer is yes, you know you’ve got this - whatever the outcome. It may be frustrating or challenging, but you know you can deal with it. If your answer is no, re-assess your reasons for wanting to take action and shift focus to actions with a manageable WCS.
Step 5 Move forward
What’s the first most logical next step, or the easiest step to take right now? Making a difference requires momentum through action. Decide you’re enough whatever the outcome and take action.
We’re all on our own unique journey, what’s up to us is being the best version of us so we can contribute in a way thats fulfilling to us and meaningful to others.
The difference we make and the value we contribute is as unique as our thumbprint.
If you enjoyed this, Kerryn is author of UNSTOPPABLE – The Professional Woman’s Guide To Purpose, Power & Prosperity. Kerryn's mission is closing the confidence and achievement gap for women. She works with women in professional services who feel invisible to become more influential communicators. Kerryn is also the Vice President of Professional Speakers Australia – Southern States. For more, visit www.kerryngamble.com or contact via firstname.lastname@example.org