You are already confident, so now let’s help you believe it!

When I ask my clients what they think confidence is I tend to get a range of answers: the way someone dresses, the way they speak, the way in which someone positions their body and people who are not scared. I have hardly ever had a client that says: the way I dress, the way I speak or the way in which I do this.

Believe it or not confidence starts with something we all have access to – Belief

A belief that we can master a skill or achieve a goal.

A belief that we are competent.

A belief that we can be successful as long as we try.

A belief that we can persevere in the face of a challenge.

As a species we have evolved to over-estimate the threat to stay alive. This manifests as thinking about one bad thing that happened and paying less attention to all the neural and positive things that have happened. This is called negative bias. Negative bias has a greater effect on our psychological start and processes than neutral or positive things which causes difficulties in maintaining self-confidence.

If I bake my first ever cake and it goes wrong what do I do next?

Negative bias – Never bake a cake ever again because the first outcome was negative and will happen every time.

Confident or belief-based thinking – I will try that again because I can be successful if I try. It is knowing that without trying we cannot succeed but even if we do not succeed, we learn from it.

But how do you become confident? Confidence is a skill, it is one we are always learning. No one walks out of their mother’s womb in a suit, with an assertive voice or standing up straight. We had to learn to walk so who says we cannot learn to be confident.

So, what are the first steps:

1. Start a mind map with your name in the middle.

2. Think about everything you have achieved in your life no matter how small and write it down. It can even be your first-time swimming 100metres without arm bands. It could be the first time going to an interview. Just make sure it is important to you.

3. Think about all the things that make you happy and add them to the mind map.

4. Think about all the things that make you proud and add them to the mind map.

5. Think about the specific things that make you who you are and add them to your mind map (this one is always the most difficult so do not panic).

6. Next think about the positive impact you have made to others around you – your family, you neighbour, your colleagues. These can be little things such as, putting the bin out so your neighbour does not have to or turning the alarm off so your partner can have a lie in.

7. Now you have a mind map of you and it is positive. Once you are able to see all the good in yourself you will be able to see the things that you have done which can help to increase your belief in things yet to be done.

Richard Branson is a well-known dyslexic and he struggled with reading and writing in school. He created the brand Virgin which is now worth £5.5 billion (2016). Branson has lost many businesses – Virgin Cola, Virgin Brides, Virgin Cars… However. He had a belief that he would be successful, he just needed to keep trying.

It is worth knowing that it is okay to ‘fail’. If you believe that you can try and give it a go you have confidence.

Confidence is not something that we can see but is something that we feel and is unique to every individual.

At Lexxic we hold Confidence and Assertive Coaching sessions our clients to help provide them with techniques to build their confidence and resilience in the workplace. If this is something you are interested in, please do not hesitate to get in contact we us at enquiry@lexxic.com.

Aidan Healy