Rethinking Confidence: the two kinds of confidence, and how to use both to your advantage
“I’m just not confident enough to…”
Fill in the blank.
Raise your prices? Ask for a referral? Say no to bad business? Take a vacation?
I see this all the time. Clients might also say “I’m too afraid to…” or “I’m really not sure I can…” or “I don’t think I can…” but ultimately it comes down to confidence.
You get what you expect, right?
Let’s play around with a few common beliefs about confidence, and what you can do to become more confident.
We’re taught a lot of quick fixes for confidence, like:
- Stand up straight, don’t fidget, shoulders back, wear a power suit — you’ll look and feel more confident
- Listen to pump-up music, give yourself a pep talk, look through your Praise Journal (ask me about that sometime…I love Praise Journals)
- My go-to is a bottle of essential oils I put on as perfume called “Courage and Confidence”
- Use an anchor — like a ring, a special pen, a lucky shirt — to ground you in a feeling of confidence
- Acting as if you were confident, fake it ‘till you make it kind of thing
There’s nothing wrong with these tools. I have done every single one! They help us in our time of need, sometimes they work, and they feel good regardless.
But what if you didn’t need to muster up confidence every time you need it? What if it could just be there when you need it?
Confidence is a result of working more deeply on your self-belief. By having a constant practice of building your self-belief, your baseline confidence will increase.
I think of it kind of like blood sugar. If you’re constantly having sugar highs and lows, your chart would be filled with spikes and drops. If you can keep your blood sugar stable, life feels better. The same can be true for confidence.
Of course we want to always be increasing the baseline of self-belief, so over time the orange line would get higher and higher.
The other thing I hear often is the perception that confidence is fleeting. Sometimes we have it, sometimes we don’t.
I like to think of it more as a state of being, not something that is dependent on external factors in any given moment.
Let’s consider the phrase “I have confidence” vs. “I am confident”.
These are very different concepts. When you “have” confidence, it implies it can be taken away. When you “are” confident, that’s a state of being within yourself.
For example, let’s say you have a sales call coming up with a prospect.
If you want to “have” confidence you might pump yourself up ahead of time, and your confidence will be dependent on what they say and what the result is. You will be looking to your prospect to know if you should be confident or not.
If you “are” confident you might be more detached from the outcome, and regardless of what they do or say you still have your self-belief. You will be grounded in yourself, so you aren’t seeking external validation for your confidence.
So in addition to the quick fixes to boost confidence, it might be time to do some deeper work on your self-doubt. In coaching, or maybe on your own, you can:
- Start to understand your patterns — when do you feel low or high confidence, and where would you like to increase it?
- Understand your history and explore where these patterns come from
- Begin to build a new story, knowing you’re not defined by your history and you can make new choices in the present moment
How is confidence playing out for you in your business? Would you like to look deeper? Send me a message or book a Free Coaching Call and we can see what’s going on.