The journey to greater self confidence is one I have been on for years. And what I’ve discovered about confidence is two-fold. I believe it’s as simple as choosing to feel good, but challenging in that it requires huge levels of commitment.
When I feel good, I feel confident
What I’ve recognised, is that when I feel good, I feel confident. When I feel radiant, joyous and happy - I feel confident. Therefore to feel more confident, I simply need to do more of the things that make me feel good; things that I love, things that fill me up.
With this in mind, I believe it’s so incredibly important we make “feeling good” a priority. Schedule it into your day. Make it part of your daily routine. Do something that makes you feel good first thing in the morning. Think about how differently you show up in the world when you’re feeling confident. Me? I radiate! I smile more. I laugh more! I play more. I start conversations I might have shied away from. I’m sillier, funnier, more adventurous. When I feel confident, I feel powerful. I have more self belief. I’m also more receptive to opportunities and beauty around me.
Things that make me feel good include fresh make-up and beautifully straightened hair, lifting weights with a kick-arse playlist in my ears, being in nature, walking my dog Milo first thing in the morning with the sun shining on my skin, going on adventures with my husband, eating food that nourishes me, having deep soul chats with friends, picnics and working on my coaching business.
Confidence is skill
The second part of this, is that confidence is also a skill. It’s something we can grow, expand and develop. I once read a quote that confidence is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. I find this comforting. It means that we don’t need to accept our shyness (if we don’t want to), that if we want to become a more confident speaker or better conversationalist - we can!
With practise and commitment we can do anything. So how do we do this? I’ll use my goal of becoming a better public speaker as an example.
In grade 7 I remember giving a speech in front of the class. I felt so nervous, I spoke as quick as I could. The teacher’s feedback was that I gave a great speech, but it would have improved if I had spoken slower. And that became my goal. I would practise all my upcoming speeches in my bedroom over and over. I’d speak each word as consciously as I could, making sure I slowed right down. It worked, and from that moment I nailed my speeches. Later, in my early twenties (during my struggle with anxiety) I developed a fear of public speaking. Even weekly staff meetings at work filled me with dread. I knew I needed to do something about it.
After almost a year of contemplation, I finally joined my local Toastmasters club. At my first meeting I was sweating like crazy, shaking like a leaf and doing my best to control my breathing. As a guest, I didn’t even have to say anything that night, I could just watch and learn - but everything in my body was begging me to RUN. I didn’t.
Every fortnight for over a year I went to Toastmasters. I’d write and present speeches in front of up to 20 people, I’d volunteer to be the Toastmaster (the meeting director and host), I’d participate in improv games like Table Topics and Round Robin (where you speak on the spot without any preparation!). I had such a love / hate relationship with Toastmasters. I hated feeling so uncomfortable and I hated having to go every fortnight. But I loved it because within a month I noticed the changes at work. I was already feeling noticeably more confident at my meetings! That was all the motivation I needed to keep going.
Today I no longer attend Toastmasters, but I’m still just as passionate about improving my speaking abilities and building greater self confidence. I know that by focusing on what makes me feel good, seeing confidence as a skill and putting in the work - anything is possible.
Write a list of 20 things that make you feel good. Keep this list next to your bed, on your fridge or your bathroom mirror. Schedule time EVERY DAY to do one thing that makes you feel good. Preferably before work. Prioritise it and make it happen.
Take a moment to consider where you’d like to improve your confidence. Perhaps it’s networking, public speaking, making new friends, becoming a better conversationalist or the way you show up at work. Get clear on what it is you want, then write down 5 steps you can take to work on it. For example, it might be to join your local Toastmasters Club, or work with a confidence or voice coach, or implement the tips in a self-development book you just read, or attend an event alone to get outside your comfort zone. Once you’ve got your 5 steps - schedule them into your calendar. Make them happen.
Commit, commit, commit. You must create the change you want to see in your life, beauty. We cannot wait for it to be handed to us. You have the power to create the life you want. Keep choosing you. You are the most important person in your life. Period. Choose you and choose to feel confident. It really is a choice, a commitment, a daily ritual.
All my love!