Many of my clients seek help for lack of confidence. Often I hear “If I had confidence I would or I could…” They believe that once they “get” this elusive confidence then life will change and opportunities arise.
While it is true confidence helps us to settle better in the driver’s seat and we are more open to new opportunities and challenges, it is futile to believe confidence is not something you “just get,” like an apple picked off a tree. It is a process of growth. The more we do something, the more our confidence grows.
For example, it is an impossibility for a newborn to just get up and walk. It is not that they don’t have the instinct or desire but lack muscle strength and development. It is only through movement and crawling the necessary core muscles develop. Then before you know it those first hesitant steps lead to wild abandonment as they discover speed, going further than ever before.
Think of confidence as a muscle. We are all born with it’s core. Using my analogy, it is easily seen in a child’s development as they master skill after skill.
So, why is it that something so natural gets put on the back burner? I think it is because we take so much for granted. Once we get the hang of something, don’t have to think about how to do it, it becomes automatic. Loosing significance we then focus on what we can’t do or what we find difficult.
Imagine life is like pieces of a pie. Some of those pieces you know really well having spent time and energy in that space. Remember that lovely moment as a new driver suddenly you become aware that you are thinking about something else and not when to shift? Driving has become automatic. No longer are we hanging out in our heads watching, judging, over-thinking, we are just doing. The ‘how to’ is no longer an issue. Familiarity breeds confidence.
When trying something you have never done before, it is …NEW. Having no experience it seems foolish to expect that not only will you know how to do it but do it well. Remember, it is only through repetition that the confidence muscle naturally strengthens and develops. Like taking your confidence muscle to the gym, the more we exercise, the better we feel.
No matter how it may appear looking at others we all have to learn to actively develop our confidence. No child has ever slipped out from his mother’s womb, dusted himself off, got up and ran. We are not designed for instant development but what we are designed for is pretty darn amazing and the more we push the boat out the further our confidence will take us.
So, the next time you are inspired don’t hold yourself back. Don’t listen to the inner judge giving you a hard time. Go to that party, apply for the job, ask someone out. Watch and learn. Ask how can I do that better? Then go and do it again, again and again. Each time it will get easier. As faith in your ability grows so will your confidence.
Confidence is not an apple picked off a tree but an integral part of yourself which waits to be strengthened. So, listen to your instincts, desires and start crawling. Soon before you know it wild abandonment will have you running, going further than you have ever gone before.