You have no idea how often confidence comes up in coaching sessions. CEOs of major organisations, bestselling authors and hugely successful entrepreneurs all regularly let me into their guilty secret – they suffer from a lack of confidence. They talk about it as an affliction, an embarrassing part of their character, and with a certainty that it will affect their relationship, sex life, career and success. In doing so they make it huge and powerful – a monster. And they are creating a story.
Dips in confidence happen to all of us but they are not part of our personality. No one is born lacking confidence. Instead, and rather less disturbingly, it is an habitual response to 1 of 3 things or, for those professional ‘low confidencers’ maybe all three.
We have dips in confidence when we either:
(1) spend time with some thoughts that make us feel rubbish. Thoughts like, “I have nothing to contribute in this meeting”, “no one fancies me”, “I can’t present in public” would all do the job.
(2) We don’t take action to get better at the things we value – we don’t practice presenting; we don’t prepare to make a valuable contribution in a meeting; we don’t make an effort to engage with people we’re attracted to.
(3) We don’t look after our physical state. We allow ourselves to get tired; we choose food that doesn’t nourish us and we feel depressed after drinking.
The truth is low confidence happens to all of us. The question is how to respond. Do you use it as a flag to change something or do you ingest it and make it part of your story?
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Stephen is one of the Ivy House Alumni, and when he completed the Programme he made a commitment to himself: take on and conquer the Brighton Half Marathon.
The game of doing the right thing on the surface, whilst at the same time making your real feelings perfectly clear, is as common as it is destructive.