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How To Guide - How To Boost Your Confidence

You may have seen that I recently wrote a blog for Simply about confidence and how I certainly don't have my ducks in a row all the time!

It got me thinking about where we get confidence from and how to nurture confidence in a micro business life. There are lots of great pods and blogs out there with tips and idea around confidence but I wanted to bring together the things that I have learned and try to practice that have supported me in my business. These are also ideas and thinking that I might introduce as part of a coaching session too.

First up though, what is confidence really?

For me, what it definitely isn't is feeling on your A game 24/7, feeling brimming with 'can do' attitude all the time or strutting into a room feeling like you've got it all nailed down.

Confidence, for me at least, is often more quiet than that. It's a quiet, encouraging, friend like feeling that sits comfortably in your chest when facing your day. Maybe a deep knowing that you might be pretty good at what you're doing, or a deep acceptance that you're learning all the time and getting better at something. Perhaps it's a sense that you're your own best friend who is offering a supporting palm on your back, gently nudging you forward. It's about being aligned with your values and speaking that out loud. It's about trusting yourself and your gut.

Let's break that down a little so that, I hope, it resonates and encourages you that confidence is something that you might have more of than you thought and that it's something you can gently grow consistently for the benefit of you and your business.

  1. Take note of the voice. You know the one I mean. The one from childhood, school, a parent, a partner or other experience that said, 'don't show off' or 'don't get too big for your boots', or 'don't embarrass yourself' or 'you can't be good at everything' or maybe something a little nastier or direct. Those words may have been processed by your thinking brain, but they may well be sitting in your chest somewhere and eating away [see the confidence blog on the website about wearing labels]. You don't need to combat or cure this voice in one go, but notice it and bring it into the light. Maybe write it down and look at it. Challenge it perhaps and understand more about why it was said and who said it to help you realise that it isn't for now or the future. The voice might continue to live on, but now you recognise it more quickly, you can remind yourself that it's not true or relevant for today.

  2. Watch your words. Your brain believes what you say. In fact, your brain acts on what you say. How much of your day is about what you can't manage, can't do or are rubbish at? How much of your day is lamenting the worst things in life? Be careful what you're teaching your brain. Perhaps you could try to turn around what you say. Instead of 'I'm rubbish at tech', say out loud, 'I'm getting so much better each day!' Talk to your brain about how things are changing for the better and how you're making progress.

  3. Know yourself better. We think we know ourselves well. We've been around the block, ridden life's challenges and conquered crisis' but this may only have added in a few more labels or created a narrative about who you are that's become fixed. Work with yourself, a trusted friend or a coach to uncover how you really feel, do or react to things. Are you really a procrastinator or rubbish with organisation? Are you really hopeless at tech? Are you really a panicky person or perhaps more resilient? Challenge the status quo and ask yourself are those things really true or true any more? Are you getting better at some things or have your changed your thinking? I use journaling to help and LOVE a good podcast to keep hearing different point of view that challenge my own status quo.

  4. Back yourself always. This is a phrase I picked up from a younger generation and I love it. It says so much about how we can be our own best friend. Imagine any situation in your life or work that requires your feelings to be heard, your passions to be acknowledged, your guidance to be listened to or your needs met and think how quickly you step back from that or let things go. Do you stand up for yourself in that moment and express yourself clearly or do you avoid pushing through & leave it for another day? I'm not talking confrontation here but just the little things that require you to step fully to the plate and ask for, say, do or repeat. Notice in your day to day, if you're gently stepping back to 'help others' or 'be no trouble' and in those moments, not quite being your own best advocate and friend. Better still, practice staying in the moment and little longer and sticking with your need/desire/thought/ideas.

  5. Know your values. Honestly, I thought I understood my values right to the end of my forties and I wasn't wrong, but the list was long, wishy washy and changeable! I certainly hadn't spent enough time really looking at them. But then I got serious about my values in a way that created a little roadmap for life. I got aligned to them. Once I understood two or three core values that were non negotiables in my life, I was able to use them to make decisions, say no a little more often, say yes to the things that felt right and use them as a little compass. This alignment to values is a huge boost too. Not because I can now sing karaoke to a crowd (no way!) but because it's given me an inner knowing and trust of myself and how I'm making decisions. It's a game changer and invited more the work I love and less situations where I feel like I'm not quite in the right place.

  6. Keep learning. Confidence isn't an end game or destination. It's ongoing and will have ups and downs. Accepting this first is a must. If something in life has knocked your confidence, know that, address that and be sure it's not forever. How? Keep learning. About yourself, your business, your feelings, your history, the world and anything that comes your way. Curiosity will always, always stop you from becoming stuck in a place of less confidence. You may gain more material knowledge, learn new skills or simply learn more about how to help your own confidence blossom.

  7. Surround yourself with the right people. Didn't someone say we're the average of the 5 people we hang out with most? I've heard that a lot. Whether you believe that or not, be sure to understand the impact of your closest relationships. Are you able to be fully yourself? Are you loved no matter what? Are you able to say difficult things? Do your trust them? Do they lift you up and support your successes? This kind of daily reflection of yourself and energy is vital to your confidence. Think about how you might gently step back from snipers, negative Nancys or those who never listen and seek out community and networks where you can feel more like you're breathing deeply and being yourself.

  8. Practice active gratitude. This underpins everything. Not only is being grateful noticing what's going right in your life, it's stopping long enough to actually appreciate the positive. This repeated activity, raises confidence little by little, every day and forever. I write 3 things down every day and sometimes they might be as 'small' as 'sitting with the dog in the sun'. I back this up by writing 3 things, every evening, about what went really well in the day. Even if it's only that I made a great pasta tea, it's teaching my brain that not all was a disaster in the day.

I'm going to start a new thread in the forum about Confidence and we can share our tips, ideas and challenges there. I reckon together, we could make a big difference.


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