What is confidence?

A feeling - a feeling of security in our ability to achieve things.

Why do we struggle with it?

We think we should be confident, that we should just naturally have self confidence.

But when we don't naturally have self confidence we feel ashamed. We feel shameful about our lack of confidence which reinforces feelings of lack, which reduces our confidence. Nice!

How do we get it?

Self confidence is a two fold path. To find confidence you need two things. 1) Belief that you can handle any emotion that comes your way. 2) Being ok with not being perfect.

These two skills will take you down a path of self generating, self confidence.

You just have to remember that you will start with confidence and along the way it will get interchanged with less glamorous emotions such as doubt, fear, discomfort and upset. Knowing this - and accepting it is the trick.

Let's look at it this way:

If you want to lose weight you have to be open to feeling your feelings you normally avoid. Discomfort, sadness, isolation, fear or even failure.

If you can’t eat pizza with the family. You feel left out.

If you don’t have chocolate cake with coffee with your friend. You feel awkward.

If you don’t have wine with dinner . You feel left out.

But the irony is - avoiding those feelings - by eating or drinking - creates a whole new suite of feelings we want to avoid - like guilt, disappointment, hopelessness and so on. But we do so without the results and at the expense of losing our confidence.

When you can understand that your feelings can’t hurt you - and that you can experience them as the watcher, you learn that you can handle anything. That knowledge is what will give you super power self confidence.

I can handle anything.

Being able to handle anything means that you can handle not being perfect.

And that’s the second part along the journey to self confidence.

Being ok with not being perfect.

If you can’t stand not feeling perfect - when you “fail” - you will hide from that feeling big time. And that will usually have a negative net result - like bingeing, giving up, or getting drunk .

Learning to not be perfect is fun - you get to stop beating yourself up. You get to experience your humaness from a different vantage point.

When you are allowing being imperfect - free of the fear of not getting it right - you do more, you take more action, you get on with it.

Knowing that it's ok to not get is right means that you are inviting curiosity and non judgement into your life. And these feelings are the characteristics that invite learning. And when we know how to learn - and we are not frozen by fear of the outcome - like a muscle we build our self confidence. And our brain learns to look for evidence that we will succeed in spite of anything. And this begets ongoing self perpetuating confidence.

This week, look at the feelings you are avoiding. And practice feeling them. When you succeed indulge in the feeling of self confidence. And when you fail, feel that feeling and know that in doing so, you are practicing the art of self perpetuating confidence

You will fail. You will not always get it right. You will not be perfect. And that my friend is totally ok.