Last week, I shared one of the most powerful concepts I recently learned. There are not one but two forms of confidence, self-confidence and confidence. One intrinsic or developed and felt within. The other extrinsic or developed through actions and based on results. When I first learned that, it was like a light was shed on what I had been experiencing all my life and it explained so much.
This week, I want to focus on self-confidence.
What is self-confidence? I like to describe it as a state of being and the foundation that builds confidence because without it, confidence can’t be sustained and crumbles with any kind of challenge. Our level of self-confidence is equal to our level of self-worth, self-belief, and how much we trust ourselves.
We’re all born self-confident. When we were young, we didn’t question our worth or doubted our ability to learn or achieve something. I see this in my grandchildren, whether they’re learning to crawl, walk, eat a banana, or ride a bike, they keep trying with the trust and belief that they’ll figure it out. And they do!
For most women, self-confidence starts to diminish in late childhood or pre-tween years. Then by the early teens a fear of being judged and rejected has developed. This comes from becoming aware and adapting to the opinions of others in order to fit in. We start to question ourselves and look to others for approval. We choose to believe that a bad grade, missing the goal, mean girl teasing, or not being asked to prom are all evidences of our worth damaging our self-confidence even more.
Unfortunately, this collecting of evidence continues into adulthood with more adult experiences. Every circumstance or result, as well as the actions, comments, or even facial expressions of others are interpreted as something negative and as an indication of self-worth.
I see it in my clients. They come to me because even though they accomplish things in their lives, they don’t feel confident. Sometimes they describe it as anxiety, indecisiveness, overwhelm, or non-clinical depression. But what it really indicates is a lack of self-confidence. That doesn’t mean that they’re flawed or broken, it just means that they have healthy brains functioning the way they’re wired to.
Even though we’re born self-confident, the female brain doesn’t produce it naturally. We have an upper modern brain and lower primitive brain. And unmanaged, the lower brain has a way of over-powering the upper brain. Our lower brain is wired for survival, producing what it thinks will protect us from danger and keep us safe, like negative thoughts that create fear and worry. And, of course, searching for evidence to “prove” those thoughts.
- Self-Worth & Belief – knowing you were born worthy, nothing can change your worth, and a belief in yourself that only requires your own approval.
- Self-Trust – you earn self-trust by keeping your word to yourself, following through on what you say you will do, and taking care of yourself.
- Emotional Courage & Resilience – this is not allowing fear of an emotion hold you back, having the courage to experience emotion, and processing emotion correctly.
- Self-Perception – what you think of yourself is what generates or depletes your self-confidence. Having a good self-perception means you consciously create thoughts that make you feel worthy, good, capable, and competent.
I teach my clients how to create self-confidence by learning how to by-pass the lower brain’s habitual fear-based programming and think self-confident thoughts based on the Four Pillars instead. Thinking these thoughts and then believing them is a skill achieved by practice.
I want to challenge you to start building your self-confidence by doing the following four things this week:
- Honor the decisions you make this week.
- Do what you say you’re going to do.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Give yourself the gift of your own approval.
Creating, building, and living with self-confidence is a wonderful gift to yourself and the people around you. Others will be attracted to your energy and influence as you become an example for them to follow!
Until next time!
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If you haven’t already done so,
I invite you to sign up for my
FREE Confidence Makeover.
5 Habits of Confident Women
(that YOU can do too!)