Over my last 19 years of Career, Executive and Whole Life Coaching, confidence has been a common topic among my clients. They want to find it, build it, and walk with it, yet the work always begins with a perspective shift.
While it’s true that when we gather the information we need, prepare well for something specific, and practice until we’re comfortable, we can become more confident in the task and situation at hand. Over time the experience of practice and success builds upon itself and continues to bolster our confidence. Yet, so often, we do all of that with success, and still, there is doubt, lack of self-worth, and all the anxiety that goes with it.
So many women who are highly educated, intelligent people who can point to excellent work and many accomplishments still don’t feel confident in many of the areas of their lives or situations they encounter. It’s because we’re looking at it all wrong.
My simple answer is confidence is not only about practice; confidence is the ability and habit of loving and trusting ourselves. Knowing who we are and what we want, then following our inner voice to make the kinds of decisions that create confidence, is what makes all the difference.
I know, I know, this is easier said than done with this complex issue, so let’s uncover how to build the confidence so many of us seek.
Claiming Your Power
Most women are all for being empowered; while a nice thought, by definition, it means giving someone authority or power to do something, so who are you looking to get power from, and why do you act as though there’s a limited quantity? Looking outside yourself for the answers is one of the biggest limitations to building confidence. Yes, learning from others with experience, knowledge, and wisdom is good, but only to a point. Once you have all the information you need, finding the rudder/compass within yourself is where your true power originates. This is what you have control over. It is important to recognize that only you can understand your situation’s aspects (including your values, beliefs, and intentions) to make your best decisions. Taking the viewpoint of a “creator” of any given situation/project allows you to design, strategize and make your best decisions. This is where a great Life Coach can guide you to “own your power, rather than offer advice or tell you what to do.
But what if you don’t want to be powerful because your idea of power is the male cultural concept of domination and force, making things happen by sheer strength? Then I encourage you to seek a different kind of power. Have you ever “dove within” to explore feminine power and how you might apply it in your own way? It’s not the same, yet it is very powerful in its own right. When you embrace feminine power, it brings confidence because it comes from inside yourself. It’s within your control because it comes from your core.
Focus Beyond Yourself
If you’re always thinking about the little “me” (ego), that part of you that’s not good enough, confident enough, deserving enough, it hampers what’s possible in the world. When you change your approach and learn new ways of thinking and doing from a larger, more equitable point of view, one of being strong and helping others in the ways that inspire you, confidence grows. Focusing on what you can do to make the world a better place from the point of view that reflects your true values and the beliefs that give your life meaning can have a tremendous impact on the world and society at large.
Confidence is a foundational quality that supports your growth and success in life. Knowing who you are and what you want that gives you purpose, then manifesting it in the world is the foundation of living a happy and meaningful life. When I work with women who have made the personal commitment to creating the life they want, they become happier, healthier people over time. As they grow, they naturally become inspirational to others around them by just being themselves. It’s truly a thing of beauty to watch.