As a Life and Confidence Coach, I come across a lot of people who feel... stuck.
They’re people, just like you and me, who have dreams and hopes to be doing something more with their lives – something with true purpose – and live life on their own terms. However, the major thing that holds them back is not believing in themselves.
Low confidence and self-doubt is the number one issue that comes up time and time again. To help you overcome your confidence issues, boost your self-love and finally feel ready to begin to achieve your goals, here are some tips I've discussed with past clients that might help you understand your own struggles and therefore take positive action to dealing with them:
How to achieve your goals
1. Change your way of 'being'
Your way of being is simply your beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, judgments and your way of seeing the world. It gives rise to your conscious and subconscious behaviour – the way you speak, the things you say, the way you present yourself and the actions you take. It's fundamentally responsible for all of the results you create in life.
Ever noticed how some people just seem to have success no matter what, and others seem to struggle? It’s all down to their way of being, which is essentially the way they think and what they believe. The problem is that it’s difficult to see our own way of being, because to us, it’s just the way life is, like water to a fish.
When I coach people, I don’t focus on the things they need to do differently – which is what most people search for the answers to. Rather, I focus on the way they’re being, like what they think and believe that has them behave the way they do. Once I challenge their beliefs and thoughts, their way of being changes and the results take care of themselves.
For example, one client I worked with had a business but lacked the confidence to the extent that she avoided taking phone calls with potential clients. She didn’t think she’d ever be able to grow her business as much as she really wanted. Of course, I didn’t need to tell her how to pick up the phone. Instead, I got her to look at what she was thinking and believing about herself that had her avoid calls. What it came down to was a lack of belief in her abilities and feeling like an imposter. I helped her to shift these beliefs by having her focus on the results she had created for people and thus realising what she was capable of (as well as deep-diving into her past to see where these beliefs had come from). As if by magic, answering the phone became easy.
2. Take responsibility for your feelings
Stuff happens in life. Things don’t go the way we plan, people say mean things, and challenges come our way. Where people get stuck is by becoming victims to these circumstances. We have an emotional reaction to them and then blame the person or circumstance for causing us to feel a certain way, instead of taking responsibility for our response. One thing I help my clients to understand is that it’s not what happens to us that causes the way we feel, it’s the way we interpret what happens that determines our response. You can have two people go through exactly the same event and yet have totally different responses.
Take for example one client of mine who struggled to really know who she was after her 10-year relationship had ended. She had very little confidence in her ability to do anything, including being confident around other people, getting a promotion, or being good at exercise. Initially, she didn’t even think she could ever overcome her issues, but thanks to coaching, she started running as a hobby and it helped her to feel more confident – until she got injured. Then, out of fear, she asked me to help her to find something else she could do immediately, instead of running, that could give her those positive feelings. But instead, I helped her to realise that it wasn’t the running making her feel good – rather the thoughts she was having about herself whilst running that gave her confidence. Once she really knew and understood this concept, she knew she had total control over how she felt, injury or not.
3. Realise that your beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies
We all know the phrase, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ I assert that the opposite is more accurate: ‘I’ll see it when I believe it.’ The brain prefers information that fits with our pre-existing beliefs, and will deliberately filter out anything that doesn’t match. So whatever we believe about ourselves and about others is more likely to become true than it is to be disproved. Furthermore, we then take actions aligned with our beliefs and so the beliefs just become reinforced. For example, if we believe we are rubbish at networking, we will only observe all the times we feel nervous talking to people and judge ourselves for doing so, and then probably even avoid networking events entirely! Thus proving and reinforcing the belief.
One of my clients had a business but hadn’t signed a new client in six months. When we dived into her beliefs we found that she’d often think things like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I don’t know how to help’, and ‘I’m just blagging this’. This impacted the way she spoke to potential clients and of course was reaffirmed when they turned her services down. Through a process of rewriting her beliefs to ‘I’m excellent at what I do’, ‘I help people to see results’ and ‘I know what I’m talking about’, she ended the dry spell and created four new clients in the space of four weeks.
4. Point out that thoughts aren’t real
Whilst thoughts might be real thoughts, thoughts are not the real truth. Just because we think something, doesn’t mean it’s real, or true. And yet a lot of the time we act, or react, as though they are. Take for example one woman who was struggling with anxiety around dating after coming out of an abusive marriage. Despite the marriage ending a few years prior, the thought of getting into a relationship with another man filled her with dread and often caused difficult anxiety attacks, to the extent she thought she wouldn’t be able to have a relationship again. That was until she started to become aware of the source of her anxiety. It wasn’t her ex-husband. It was herself. It was her thoughts. She reminded herself of this whenever she noticed the onset of anxiety and was able to weaken the power of her thoughts by just seeing them for what they were. She’s now in a happy, committed relationship.
Achieving things that seem impossible all comes down to our mindset. If you’re feeling stuck in life, turning the attention inwards and examining your inner thoughts and beliefs will help you to break through your barriers more so than anything else. You can do it.
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