I have never really paid attention to the power of my subconscious mind sabotaging me, even though intuitively I knew something was holding me back from growing my business to the level that I desire.
I remember so clearly in high school feeling intimidated by my classmates because my perception was they were smarter than me so I usually remained silent rather than “look stupid”. One day in math class the teacher asked the question, “What did Archimedes yell out after he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose and realized that the volume of water displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged?” Well I knew the answer and no one else did! It was Eureka-Eureka. But because I was afraid to speak up, I said nothing and the teacher gave the answer. I’m still mad at myself about that after all these years because I knew an answer that my classmates didn’t and I could have shown that I was smarter than them. (in that moment)
So why does this happen? Why do we hold back? Obviously there are many possible reasons, but the real underlying issue is our subconscious mind is calling the shots. We have been practicing a certain way of thinking over and over it is hard to reprogram our brain. And thus, we stay mute, as in my case, when faced with fully expressing whatever our true feelings or beliefs are. It becomes hard to take action when fear holds you back. For me to work thru this I needed to practice over and over speaking up and luckily since I became a health educator I had a lot of practice because I was teaching a lot. Eventually I became comfortable expressing my true beliefs and opinions regarding topics I was teaching.
Rather than make this a lesson on why we lack self confidence, (that would be your path to investigate), let’s explore action steps you can take to help you move forward and become more confident with whom you are and where you want to be in the future.
1- Focus your mind on who you want to be, not on who you wish you weren’t
Create a Dream Board of who you want to become and post it where you see it every day.
Read Affirmations out loud daily as if you are already what you want to become
Create a Support system who challenge your false beliefs and cheer on your progress
Commit to consistent action using whatever tools work for you to keep yourself on track
2- Learn to be OK with YOU
List the qualities you are good at and embrace them
List the qualities you are not good at and accept them
Stay focused on what you are great at and align your goals with your natural talents
Learn to be OK where you are at the moment knowing you are a work in progress
3- Stop comparing yourself to others
Be the BEST YOU right now. You are unique and no one else is like you. You were put on this earth to share your gifts and there are people who need what you have to give right now. Don’t deprive them. They are waiting for you to share now.
4- Practice daily saying this out loud – I AM WORTHY, DESERVING AND CAPABLE
Do any of these words make you feel like a fraud? That this is not true for you? This word might indicate where you need the most personal work. Give it some thought and determine what action would help you tackle it.
5- Put yourself in uncomfortable situations and deal with it
For me there are times when I am teaching that I make a mistake and I have learned to address it head on, admit it, and correct myself. Sometimes I will say “oops – did I really say that? Guess I am human after all.” I get more positive feedback for doing that than for all the great content I have given the audience.
People do like to see us being ourselves and being honest with our flaws. Just think about how the world of Zoom calls has leveled the playing field for all of us by showing off our homes, pets, kids while we are still conducting business. It has been very endearing to be up close and personal with people we admire and know that they are just regular people like we are.
6- Find a mentor who believes in you
As a School Nurse who was taking college classes on the side in health education (and loving it), my supervisor and mentor said “You have been taking a lot of classes and there is a Master’s Degree in Health Education that you could pursue.” I said “Oh no. I’m not smart enough to get a Masters.” She challenged that false belief of mine and said “You can do it. I believe in you. Just go for it”. So I did and succeeded. I of course was surprised and pleased that I was smart enough after all to achieve that goal. This is why mentors are so important for us.
7- Borrow the confidence of someone doing what you want
Whatever direction you want to head in, find someone you can model your behavior after. Learn their strategies and practice what they do. We all can learn to reprogram our behaviors if we practice over and over.
8- Make a chicken list of things you are afraid to do
If you are being held back from moving forward toward a goal, what are you afraid of? Try this idea. Make a detailed list of the barriers that are standing in your way of progress. The more detailed you are with your list, the more you can hone in on what is really stopping you. And that identifies where you need to focus your energy.
I discovered I was afraid to reach out to people who I held in high esteem and made up a story that they would not be interested in joining my business. But how could I possibly know that without asking them? So I made a list of people I was too chicken to call and called them. And I didn’t die! Plus has some great calls, and even if they weren’t interested, they were willing to identify others who might be.
9- Feed your confidence daily
Create a gratitude list of all good things about yourself and post it where you see it daily
Read the list out loud morning and night to internalize positive “feel good” energy.
Start your day with a positive outlook and check your attitude throughout the day to see if you are keeping the positive energy flowing
Do activities that make you feel good (like meditation, exercise, listening to relaxing music). Once you achieve that good feeling, then speak out loud to yourself about how great your life is as if reaching your goal has already happened. That way you are reprogramming your thinking patterns to become more comfortable and accepting of what your new life will be. You will be radiating that energy and Law of Attraction will bring you more of the same.
10- Don’t play small
Small holds you back and doesn’t allow you to dream big. Without big dreams nothing would ever happen in our society. The only way I can move forward with my big dream is to use it as a beacon that I can see in my future and take those daily small steps that move me closer every day. A good motto is to ask yourself, “ What would life be like for me in 5 years if I keep thinking and doing the same thing I am thinking and doing now?”
I am “confident” that if you adopt some or all of these ideas your level of confidence will increase toward achieving what you want for yourself. You are worthy, deserving and capable and you can do it!
Please share what barriers you have overcome and how it has affected your level of confidence.
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