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News & Views

The myth of confidence

by Martin Palethorpe
Insights
|
28th September 2017
The myth of confidence, post image

 

Sometimes you feel confident, sometimes you don’t. It’s common to many.  

At 9am you’re exuding a powerful energy and acting freely on all fronts. You’re acting with a total sense of ease, speaking eloquently, thinking clearly… and basically being brilliant.  In this state, the world is at your fingertips. You’re operating with confidence and inspiring confidence in others.

And then there’s a change – perhaps something happens, or it could be triggered by what you’re doing or who you’re with. But later that morning, you’re like a different person. You talk more timidly, you’re hesitant, your body is slumped as if you don’t want to be noticed, you seem way more self-conscious. You contribute less and seem lost. You’re a shell of your true powerful self.

So what’s the difference?

The difference is simply in your thinking.

When we are confident, we don’t really think that much. We just operate and things seem to happen naturally. We describe it as confidence, but really it’s just a natural energy that we give off when we’re in flow. As described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the flow state is a state when you’re performing at your peak, you’re fully immersed in an activity, feeling energised focused, and enjoying.

When we lack confidence, there’s a lot more thinking going on and this normally constellates around thoughts like “I’m not good at this” or “I don’t feel comfortable” or “they’re judging me” – you get the idea.  The thinking overrides our natural ability to function well. It shuts us down.

Often we become triggered by something – for example when an expectation has not been met.  We can even think ourselves into lacking confidence without any external trigger and start worrying far too much about what others think about us.  It’s all happening inside us – and that’s also where the solution lies.

Here’s an example…

Recently we’ve been working with a Managing Director, Catherine.  She’s highly competent, highly intelligent and respected in his group of companies. She has a great track record.

Yet she lacked confidence. She had negative self-talk and didn’t feel worthy to be in the room with more senior people. And this affected how she showed up in many situations.

 

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Busting the myths

We taught Catherine three really important things that busted the myths she had about confidence and what it really was.

  1. The human system is designed to operate in flow. We all have this natural ability to be ‘confident effective and relaxed’ in any moment.
  2. It’s only your thinking that prevents you from accessing that natural ability.
  3. Confidence doesn’t actually exist. It’s not tangible. It’s not something you have or don’t have. You only think it into existence.

Game Changer

We realise many people have confidence most of the time. That’s how you’ve achieved the success you already have. But the question is – in what situations would you like more confidence? Where would you love to be more self-expressed, more alive and more free?

Our Game Changer Programme blows the narrative about confidence apart.  And it’s not about positive thinking – it’s about understanding how the mind works and the true nature of our human experience.

Contact us today and let’s have a conversation.

 

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