We talk about confidence like it’s this thing that we either have or we don’t. That it’s completely present or it’s totally absent. Like it’s fixed. Like we always know what we mean when we say it. Like it’s the same for everyone. Like it’s simple.
So before we talk about the confidence struggle cycle, lets bust some myths about confidence first of all…
Confidence isn’t believing you can do ANYTHING.
Confidence isn’t the absence of self-doubt.
Confidence isn’t being fearless.
Confidence isn’t when you are ‘never’ impacted by emotions or experiences.
Confidence isn’t saying yes to everything.
Confidence doesn’t look the same for everyone.
So, I guess you’re wondering what confidence actually is then?
It’s more complicated than that. It’s fluid and not fixed. Sometimes we feel more confident than others. So many things contribute to the feeling of confidence. It’s unique and always looks different for us, for others.
Confidence is knowing that whatever you experience isn’t a reflection of your worth.
Confidence is feeling the fear, experiencing the self-doubt but not letting it run the show. Knowing that when it shows up, you have a choice.
Confidence is allowing yourself to be vulnerable, owning your emotions, doing the difficult stuff even when you really want to avoid it.
Confidence is putting your authenticity first, even when there is nothing you want more than to keep the peace and fit in.
Confidence is born from taking action, doing the tough stuff, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, knowing and understanding yourself, investing in you.
So, what is the confidence struggle cycle?
Think of something you would do, say or how you would be if you weren’t afraid of failing, if you weren’t worrying about judgement, if you had ‘unlimited confidence’.
What is it that’s holding you back from doing that? It’s fear, right?
Every time you give in to the fear, you let the self-doubt run the show, you hold back, avoid, or do what you need to do to fit in… you reinforce to yourself and your brain that it’s the only way to manage those situations.
In doing so, you make those patterns and ways of being stronger and harder to break. You restrict yourself of opportunities, of happiness, of confidence. You reinforce the very thing that you’re trying to avoid… the fear of failure, of judgement or whatever it is in that scenario.
But every time you do something different when the fear and self-doubt crops up…you respond in a different way, you say that thing, you do that thing… you break the pattern.
You show yourself and you teach your brain that their is an alternative… this new way of being, this new pattern it becomes stronger, it becomes easier and the old pattern becomes weaker (this is neuro science by the way guys, I haven’t just made it up 😂). It’s like a muscle – a muscle strengthens with use and weakens without.
You can break the cycle, you can take your power back, you can be confident in your work, your relationships or your life… you just have to make a conscious decision to break the cycle, to take action, to be that version of yourself.
Remember, confidence grows with action.