Simple question for you. When was the last time you felt confident? Today? Yesterday? Last week? Or can you even remember?
I was surprised to learn there is a crisis in self-assurance or confidence in women these days. More specifically in the workplace. Which of course we all know what happens at work spills over and affects the rest of our lives. It seems women are lacking the confidence to speak up and put forward their two cents. Or getting kudos for doing a great job. Does this sound at all familiar?
Initially the suggestion seemed foreign, almost alien to me. Then I started exploring and reflecting on all the women in my life. It wasn’t a simple process. I realized that yes, in fact nearly all of my conversations among friends and associates carries within them the undercurrent of lacking self-belief, confidence and assurance to boldly move out and step into living their life fully. Amazing!
I’d like to ask you to take a moment right now and rank your self-assurance. Right now. Here’s your scale: 10: very confident. You speak your point of view. Offer your perspective in group settings, you form conclusions quickly without a lot of second guessing. Zero: low or no self-assurance. You push your thoughts and remarks back and keep to yourself as you believe no one wishes to listen to them. You are unable to make up your mind, are not able to make a decision without wanting to ask at least three people their opinions).
Simple enough right? Is your response surprising to you? What if you and four friends each ranked yourselves, then tried to guess how other’s ranked themselves. Do you think you’d be close in your guess? Did you know you were born with two accounts? And no I am not referring to a financial kind either. Yet there are those that are born with those too. But really, you were born with two very specialized and permanent accounts that all of your actions, decisions and experiences will either make a deposit into or a withdrawal from. Your first holds your integrity and the second, your self-assurance or your confidence.
Both accounts are instantly affected no matter whether or not you are consciously aware of it. The difference between these two accounts is you are born with your integrity account full and your confidence account empty. The reason for the difference is, infants expect to take confidence in those who care for them. Accordingly you start making deposits into your confidence account. Your integrity is based on the simple thought that everything you do is aligned with your integrity. Therefore, at birth, as you are in the max-learning stage. Meaning you do not know any better. You contain no experience in which to draw from to make decisions. Resulting in you requiring to trust. Trust all the teaching is supportive and in alignment with your life’s objective.
As you progress through life your actions and decisions impact these two accounts, if you decide to live with integrity or not, if you continue to mature and develop your self-confidence. If your decisions are supportive of your integrity then your account balance stays put, if not then a withdrawal happens. To make a deposit into your integrity bank account entails a lot more work. You need to restore your integrity and that simply put needs time. As well, your actions and judgments affect your self-confidence. But your re-actions to how other folks respond will impact your self-confidence. It is simpler than it appears.
How you react to decisions in everyday circumstances and during times of emergency or crisis can be entirely different. What enables your judgments in times of crisis to be similar to normal everyday situations is your confidence. The more confident you are, the improved decisions you would make when you find yourself in a elevated level of stress.
Remember that your understanding of panic or crisis and the definition of emergency can and will adjust. It will transform and therefore you can redefine the definitions simple due to your experiences in life. Simple enough. So what you regard as to be an emergency, others may not be measure it even as slightly demanding.
Let’s assume you know the meaning and effect worry can have on you and your ability to make effective judgments. But are you conscious of the difference between internal and external stress? As a rule people lump all stress into one lump. Although for you to truly being certain in your life you must to be aware of the difference between internal and outer stress which we’ll go over in Part Two of the Building Confidence series.
Right now what really matters is you possessing the tools and abilities needed to make judgments effectively and to increase your confidence so here are three actions for you to take today to improve your self-confidence.
Action 1 – Name Your Emotion
Name the emotion initially triggered as soon as you are in a heightened stress state. Example: you are in the office and somebody else takes credit for a task you finished. What did you emotionally feel? Was it Doubt? Worry? Rage? Disappointment? No matter what it is, simply acknowledge it. Don’t judge yourself for feeling it – that’s what we do as human beings – we feel! So go ahead and experience the emotion being triggered. By feeling the emotion your self-confidence is raised due to having new found knowledge and knowledge is empowering!
Action 2 – Step up Your Emotion
Step up your emotion. An example is when you are feeling rage. Try to raise your emotion to anger; if you have been feeling doubt then elevate your emotion to disappointment; if you have been feeling worry then move up your emotion to doubt. The secret is you need to elevate your emotion so you can start to notice a new perspective on the circumstance. With a new perspective you are open to boosting your confidence regardless of how anyone else might be responding to the situation.
Action 3 – Execute!
Execute! There are two part to this step – you have to execute the inferior emotion and continue raising your emotions to a superior level until you are back into being positive; the second is take action or execute the step(s) necessary to reinforce your newly establish self-confidence. You need to take at least one step to resolving the situation that is triggering your stress. Back to our illustration of someone taking the credit for your job well done, an action might be to approach the person who got the recognition and congratulate them on their victory while making sure to give yourself a pat on the back for taking the stronger high road.
Out of self-confidence grows assurance and resilience; with every stride you take, the greater your resilience.