Confidence, politics and lying to yourself
Confidence is a powerful tool that can help us achieve our goals and live the life we want to live. It allows us to take risks and put ourselves out there, knowing that we have the abilities and resources to handle whatever comes our way. Unfortunately, most of us seem more practised in being mean to ourselves than celebrating our successes.
Being confident means being kind to ourselves, which is infuriatingly more difficult than it sounds. Especially when, logically, you know it's probably not helpful to berate yourself. If you're trying to learn and grow and improve (which, if you're reading this, I guess you probably are).
And there lies the central point I coach a lot of people on: Even when you tell yourself logically you know something, but you just don't feel it, or you act in a way which does not align with what you logically know, the likelihood is you don't really know it, not on a deep level.
For example, I know I should not criticise myself for my weight, but I still sometimes find myself making self-deprecating jokes or saying horrible things to myself in the mirror. It shows that deep down, I probably don't believe that I should not criticise my body. It is more likely, I think, something like, “I wish more people felt comfortable in their bodies. And the only way I can feel comfortable in mine is if I am thinner.” These are not thought processes, so I'm consciously aware of, but with the right tools, I've been able to uncover them. There is often a deep-rooted seed which tries to convince me that I'm the exception to the rule. Or my politics align with everyone but myself.
This is a problem because it reinforces the message. But the way we learn and grow is through history, criticism and aggression. And I have just never found this personally to be true. This is not what I want to create more of in the world.
So when it comes to building confidence, The first crucial step is to begin to witness the way these speak to ourselves and try to do so without judgement.
Because it is only by observing the internal narrative that we ever get to decide which bits we want to keep and which bits we want to change.
Want to learn how to catch the brain gremlins so you can be a bit more kind to yourself?
The Critic to Confidence course begins this weekend.