Dear Doubtful and Hopeful,
Yay, you! for holding hope about something that you do indeed have the ability to alter. There is hope because we can alter our neural pathways and change the way we think about something. Here’s why: Thinking that we aren’t confident is a “limiting belief” that we hold and is attached to a story. This story may go way back and there can be many layers to it, but in order to crack it, we need to start to understand what the story is, especially because that story simply isn’t true.
Here is one way that I have learned to get a handle on the “story”: When I find myself poked, triggered, agitated or stuck on a thought that I can’t seem to shake, I start to say what I’m hearing in my head out loud; in the shower, in the car, when I’m home alone and actually in a lot of places, because the good old face mask sure gives room for this! When we say it out loud, one of two things happens… we either cannot finish the sentence because it is clearly untrue, or we say it out loud and then ask our self if it is true. This powerful little question holds the key to uncovering our limiting beliefs and if we continue to ask “is that true?” we will eventually crack into truth.
Here’s the thing… when we crack out of the mis-truth and realize what we are hearing is not true, we stop from going down the rabbit hole and we can then start to see the pattern. There is very likely some factual and historical evidence that contradicts this limiting belief. When we can rummage around and find some proof of this, we supply the brain with the evidence we need to start creating a new belief.
With that said, what experiences have you had that tell you you’re not confident? Who’s to say that you haven’t grown and can choose to move forward with confidence? You see, no one knows that we feel the way that we feel… we are choosing to feel it. If we don’t like the way that we feel or think, let’s replace those thoughts with thoughts that feel better. Sure, this may require a window of “faking it” until you “make it”. Faking it literally shows the brain the new, desired way. Faking it until… all of a sudden, with consistency and grit, we can turn this into a new habit that we will eventually embody because we choose to.
I have found that a lack of confidence often presents itself as fear, so trying to understand what the fear is can help. Is it a fear of feeling embarrassed? Is it a fear of rejection? Is it a fear of failure? This fear needs to be smacked around so say it right out loud and start to ask if it is true. Scratch away at that story because allowing fear to prevent you from shining is a damn shame. Facing fear and knocking it around requires courage, and courage allows us to be vulnerable, and being vulnerable is one of the greatest acts of self-love.