What is Confidence?

A while ago, when normality ruled. I went to see a comedy gig with a good friend of mine.  We got talking afterwards about the comedian on show.

‘I couldn’t do that.’ Remarked my friend.

Why?

Because I’m not confident enough.

Something immediately struck me about this comment; it was said with an absolute assuredness.

And yet- what is confidence? Is it how we present ourselves externally, or something deeper?

We often mistake apparent confidence for insecurity. Do you know somebody who loves to talk about where they have been, what they do for living, or how much money they have? What’s important to remember here is, who are they telling?  This is not confidence, this is ego talking borne out of insecurity.

So . . Something deeper then.  

Confidence is about trust- not the intangible and wavering feeling but in one’s own resources.

Clients will often say to me, In some ways I’m really confident and in other ways I’m shy. The key thing to acknowledge here is the self realisation that the feeling of ‘confidence’ does exist; otherwise how do they recognise it?

I put this thought to my friend.

‘Yeah, but getting up in front of people is totally different to what I do’

Well . . yes. . of course it is. However how do any us gain confidence in what we do? We learn, we make mistakes, we hone, we make more mistakes, and after a while a process starts to emerge and a trust starts to develop in our given skill and with it our confidence increases.

But that only happens once we have committed to something new, once we are prepared to get outside of our comfort zone and grow. So how do we take that first step?

We must use resources within ourselves that reinforce the feeling of trust and in turn confidence. Like driving your car. You don’t think about it consciously – you just trust you can drive the car.  If we choose to place our focus on the negative resources of our fears and doubts – like failing at an exam – we then sit inside our own mind, unable to see our strengths. 

This mindset is hardened and calcified in difficult times or when we’re watching comedians thinking  ‘I couldn’t possibly do that.’

Well, how did you get in the car for the first time?

Our sense of possibility only narrows when we don’t trust ourselves, and our confidence diminishes when we don’t acknowledge our own resources. 

Trusting your own experiences to gain confidence isn’t the preserve of the few, it is in all of us.

Is it there. It always has been, and always will be.

Whether you choose to find it,  is up to you.

If this sounds familiar then please get in touch.

Working from home or Homework?

‘Have you done your homework?’

‘Er, sort of Miss.’

What does that mean?

‘Well, I started it but then my mum washed my school bag, and then the ink on the paper run. So I tried to dry on it the radiator, but it was ruined.

Ah, the dreaded homework.

We all remember the nagging Sunday feeling, waiting for our parents to bellow the words we wish they would forget. Or dreaming up the much needed excuse for the teacher in the morning. What is it that stops children just making a start or taking action? The reasons for this can be varied.  For some  it can be a lack of belief in a certain subject- particularly if they feel their peers are doing better. It can be difficult for them to motivate themselves if they don’t truly believe they can master it. There is also the natural variant of academic ability, and of course the actual interest or love for the subject. Children are also easily distracted by technology, having fun, or connecting with friends.

However the most pertinent point is the phycological element, home is where they relax, and switch off. They don’t naturally associate home with work, or pushing themselves.

Sound familiar. . .

So where does this leave adults in the current climate?

When so many of us are now being asked to work from home?

Have your childhood strategies about homework really left you? With no teacher or parent to push you-the need to self motivate and take action whilst in your place of comfort has never been greater.  What do you truly believe you are capable of? How much time are you spending are on social media looking at what others are achieving? Are you being distracted by something more fun or chatting to friends and family?

When you are working from home,  you have much more time to think, and more things to think about.  You’re not an just an entrepreneur, business owner or work colleague. You’re also a mum or dad. You’re a partner. You also have your own wants and needs. Therefore it’s vital to acknowledge that you can’t be all things to all people all the time. Moving between the many ‘hats’ you wear at home and being able to switch into work or business mode can be very challenging. It can easily lead to procrastination, distraction and ultimately a loss of productivity or quality in your work.

So- what to do about it? There are three key things to remember.

  • Knowing when to say no  
  • Commitment to the moment
  • Creating a headspace

The hardest part of working from home is knowing when to say no, and concentrating what you need to do in that moment. That moment can be in any of the hats you wear, just make sure that  whatever you’re doing – you commit to it! This will create a better headspace, which will increase your motivation, drive and ambition.  If you’ve had quality time with your children and partner you’re far less likely to feel guilty about working. When you really commit to your work in the moment, you will won’t be distracted by family time.

You are many things to many people. Knowing who you need to be, and when, is what’s important.

Now, what’s the dog done with my tax return.  .

If this sounds familiar then please get in touch. I’d love to help.