Confidence, by which I mean self confidence, has a habit of hiding itself away, usually just when we need it to be firing on all cylinders.
It can all seem such an effort. I felt super confident last week when I was weeding the garden and planting new bulbs in formation for the spring, I knew just what I was doing and what the display would look like in a few months time. But when it came to cooking dinner for 8 people, two of whom I didn't really know except that ‘she’ is renowned for her hostessing skills, everything went to pot (pardon the pun), I overcooked the lamb, forgot to cook two of the side dishes, and ended feeling very much like our Denise in The Royal Family Christmas special.
Sometimes we get it so right. And at other times we feel like a complete disaster, and the effects of riding the roller coaster of emotions can have serious consequences if we let these feelings take hold. We end up avoiding situations which challenge our confidence, preferring to ‘stay small’ or stuck in our lives. Our comfort zone.
This is okay, it can work. But staying stuck can lead to anxiety, depression, or stress at the dissatisfaction that our life seems to bring to us. Learning to build resilience into our confidence is essential to good mental health.
Once we realise what we really mean by confidence, stop comparing ourselves to others, celebrate our wins and view ourselves more positively, we can choose to keep our authentic confidence balanced on an even keel - most of the time anyway; we are only human and self doubt has it’s part to play in balance as well. Knowing how to steady the rudder is a very useful skill.
I believe the start point to having more confidence in our lives is to define what on earth we mean by confidence, understanding that it’s a very personal thing. Recognising when we have it, when we don’t, and what needs to happen to have more of it. And like any goal setting exercise that we may undertake for business or personal reasons, begin with the end in mind. So many of us misunderstand what confidence really is. And when we know what it is, we can choose to bring more of it into our lives on a daily basis, using simple techniques to keep it there.
True confidence comes from within, with a healthy smattering of learning from others. Get the balance right, and riding this roller coaster of life can become a much smoother and more exiting ride!