Once upon a time. I knew this girl. Let’s call her Ellen.
Ellen was one of those girls who everybody loved. As was the case with girls that everybody loved, I spent many moments trying to unpack what made her so special. Because that’s what you do when you’re an awkward 12 year old.
I just didn’t see it… until one day in gym class.
We were doing something basketball-related. Ellen was a basketball player, but on this day she wasn’t exactly rocking it. Standing behind the free-throw line, she tossed shot after shot. And missed. Over and over again.
At a certain point it was getting embarrassing. For me, I mean. But she remained unfazed.
Finally, she made ONE shot. Then another. Then another.
Later, I went up to her. “You were missing shots left and right. But I never saw you get upset. Why?”
She shrugged and said… “I’ve taken these shots so many times, I knew it was only a matter of time before I made one.”
Cue penny drop.
I had two realizations:
Confidence. That was Ellen’s je ne sais quoi. (Bet you didn’t know that I used to be near-fluent in French. ;) )
Confidence is not something you’re born with. Confidence is something you can learn.
Turns out I was partly off base on that one. Confidence IS something you’re born with. Watch some babies for a while and you’ll see what I mean.
The problem is, we un-learn it. Circumstances and people become patterns and conditioned responses. Until we choose something different.
Confidence is something you can learn. To do so is a choice.
And it’s one of THE most important decisions we will ever make.
As a business coach I’m always being asked (in one form or another): What makes one person successful… and another, not so much?
It’s not just ONE thing…. but a big piece of it is confidence.
Without confidence… you won’t trust yourself, won’t make decisions, and won’t move forward.
So how do you cultivate unstoppable confidence? I’m so glad you asked. :)
A few years back I was on stage for 5 minutes at a speaker training with my dear friends Jesse & Sharla of Thrive Academy.
I was doing my thing at the front of the room, and I could feel that I was owning that stage.
Afterward, a woman came up to me and commented on how I rocked it. She was specifically referring to my confidence.
I thanked her for seeing that in me, pointing out that confidence had never come easy to me.
She said, “I actually don’t believe that. You’ve always been as confident as you were up on that stage. You just forgot.”
I immediately knew it was true. Not just of me, but of everyone. Confidence is a part of the Divine package that you already are.
So you have to decide. Are you going to choose the reality of confidence, or the non-reality of doubt, fear, hesitation, timidity, not-enough-ness, too-much-ness, unworthiness?
It really is as simple as that.
- Sacred Commitments to Self
In magic, we say, your word is your wand. You’ve probably also heard stage magicians using the word “abracadabra,” which means… “I create as I speak.”
When I say something, it is so.
Except for most people, it’s not. Why?
Because most people don’t follow through on their commitments, especially to themselves. And every time you break a promise to yourself, your confidence takes a BIG hit – usually without you even realizing it.
Fortunately, the opposite is also true. Your confidence increases every time you keep a promise to yourself, whether it’s getting to bed by 10pm, having 5 Transformational Selling Conversations, spending an hour a day on a key project, or whatever it may be.
So if you want more confidence… make sacred commitments (aka goals) and follow through.
The key to making this work is to choose commitments that you can actually keep. Set yourself up for success by choosing a goal that’s a stretch, but doable. As you follow through and your confidence increases you can keep raising the bar.
What’s great about this from a magical perspective is you’re using all of your 4 Magical Tools… perception, choice, energy and faith.
Bonus tip: When you set a goal, take aligned action quickly. Waiting to act only creates “maybe” energy, which drains your confidence. When you act decisively and quickly, even if you need to course correct or take a new action, it strengthens your confidence in your ability to respond to any situation.
- Commitments to Others
Think of all the people in your life to whom you’ve made implicit or explicit commitments:
Your JV partners…
Your friends and family….
Are you keeping those commitments?
Just like the promises we make to ourselves, our ability to keep our promises to others impacts our confidence.
For example, if you tell a client you’ll deliver a piece of content by a certain date and don’t do it, how do you feel?
It feels awful. And there’s a part of you that starts to learn that the things you say are not to be believed, trusted, and counted on.
On the flip side, every time we honor a commitment – whether it’s picking up the dry cleaning for a friend or showing up on time to an appointment, or a lifelong vow to your spouse – the more you increase your faith in your ability to follow through and the more your confidence expands.
Which leads us to the next confidence-building key…
- Maintain Strong Boundaries
Keeping your commitments to others does NOT mean you have to do everything for everyone!
Weak boundaries are definitely a confidence-killer.
For example, saying yes when you want to say no (and vice versa). Otherwise known as being afraid that someone isn’t going to like you if you say/act as you really feel.
Boundaries are your personal power. Personal power (your ability to create as you think, speak, Desire) equals confidence.
When you’re clear on where you end and others begin and can communicate that authentically and with grounded presence, your inner confidence and sense of self is strengthened.
I challenge you to give it a try this week – find a place you’ve been saying yes that you really want to say no, make a new choice, set a boundary, and notice what happens to your confidence.
- Protect It.
It’s SO easy for our confidence to take a hit. Why?
I believe that one of the reasons is because our brains are set up to make our primary feeling be… feeling crappy. Low confidence equals staying in the same place – i.e., “safe” to our brains. (Yes, I am oversimplifying here.)
So we need to protect our confidence. Which means making it a priority.
Make commitments. Keep them. Guard your mind from negativity. Guard your mind and energy field from well-meaning but people who would trample your dreams.
When you have a new idea, project or intention, protect the energy by staying silent for a while. Reveal only what you need to those you trust. This isn’t defensiveness, it’s honoring your creative process.
Make your energetic state a priority. Which is what this confidence thing is really about.
* * * * *
You are Divine being having a human experience. And as a Divine being you are instilled with all the confidence in the Universe. You are also a beautiful BE-ing living in a physical body.
A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a class with a good friend who also happens to be one of my favorite spiritual teachers.
Someone was asking her about confidence. She said:
“Confidence is felt, not cultivated.”
Frankly, I don’t agree with that as stated. Confidence IS cultivated. Because while we can choose to feel confident (which is what she was getting at)… our brains are not necessarily going to be down with that if we’ve been programmed otherwise.
So choose first… then practice, practice, practice. Past all the conditioning, experiences, the fear and resistance, and all those worldly illusions… to return to you to who you really are, a powerful – confident – Creatrix.
Let me know how this goes for you in our Facebook group!