This year for me has been a year of pushing some serious boundaries! Stepping outside of my comfort zone, and doing things I never thought I'd do (not just now, but maybe in the distant future). I made a decision to collaborate with other professionals within their fields, I started making weekly youtube videos, said yes to contributing to a new online magazine, Styling on photoshoots for up and coming brands, Dyed my hair blue/green, you name it I said 'YES'.
The thing is, you would agree, it takes confidence to do what I've done right? But if you REALLY know me, then you will know when I'm super nervous I don't clam up, oh no that would be the correct thing to do! Nope, I develop a case of 'Verbal Diahorrea'. My mouth opens and a torrent of words fall out, my voice goes up a few octaves and I - can't -stop - my - self! Even the little people in the control centre (brain) can't shut me down! They try everything, emergency panic button, faint switch, the lot. Nothing works! Now, you may be having a giggle at my expense but I'm telling you it is terrifying - For who? I don't know, but I feel ridiculous after!
But what about the other side? The dark side. The part that always seems to rear it's ugly little head whenever you're too close to your 'Comfort Zone' boundary! That voice that tells you you're not good enough, you can't wear that you're too fat! You can't get that job, you're not good enough! He/she won't date you, you're not pretty enough! That dark side, that always wants to keep us in check.
Consequently, I decided to reach out to one of my friends, Clare Whalley, who, though is a Business coach, deals with Confidence Building day to day with her clients. We sat down, had a chat, but I had 4 pressing questions to ask her about Confidence and the Ego:
KM: What does it mean to be Confident?
CW: For me Confidence means to be happy in your own skin! To be able to face your fears/challenges and overcome them. When a difficult situation arises, a large percentage of the population will say: 'That's too hard!' Or 'I can't do that!' Or 'I'm not there yet!' Whereas, the rest will say 'How can I do this?' 'How can I become that confident person?' And go ahead and overcome those challenges. You have to be willing to push out of your comfort zone and not allow your ego to get in the way!
KM: What is the Ego?
CW: To me, its like that negative element of our personality. Whether they have come from childhood, developed from Adulthood or something that has happened to us! But it's that something, that gets in the way of us feeling good, feeling confident and feeling successful. Whatever that success is to you! It likes to keep you comfortable and away from change or venturing into the unknown. It's that voice that pops up and tells us we shouldn't, it will tell us negative things to keep us from changing.
KM: It sounds like the voice in my head when I try to run, it says a manner of negative things and that has kept me from being a consistent runner!
CW: It is exactly that. But you know, deep down inside that it isn't true, and thats the voice you have to listen to.
KM: What steps should we take to become more confident?
CW: Create a strong 'I am' Affirmation. We all have hang up's in some way or another, that stems back to lack of confidence. Think about the one area you want to be confident in, focus on it and get really specific. Write a list of all the negative thoughts attributed to that particular area. Then write a counter list of positive thoughts, from there create a strong and powerful 'I AM' affirmation. Remember, It has to be believable to you, for it to work. For instance; you mentioned your inability to run consistently, and that voice that tells you you're not good enough - Say this 'I AM' affirmation out loud before and during every run: 'I am an excellent runner, I am keeping pace and pushing forward!' it will make a difference!
KM: Finally, how do you stop yourself from falling off the "Confidence Wagon"?
CW: It doesn't matter when you fall off your confidence wagon! What matters is when you start beating yourself up about it! I say your allowed two days of wallowing, then after the two days, you got to let it go. It's about recognising those trigger points, recognising when it's going on for too long and having the right tools to get you back on track.