Ep #114: Creating Confidence
Posted on May 12, 2016
One of THE BIGGEST issues that so many of my students struggle with is confidence. And for a good reason.
The way that our brain is wired since birth is not conducive to create confidence. Evolutionarily, we are programmed to fear the unknown in order to stay safe from the predators and survive.
Now that we no longer have danger around every corner, we can stop constantly feeling fearful and worried and truly begin building confidence. So how do we begin this process?
On this episode of Life Coach School, we take a deep dive into the ways we can learn to overcome our primitive brain and begin creating higher-level contributions to the world. Listen in as I give you a bit of a different spin on confidence and share how I create confidence for myself and how I help my students do the same.
You may have to listen to this short, yet powerful, episode a few times to really get all the value out of it as I walk you through the process of creating confidence within ourselves and share some powerful tips to help you get started.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- What confidence is all about.
- Where it comes from and the biggest misconception about it.
- Why confidence is so difficult for most of us.
- What helps me think in a way that generates a lot of confidence.
- How selfies could be degrading your self-confidence.
- Why you should always stand behind every one of your actions.
- Tips for creating confidence within you and overcoming self doubt.
Featured on the show
Welcome to the Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hello my friends. How are you guys today? I’m amazing. I'm in a yellow dress. If ever you want to feel happy, wear a yellow dress. This is my advice to you.
So today, we're going to talk about confidence. We're going to talk about creating confidence, because this is one of the biggest issues that so many of my students struggle with, and I think that we should have to take as many math classes as we have to take; we should have to take confidence classes. I think we should be taught confidence, because the way that we are programmed to evolve is the opposite of creating confidence, it creates fear.
Be afraid of everything, danger is just around the corner, and that has helped us get here alive. Right? It has helped us survive and evolve and now that we don't have danger around every corner, literally, we can stop being so worried all the time, and start really building confidence. I feel like as a human alive on the planet today, we have to be taught to overcome our primitive brain; our primitive brain that's all about survival and keeping us alive, and being afraid of everything in order to keep us alive is now detrimental in our ability to create higher level creative contributions to the world, so that's what I'm going to talk about today.
I'm going to talk about what I believe confidence is. I'm going to talk about how to create it, and give you some tips on how to create it. This is one of those that you might want to listen to a couple of times. It'll be short, but it'll be packed with information, so I want to make sure that you really get the full sense of the simplicity, and the powerfulness of it. I think most things that are powerful are usually quite simple.
You can use all of the information that I gave you in episode 113, and how to create passion, how to create any emotion. You can use that same process, so you can go back and re listen to that, or get the transcript and just insert confidence where I put passion, but I'm going to give you another spin on confidence here, and teach you a lot of what I create in my own life comes from my own confidence, and I'll teach you how I do it, and how I help my clients.
Confidence is a feeling and it's a feeling that creates very predictable actions and results within your model. It's really important that you understand that it is within your model. A lot of people think that confidence creates a perception, and that confidence creates results in other people's models, and that confidence creates opinions in other people's heads. It does not. Confidence creates predictable actions only in your model, and predictable results only in your model. Okay?
Confidence is a feeling that feels amazing, that inspires action, so when you create confidence, you create momentum, you create movement, you create action in your life. It is worth taking the time to learn the skill of creating confidence. Now, many of you, I hear you talking, and you'll say "Well, I'm just not confident. I've just never been confident", as if it a gene that you are born with. Confidence is not a gene that you are born with, and there's not some people that are confident, and some people that aren't by nature.
Confidence comes from what's going on inside your brain, and therefore what's going on inside your emotional life. Remember that it does not come from your actions and results, it produces your actions, and results. It comes from your thinking.
Let me talk a little bit about my son Connor. He likes to play video games. If he wins a bunch of video games, he will feel very confident about playing that video game. Now, he will think that his confidence comes from having beaten the game multiple times, but that's not where confidence comes from, confidence comes from his thought about his success, and what he makes it mean.
I've had many other people who have won many other video games, and still don't have confidence because they think "Oh, well it took me longer than the last guy. I'm still not as good as this guy. I still can't beat that guy", so they don't feel a sense of confidence in having won those video games.
My son feels a tremendous amount of confidence also in ... he creates YouTube videos, and video game videos. He gets this frustration when a lot of people don't watch those videos, and I say to him "Where does your confidence come from? Does it come from how many people watch your videos? Or does it come from you creating those videos? Or does it come from the way you think about the video you've created?" and it's really challenging for him to understand that his confidence comes from his mind, and it's completely separate from how many people watch it. If a 100 people watch it, he'll feel a difference from if a 1000 people watch it, and he'll think that the difference in how he feels is how many people watched it, but that's impossible. What changes the way he feels about it is the way he thinks about it, and what he makes it mean. Okay? That's a really, really important distinction.
The other thing that's important to notice about confidence, is that you can take actions that look like they're inspired by confidence, but are really inspired by fear, and this is where we get into trouble when people say "act as if", or "pretend to be confident", but you're still riddled with fear, and you know these people that are bullies that show up, and try to control everything. Remember, controlling, and trying to control the environment is because of fear. Right?
You don't have confidence in the environment, you think you need to control it, in order for you to get what you want, and you're afraid you won't get what you want. You're afraid that what's meant to happen won't, and so you try and control everything. That's not from a place of confidence, and trust me I know this very personally. My control enthusiast tendencies, but when you come into a situation from confidence, nothing really ruffles you until you don't feel like you have to control the world. I have been on both sides of that emotional roller coaster, and the actions may look that same, but the results, and the energy behind those actions are completely different for the person doing them.
For example, if I walk into a party, I could be like "Hey everyone, how are you guys doing? So great to see you. I'm so happy", and I start talking really loud, and start talking as if everyone's paying attention to me, and I look at everyone, and all eyes are on me. I could do that from a place of really genuinely being excited, and confident, and just wanting to connect with everyone, or I could do it from a place of "Nobody's noticing me, so I need to be really loud, so everybody notices me", right?
You as a person in that environment can feel the difference usually, and you definitely can feel the difference when you are the one who is either confident or not confident. Okay? Confidence always comes from your own mind, not from your actions, not from your results. Always from your own mind. Your actions and results may change the way you think, but that is not the source of your confidence, and the reason why that's important is a lot of people will delay their own confidence. They'll say "Oh, I'll be confident when I have more practice. I'll be confident when I have more experience. I'll feel confident when I've nailed it ... you know ... that triple back flip 17 times, then I'll feel confident", right?
The confidence has to come from your mind regardless of what actions you've taken, so you can decide to believe whatever thought you're waiting to believe, and believe that now, and the chances of you nailing the back flip are much higher if you come from a place of confidence, versus delaying it until you've actually completed those things. It's kind of a mental skill that you need to grab a hold of. If you're having a hard time being confident, ask yourself "If I had all of the experience I wanted, what would I be thinking? If I had all the practice I wanted, what would I be thinking?" and then you start practicing that now.
When I looked at the definition of confidence, it said "A state of being certain. Full trust, and a belief in one's self", which I thought was an interesting way of describing it, but hard for me to wrap my mind around, What exactly does that mean? When you fully trust yourself, what exactly does that mean "when you fully believe in yourself"? I really thought a lot about what I think creates confidence for me. What is it that generates that emotion? What I came up with, and what I think is true for me, is that I genuinely am willing to feel any emotion. I know that the worst that can happen is an emotion, and I'm genuinely unafraid of feeling it.
One of my dear friends and colleague that I ran into a couple of weeks ago, I didn't run into her, but she was in an event I was at. We were talking, and she said "I just want you to know how much I admire you", and she said "the reason why I admire you is you just genuinely don't care what other people think of you", she says "you genuinely don't. There's people that pretend not to care, but they really do, but you genuinely don't care", and I told her it's true because I know that what they think of me has nothing to do with me. I really do know that.
When they have these really elevated opinions of me, that's about them, right? And when they have these very degrading opinions of me, I know that's about them. I really do genuinely know that. It becomes much more irrelevant what people think about me because there's nothing I can do about it, and it has so little to do with me that it really just doesn't feel relevant.
I think that is one of the things that helps me think in a way that generates so much confidence. If I don't have to impress people, if I don't have to show off to people, if I don't have to be any different than I am, then I can just be myself. If I'm at effortless, if I'm at easy, and I know that the people that are meant to be around me, and appreciate what I do, and learn from me, and be my students will be there. I believe that, and I practice believing that, because it's so important to me.
I think when you are willing to feel any emotion, you're willing to take action that you wouldn't otherwise be willing to do. Okay? A lot of people delay their confidence in order to indulge in self doubt, and not believe in themselves, and they feel like they're safer in that doubting place, and I've been there so often, and I've felt that so regularly that I just have decided that it's just not really an option for me anymore.
It's kind of like smoking marijuana. I'm studying, it's so funny, I'm studying right now so much. I'm creating my course called "Stop Over Drinking", I'm right in the middle of creating it, it's going to be so good, I cannot wait for it, but drugs are on the mind, and marijuana for me was never a drug I wanted to use. I don't like drugs. I think it’d make me feel stupid. Drugs that make me feel smart - but it's kind of like marijuana is not really an option for me. I'm not really interested in it at all, and that's kind of how I feel about self doubt. It's available to me if I want to experience it, but why would I? What's the upside? Nothing. The worst that can happen is an emotion, so I'd rather have the confidence to try something, and experience the emotion possibly on the other side of that, like humiliation, or rejection, versus just feeling self doubt, and pretend like it's protective ahead of time. I just don't see any purpose in doing that.
The other distinction that I think is important for people to understand, because I think that people are sometimes afraid of stepping out and being confident. I was just coaching one of my students today who has done incredibly well recently in getting a certification, and teaching, and showing up in her life, and she finds herself being plagued with fear, and self doubt around her success, instead of confidence, right? It's a perfect example about how confidence doesn't come from your success, because the more success she's getting, the less confidence she's feeling, right? If she's feeling like "Oh my gosh, my insides aren't matching my outsides" kind of thing.
I think it's just so important to remind ourselves that our confidence does not mean that we are better than somebody else. It's a huge difference. Arrogance means I'm great, and you're not. Arrogance means I'm better than you. Right? Now, when you think that "I'm great, and you're not. I'm better than you", notice that you don't feel good, right? It sounds like it should feel good, but when you think "I'm amazing, and you're amazing", then you get to feel good when you think about yourself, and you get to feel good when you think about the other person. Right?
I notice this a lot with ... I hang out with some of my coach friends who are really into Facebook, and selfies, which ... Can we just digress for a minute here? I have people in my life that I feel like if they don't take a picture of it, and put it on Facebook, that it didn't happen. I find it fascinating…why can't we just enjoy the view standing here and looking at it? Why do we have to take a picture of it 17 times? Why do we have to take a picture of ourselves in it? Why do we have to post it on Facebook? If we don't do that, does it mean that it didn't happen? If we don't share it with people does it mean it didn't happen?
Anyway, I find that hilarious. The other thing I think is interesting is that ... I've been asked to be in all sorts of selfies all the time, and so many people take a picture, and then they look at it, then they say "Oh that's not a very good picture, let's change it. Oh, that's not very good of me. Oh, that's not very good of you", and if you've been listening to this podcast you know that I always love every picture of myself on purpose, as if it were my child, or my puppy. I would never say "Oh my god, that's such an ugly picture. Delete it", of my child, and I would never say that about a puppy, so I never say it about myself. I always say "make sure I look amazing", and then I always say "I look amazing", and I really genuinely do believe it.
When I'm in these pictures with other people, and they're constantly wanting to retake them. It's so fascinating to me, because I think it represents what we're trying to do in our lives. We're trying to make everything look good so we can feel good. We're trying to change the depiction on the external so we can feel good. It's almost like "if the picture makes me look pretty, then I'm pretty, and if the picture doesn't make me look pretty, then I'm not pretty", right? Or "other people won't think that I'm pretty". I find the whole thing so fascinating. I love to love every picture that's taken of me. Even when the lighting's terrible. Even when I don't turn my hips sideways like I'm supposed to make myself look thinner. Even when my eyes are closed. All of it. I take all of it, I love it.
I think that's what helps me feel confident about myself is I just know I'm going to love every picture that's taken of me. I don't think that's arrogant, I'm not saying "Oh, I look good in the picture, and you don't", I think everyone looks great in every picture, and here's the thing, I never take the pictures, I don't do a bunch of selfies unless someone asks me to, but for those of you who are taking selfies all of the time, and deleting half of them, and feeling yucky about half of them, I want to encourage you to either stop with the selfies, and just be where you are ... It still happened, even if you put it on Facebook, or take my advice, and just love every picture, and put it on Facebook, and watch yourself worry what other people will think.
Here's the other thing. Just another little note, as we're digressing. If you go through your Facebook feed, and you're like "Oh, they don't look good. Oh, they look old. Oh, they look thin". If you notice your mind doing that, just notice how you feel, and then notice why you're maybe so paranoid about the picture you take of yourself to make sure that it represents the best depiction of you that someone else might see, versus just being you. Just being authentic, and knowing that that's good enough. That's confidence.
We just took a selfie. We captured that moment, that's what I looked like in that moment. I had something in my teeth, and one of my eyes was half closed, that's the truth of the moment. Share it. Share it with the world. I don't care, I don't have a problem with it. I don't have to always look great in a picture. I think that that's confidence. I don't have to always look perfect in every moment of my life, to make sure that people then see it, and think something of me.
Don't we give ourselves the illusion that if we take the right picture, that people will have a certain thought about us? Right? You can take the best picture that you think is you ... of you, and someone may not like it, or someone may hate on you because you're look pretty, or whatever. Who the hell knows? The confidence is "We're all amazing", not "I'm better than you". Okay? Confidence is "We're all great, all of the time". Even in our moments of weakness. Even in our moments of confusion. Even when we're not bringing our best to the table.
Let's take a selfie of that, and when we can embrace that selfie ... that's when we have confidence. When we're not afraid of that selfie getting out, that's confidence. There's another thing ... I'm kind of all over the place today, but ... "Look, thought appears". One of my beloved students and coaches showed me something that she thought I would want to see. It was something of someone kind of doing me wrong, and she asked me "Hey, you didn't hear it from me", and of course I couldn't leave that alone, because "Why not? Why didn't I hear it from you? Why aren't you going to stand behind telling me that? What are you afraid of?" and what I said to her, and I think this is such good advice, is that every action you take, you want to be able to stand behind it, and here's why. You don't want to even be afraid of someone finding something out about you. I will tell you what, there's nothing that gives you more confidence than knowing that you have nothing to hide.
When I started living my life outside of shame, and being willing to not have any secrets - Now that does not mean that I tell everyone my private business, but if someone were to figure out my private business ... I've got nothing to hide. You know? You may find out more than you want to know, and that's fine, but I don't have anything I'm ashamed of. Nothing that I wouldn't be willing to stand behind. I could run for a political office, and everybody knows everything about me already, all of my hidden secrets.
It's just a beautiful place to live in, just knowing that whatever you do, you stand behind it. Any action you take ... Anything you're willing to say, would you be willing to say it on the news? Would you be willing to say it on my podcast? Like I do, I just say everything on my podcast. Right? Really think about it, that's where confidence comes from. Some people aren't going to like what you say. Some people aren't going to like that you told someone else what someone else did to them. Too bad, you know what I mean? Stand behind yourself. Stand behind your actions. Do what's right, and then own it, right? What you think is right.
Here are some of my thoughts I use to create confidence, and create the feeling of confidence. I know this matters. Whenever I'm doing something, and I think about what I'm doing mattering, instead of what people will think about me. I drop right into a place of confidence. I know this will help people takes the focus off myself, and gives me confidence in helping people. What they think of me is out of my control. Releases me from thinking thoughts about what other people are thinking of me, and has me focusing on just what I can control. What I think of me matters. I matter. What I say matters. Who I am matters. I think the thing "Who I am matters", the caveat is ... it's decided by something bigger than you and me.
It's this idea that I matter is really not something I created. It's not something that I decided. It's just something that's true, and was decided by something much bigger than me, and I put my shoulders up and be like "You know what I mean? We matter, and there's nothing we can do about it". I think that adds a huge sense of confidence to that deeper knowing, and that deeper understanding, and it takes us out of that arrogance, because it's "I matter, and you matter".
Why does confidence even matter? Why is it something that we should strive for, and create in our lives? I personally think that it's very important because with your dreams plus confidence you create the life you're meant to live. Okay? Your dreams plus self doubt create a lot of resentment. I think it's very important to generate as much confidence as you possibly can. Confidence will really determine the actions you take towards the things you want in your life, and that's why it matters. Feeling confident is a skill.
Here is something that I want to share with you that all of you can do right now. There is some place in your life where you feel confident. Sometimes people disagree with me, and here's the example I give them. I say "What about picking up a glass of water? What about it? Do you feel confident that you can pick up a glass of water and drink it? How confident are you? 100% confident, I got this. I'm going in. I'm getting that water, and I'm drinking it", right? 100% confidence.
Why? You may say "Oh because I've had a bunch of water before. I've done it so many times", and that's true, when you repeat something over, and over, and over again, and it feels effortless, self doubt has a hard time sneaking in. It's your belief that you can do it. It's your belief that you've got it, no problem. Now that doesn't mean that you're always going to do it well. Right? Sometimes you're going to spill water on yourself. Sometimes the glass is going to slip.
You don't make that mean that you suck. You don't make it mean that you're a failure. You spill water, and you don't make it mean that you're losing your abilities, right? You still have confidence that you are a good glass-water-picker-upper. Okay? Find that area in your life. Maybe you're a good driver. Maybe you're a good singer. Maybe you're good at proof reading. Call me if you are. Maybe you're good at public speaking. Maybe you're good at coaching. Whatever it is you're good at, you have that meta skill of confidence.
Now, I want you to really think about confidence as a skill, and the skillset is made up of how you think, and how you direct your mind. Okay? When you're able to direct your mind to "I'm going to have no problem picking up this glass of water", then you can practice applying that same skill to something that you're maybe not so good at.
Maybe you're not good at public speaking, so if public speaking were just like picking up a glass of water, how would you think about it? "I've got this. This isn't a problem. I can do this. This is simple. Even if I fail at this, it doesn't mean anything about me. What other people think about my water drinking ability is not relevant to me. If people like the way I drink water, I don't care. If people don't like the way I drink water, I don't care. It doesn't matter". If you are able to think the same way you think about picking up the water as you were towards the public speaking, you would be dialed. Do you guys see that? Okay.
You already have the skill of confidence; you just need to apply it to that new area. I'm going to give you 5 final tips. Remember that self-doubt is a comfortable habit for most of you. Most of you are in self doubt because you aren't taking the actions you want to take, and you're indulging in self-doubt without even realizing it, because it feels so familiar. Okay? First and foremost, pay attention, and be conscious of self-doubt. Do you have it in your life? Where? When? How? Make sure you bring it to the forefront. Make sure you acknowledge that it's a choice.
Pay attention to your thought triggers. One of the ways that I help myself with confidence is I dress up every day that I come to work. When I see myself in the mirror, that's a thought trigger, right? I'll either think "Oh I look nice today. I look presentable. I look professional", right? That will trigger my thoughts. Dressing up, and dressing my best, and showing up in the best way I can is really helpful in terms of a thought trigger.
I really pay attention to my mind hygiene. I go in, I clean out negative thoughts, and I practice, and mentally rehearse positive ones. I treat my self-doubt like a caged pet. I pay attention to it; I bring it to my consciousness. I don't fight it, or try to get rid of it. I just put it in its little cage, and carry around with me if it's necessary.
The fourth thing that I think - I'm sorry, the fifth thing that I think is so powerful when it comes to generating confidence is giving. The more you give, the more confident you'll be. Marianne Williamson says that the only thing that's ever missing in any situation is what you're not giving. You go on to do public speaking, and you focus on giving, you're not going to care about your own self doubt, you're going to be so focused on what you're delivering.
The last thing I want to offer to you is to acknowledge your achievements. If you are heavy in self doubt, and low in self-confidence, write down all of your achievements. Starting with first grade. Literally go through ... this is a Jack Canfield exercise from "The Success Principles". If you can get 100 achievements, easiest achievements, to the biggest achievements that you've had. You will blow your own mind with thinking about who you are, and what you've accomplished. That will help you. The accomplishments won't give you self-confidence, but thinking about them will.
All right you guys have an amazing, awesome week. Create some confidence. I'll talk to you next week. Take care. Bye bye.
Thank you for listening to the Life Coach School podcast. It is my honor to show up here every week, and connect with people that are like-minded, wanting to take their life to a deeper level with more awareness, and more consciousness. If you are interested in taking this work to the next level, I highly encourage you to go to thelifecoachschool.com/howtofeelbetteronline. It is there that I have a class that will take all of this to a deeper application where you'll be able to really feel, and experience how all of these concepts can start showing up in your life. It's one thing to learn it intellectually, it's another thing to truly apply it to your life. I will see you there. Thanks again for listening.