What would you do if you felt more confident? Would you start that business you’ve been dreaming about, change jobs, or ask for a raise? Would you use the word “no” more often, stop people pleasing, or start speaking your mind?
If you weren’t hanging out with self-doubt, would you stop playing small and talking yourself out of going for things? Would you wear your ambition with pride, and collaborate with other women instead of feeling the need to compete with them?
While I haven’t had the opportunity to meet you personally, I’ve worked with enough women throughout my 15 years of professional coaching to know that your answer to these questions is YES.
Yes. If you felt confident you would say no more often. You would stop it with approval seeking, and start speaking up for yourself. You wouldn’t say yes when you mean no, and you’d give yourself permission to go for what you want. In fact, you’d celebrate the very act of going for things, and you’d look for ways to cooperate with other women while you did it.
While that sounds wonderful, it’s also (unfortunately) rare. Women aren’t typically taught how to behave with confidence. In fact, we’re often encouraged to question ourselves, and even given positive attention for playing the damsel in distress. (#nomoredamsels)
I share this not to discourage you, but to encourage you. If you’ve been hanging out with self-doubt more than self-confidence, there’s no reason to beat yourself up. You’re not alone, and you can turn your doubt around in a matter of days.
As it turns out, confidence is not something you think your way into. You have to behave your way there. While this might sound a little bit daunting, it’s actually great news because it puts you in the driver’s seat. You can grow your confidence right now. I’ll show you how in 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Focus on your own grass.
Ah, the grass is always greener, isn’t it? Well, not necessarily. If you want to feel more confident, you have to stop comparing your real life to everyone else’s social media feed.
Facebook is a highlight reel. Few people post about puppy accidents, diaper explosions, college rejections, hormonal outbursts, traffic jams, spilled coffee, bounced checks, lost projects, or dashed dreams. Still, it’s easy to fall into a spiral of self-doubt after liking Sharon’s new job announcement, sharing Katie’s adorable baby photo, or commenting on Rebecca’s seemingly glamorous business trip, isn’t it?
Comparing yourself to others is a normal human response, but it can become addictive and keep you stuck. Comparison gives rise to jealousy, and that green-eyed monster can suck you into a dark little vortex of dissatisfaction and angst. (YUCK.) Happily, there is another way.
There’s a reason you’re jealous when you are. Feelings of envy only arise when someone else has something you want. So being green with envy can actually guide you. The next time you feel jealous, instead of diving into the vortex, just stop and ask yourself four questions.
1) What do they have that you wish you had?
2) What kind of action are they taking to get what they have?
3) What kind of action do you need to start taking if you want to have it too?
4) When will you begin?
Let jealousy be your guide. When you feel it, say thank you and let it help you focus. Make your grass as green as green can be, Girl.
Onward with confidence!
Step 2: Keep your personal commitments.
You behave your way into feeling confident. Specifically, your confidence increases when you keep personal commitments (like getting in a daily workout or taking 10 minutes to write in your journal). Unfortunately, it decreases every time you flake on yourself, and that’s a problem. Because you do that a lot, don’t you?
Let’s be honest. You are the glue. You’re the one who keeps schedules running, food in the house, projects marching forward, and toilet paper in the bathroom. (And thank goodness you do.) On most days life asks more of you than any human woman could possibly deliver on, and that means sooner or later something’s got to give. When give comes knocking, you’re the one who usually gets crossed off of your list (because it’s just easiest to break commitments to you) right?
Every time you break a commitment to yourself, what you’re really doing is undermining your self-confidence. Your own inaction is a demonstration that you don’t matter, and that is a mojo killer.
Imagine you have a self-trust bank account. Every time you keep a commitment, you make a deposit. Each time you break a commitment, you make a withdrawal. The object of the game is to make more deposits than withdrawals.
To keep your balance where it needs to be, make commitments carefully, and follow through on the ones you make. Mark your personal appointments on your calendar, and treat them like you’re meeting a VIP. (Because you are.) When that something-that’s-gotta-give comes knocking, take your personal commitments off the table before you answer the door.
If you need help setting priorities check out my blog How to Overcome Overwhelm, and for tips on keeping your calendar clear try How to Say No Like You Mean It.
You won’t do this perfectly, and that’s okay. Take things one choice at a time. Whenever possible, follow through for you. Your confidence will thank you.
Step 3: Handle your business.
I have an unfortunate truth to share. To have what you want, you’re going to have to do some things you don’t want to do. I wish there was another way, but if there is, I haven’t found it yet.
Life comes with maintenance tasks. You have to pay your bills, file your taxes, open your mail, respond to your email, meet deadlines, and run your errands. While none of that is any fun, there is a silver lining on this cloud.
Your confidence grows stronger every time you do what needs to be done.
This step requires assessment and ongoing action. Make a list of the things you need to handle, and go about the business of handling them. (Even when the handling stinks.) When I’m working with a client I suggest she schedule 1 to 2 hours each week to deal with the things she’d rather not deal with. We call the appointment Handle the Suck.J
I use this approach myself, and while it doesn’t make the tasks suck less, it does make me smile every time I see that appointment on my calendar. As a bonus, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in just a couple of hours a week.
There we have it. Consider your confidence kick-started. Please remember that I never want you to blindly take my word for anything. Only you know what’s right for you. (I just happen to have a few coaching tools that can help you get closer to that wisdom.) Give this week’s advice a test-drive. Once you do, let me know how it goes. I love hearing from you! There are five ways for us to interact.
· Comment in the comments section below.
· Chat with me on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
· Join me for a FREE WORKSHOP on FB Live on April 18th at 12:30 PT/3:30 ET. We’ll talk through the 3 steps to claim your confidence, and I’ll answer your questions. (If you have one for me, just respond to this email, and I may answer your question during our broadcast.) I hope to see you there.
· Email me if you have something more private you’d like to ask. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m the only one reading your messages, and it’s always me answering them.
· Visit the blog center of my website to access a library of blogs and coaching videos to help you solve your problems and go for your dreams.
I’m here for your empowerment. If you haven’t already joined my community, please enter your email at (www.kimberlyfulcher.com). I’ll send you a free coaching kit to give your confidence a jumpstart and we’ll get your groove back together.
You’ve Got This!