If you’ve never thought of comparing confidence to a hair treatment, that’s about to change, thanks to confidence coach Patrycja Skurzak…
The topic of confidence building and growing self-esteem can be overwhelming - it appears either too complex or too difficult to master.
But the truth of a matter is that we all need inner confidence in order to successfully engage in life.
As a coach I certainly see lack of confidence as one of the key obstacles in reaching one’s full potential, living a fulfilled life, or even being able to build and maintain strong and healthy relationships with other people. There is more and more evidence in the business world too, suggesting that learnt attributes such as communication skills, confidence and resilience are identified as more important factors in being successful compared to inner attributes such as being naturally smart.
"More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person's level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That's true in the cancer ward, it's true in the Olympics, and it's true in the boardroom."
Dean Becker, Harvard Business Review, 2002
The good news is that confidence is a learnable skill. It is possible to master it in life and relatively easy to preserve, as long as you commit to it.
How? Let’s say you want to improve the state of your hair. Not only do you want to make it grow, you also want to make it shinier, you want to gain volume and generally improve the overall quality of your hair.
Depending on the state of your hair you may have to use different remedies but generally speaking there will be two types of action:
· The external treatment: applying oils, conditioners, masks, shampoos, herbal drops and what not;
· The internal attack: balanced diet, hydration, supplements etc.
I would imagine that if your hair is relatively damaged, you would also give yourself some time before you see any results. Right?
Well, the same applies to building inner confidence. Depending on how much you need to work on your relationship with Self (the internal treatment) or how much you need to work on building trust in your abilities (the external treatment) you may want to use different remedies.
First of all, let's take a moment to reflect here. Which group would you subscribe yourself to?
Group 1: SELF-ESTEEM
Self-esteem is our cognitive and emotional appraisal of our own worth. People with low self-esteem issues generally have a very poor relationship with Self. Low self-esteem means having active self-critical voices that produce a lot of negative self-talk, diminishing our self-image and overall self-worth.
Low self-esteem often sounds like: I'm not worth it, I don't deserve it, I'm not lovable, It's always my fault.
Focus: the quality of thoughts and feelings I generate towards myself.
If you categorise yourself as someone who suffers from low self-esteem and has more self-loathing than self-loving tendencies, you may start rethinking your mental diet. Your mental diet is about the quality of thoughts you generate about yourself, the thoughts you feed yourself with, that then impact your feelings and your overall idea of self-worth.
The treatment starts with investigating what you need to eliminate from your mental diet that is not serving you and then replace it with more nourishing thoughts and beliefs that will start growing the right energy from within.
"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."
Group 2: CONFIDENCE
Confidence means to trust. In other words, to be confidence in Self, is to trust in your abilities to successfully engage in the world. People with inner confidence have a solid level of self-trust and mental resilience.
Inner confidence often looks like: willingness to take risks and fail, ability to set and respect one's boundaries and say no, willingness to go into the discomfort.
Focus: the quality of my behaviours and how I show up in the world.
If you believe your relationship with Self is healthy but you lack belief in your abilities, you are afraid to fail, and for that reason you tend to operate within your comfort zone, you may want to invest some time in more external remedies.
If you remember, building confidence, that is your inner belief in Self, is about the quality of your actions and behaviours. The only way to build self-confidence is to take a risk and take action despite your fear of failure, messing up or embarrassment.
In the absence of confidence, courage takes over. In other words, do not wait until you are confident to show up, show up until you get confident!
Effective execution of courage in your life is like effective hair oil application: if you want to see results, you need to commit to consistency, perseverance and repetition. At the same time you should not expect quick fixes, instead stay patient on the journey, focusing on each and every step of the way.
Remember that being confident doesn't mean that you will no longer make mistakes – it means that you know that you can have a go, and you will be able to handle the outcome whether it's positive or not.