As a communication coach, one of the issues I face with my clients, is the lack of self confidence. While it may sound cliched, the fact is, not everyone has confidence issues when it comes to communication. Some just need clarity or direction. Most need organization. A few need delivery guidance.
In any case, the root problem of self confidence is usually due to the fear of judgement. The assumption that we will be judged for wanting to express. The assumption that we will be chastised for wanting to share. The assumption that we will be frowned upon for wanting to deliver a message.
Heck. The truth is, we are our hardest and harshest critics when it comes to wanting to express and communicate. We overthink, over rationalize and over sensationalize our ideas. As a result, we become fearful which leads to irrational sense of non confidence.
So how can we manage this sense of irrational freeze in thoughts and expressions?
I suggest, to begin your day by talking to the man in the mirror. Yes, to yourself.
Now, I can already hear that dumb chuckle of yours, You are already judging yourself by saying, “I am not gonna by stupid and talk to myself.” Who said that talking to the mirror, was a barometer of intelligence? Nobody did. Yet, you affirmed yourself with that overbearing judgement that, people who do this simple exercise is dumb.
Bear with me.
There is a news factory operating in your head every single day. Every single minute in fact. A PR and marketing agency that works non stop to feed your mind with information and details. Most of the news that come through the factory and agency are unfiltered. Who is the editor, you ask. Well it is you of course. And like any hardworking editor, sometimes you get tired, take a break, yet news is still being generated. And like most news agency, sometimes you have news coming in from external sources. Or what I will term as, people’s comments and views about you. Some can be validated, most cannot.
What is some of the news that you decided to publish about yourself as a manifested personality was a result of an unverified news, brought about by someone else. Someone probably mocked the way you spoke, or how unclear you were at pronouncing some words or how slow you read. And because of that, you told yourself, that they were right. Which led to the manifestation of a non confident you. When in fact, there was nothing absolutely wrong with how you spoke.
Flick Your Own Switch
Confidence should be a built in switch. A switch embedded so deeply that the only person who can flick it, should be you. Or the man in the mirror (you). You should not allow anyone for that matter to be able to come willfully and flick that switch on and off for you.
I always share with my clients that it took me years to build the internal wiring of my confidence switch. Understand the intricacies of that wiring, to know what can trigger a trip or what can blow it over. So that only I will know how to maintain of fix it should something happen. Like a confidence short circuit.
Install Your Confidence Circuit Breaker
A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected. Wikipedia
Whenever my clients tell me that they are not confident, the first question I ask is, “Is that a feeling, a feedback or a thought?”
What is the difference, you ask.
If the non confidence is a feeling, then I will address the emotions that is tied to that state of mind. It might be fear, disappointment, sense of hopelessness or just unexplained emotions.
If the non confidence is a feedback, then I will address the intentions and purposes of that feedback. It might be a careless remark on someone’s part or just a criticism that has no basis.
If the non confidence is a thought, then I will address the rationale and processes that culminated into that thinking. It might be unfulfilled goals, poor coping and management systems.
These 3 questions should be your circuit breaking questions to halt your slide into total confidence breakdown. If you are able to isolate each question (wiring) in its proper place, you are well equipped to address you confidence issues all year round.