Unleash your confidence this July

Confidence isn’t something you have (or have not), it’s something you can create, cultivate and master. Increased self confidence can improve almost every element involved in a happy life. Here’s how.

This July, many of us turn a new leaf (or a page) and begin anew with a fresh start. With this in mind, and on the heels of a June where we broadened our horizons and challenged ourselves to try new situations and perspectives, it is a great time to unleash our inner confidence.

Confidence is a funny thing. When you have it, you don't think about it much, even maybe taking it for granted. When you don't have it, every situation reminds you that you could use some more. Luckily, confidence is something you can cultivate, learn and master—it is by no means a life-sentence.

This month, we want to show you that we each already possess all the skills and resources within ourselves to be confident. The key is learning to unleash inner confidence in any situation at all.

Revisiting and reconsidering our Key Questions

  • What is confidence to you? Is it a feeling? A mindset? An attitude?
  • In what situations or activities do you feel confident? Do you expect others to have the same competency as yourself in these activities?
  • In what situations or activities do you feel unconfident? Do you think others expect you to immediately attain mastery at these things?
  • Do the expectations you have for others match your expectations for yourself?
  • What's a skill or talent you have that you are proud of? Take a moment to acknowledge your efforts and ability. Honour the practice and time that went into honing this skill.

Why do so many struggle with confidence?

There was a time in your life when tying your shoelaces, riding a bike, or explaining a new concept would have been difficult and intimidating. But now, chances are we can do these things without a second thought. They simply feel natural to us.

When we lack confidence, our thoughts are instead consumed with what-ifs, apprehension and doubt that interfere with doing the thing itself. When we lack confidence, we fear that there is a disconnect between how reality appears and reality itself.

The funny thing is that this ability to envision alternative possibilities contributed to our evolutionary success as a species. In the past, the person who showed no fear at the cliff's edge or in the presence of predators would die. The person who exercised caution at the cliff's edge now has hundreds of grandchildren!

We've retained the physiological responses to perceived uncertainty and danger, while the threats we face now are significantly less life threatening. When you think about it this way, self doubt and anxiety are actually disproportionate responses to new (and often exciting) situations.

Luckily, since our thousands of years of hardcoded genetic evolution don't respond to simple requests to stop working, there are many techniques to help stop brain from accessing your fear response.

1. Leverage neuroplasticity to rewire your brain for confidence

Like a desire path that grows more obvious with use, the more you have a thought pattern, the more your brain gets used to that thought pattern. By now, because lack of confidence is so common, this could be your brain's default state. However, by literally saying aloud or writing down new, positive beliefs in your ability and self, you can make these new "paths" deeper and stronger. By saying aloud or writing these new beliefs down, we activate different parts of our brain and deepen the neural connections as compared to simply having a thought internally. Over time, we make these "confident" paths stronger, until they become the default.

2. Practice envisioning positive outcomes before a new situation

Many of us have brief "visions" when we think of new situations. Whether it's a new date, party or presentation, we often envision something going wrong, or the outcome being poor. For some, the mere possibility of a "non-perfect" outcome is enough to make us cancel or be unwilling to try. Instead, try envisioning the new situation with a positive outcome, right before the event itself. Entering with a positive mindset and expectation keeps us focused on the task at hand, rather than in our own heads. Practice envisioning the worst possible outcome to its logical conclusion -- sometimes we realize even our worst fear was not that bad to begin with. So there's no excuse not to try.

3. Forget about "perfect"

The truth is, there is only 1 path to perfect, and literally infinite other paths. We can't control other people's reactions or thoughts, so the chances of all the dominoes falling into place for the perfect outcome is unlikely. Why then should you leave your own progress and success in the hands of anyone else? Take charge and get started.

What helps you in moments of self-doubt and anxiety? Let us know via Instagram or Messenger. We love hearing from you!

01.07.21