How to Identify Your Confidence Blocks

How to Identify Your Confidence Blocks

Confidence is a complex topic with a lot of different elements to unpack. What we know to be true is that everyone suffers from a lack of confidence from time to time, even the most well established, poised, articulate and seemingly self-assured people in the world. And that’s because confidence isn’t static, it’s dynamic. You might be completely confident in many different areas of your life, but there’s one particular scenario that sends you into a spiral of self-doubt. Or you might feel confident about a situation one day, only to find that the next day you’re not so sure of yourself.

Confidence is also relational, meaning that your level of confidence can shift significantly depending on who is in the room or participating in the conversation. This happens in both positive and negative ways. I’m sure you can bring to mind the people in your life who you trust wholeheartedly, who know you, want the best for you, and love playing the role of cheerleader in your life. If you recall times that you spend with these people, it’s likely you feel completely confident when you’re around them. And then there’s the other end of the spectrum. The people who are critical of you, who you feel judged by, or who for some reason you feel a bit nervous around. It could simply be people that you don’t know, or people who are quite different to you. It’s really interesting to start to take a deep look at the way that your confidence shifts in relation to the people you’re with.

Many of the women in our Women Rising program have powerful insights when they do this self-reflection on their confidence triggers in Module 2 of the program. We often hear comments like…

“I feel mostly confident at work, but I notice I’m triggered when I’m in a meeting or a room with people who are more knowledgeable than me”

Or “I’m fine until I start talking to senior executives and then I feel like I’m rambling and not getting my point across”.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. These stories simply illustrate how confidence levels can shift from day to day and moment to moment.

The other interesting thing about confidence is that often the external perception of our confidence, doesn’t match our inner feelings. We also hear comments from women who say…

“My colleagues and friends would describe me as confident and tell me they wish they had my confidence, but I don’t always feel it or know what they’re talking about. The truth is, I often doubt myself..”

As you can see, confidence can be tricky. However, the more you develop your self-awareness in this area, the faster you’ll be able to find the tools and strategies that work for you and that allow you to put your best foot forward on any given day.

HERE ARE SOME KEY QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON TO HELP YOU IDENTIFY YOUR CONFIDENCE BLOCKS:

1. When are the times that you feel less than confident? What is happening during these times and how do you feel?
2. Are there particular triggers that impact your confidence? This could be people, places, your environment, specific scenarios, lack of preparation etc.
3. What are the stories that you tell yourself when you’re feeling less than confident? What common phrases does your inner critic use?
4. How do your stories undermine you or stop you from taking action?

Once you’re clear on the things that impact your confidence in a negative way, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the things that boost your confidence:

1. When are the times that you feel confident? What do you notice is different or what is happening during these times?
2. Is there anything you’ve noticed that boosts your confidence? This could be people, places, your environment, music, clothing, specific scenarios etc.
3. Who in your support system sees you as the best version of yourself? How can you utilise these people as a resource when you need a confidence boost?
4. Do you know what your strengths are? Do you get a chance to use them every day?

HERE ARE SOME ARTICLES WE'VE WRITTEN THAT CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR CONFIDENCE:

  1. 21 tested ways to build confidence at work
  2. Need a real confidence boost? Read this
  3. How strengths fuel your confidence

And if you want to dive deeper into this work and really explore how you can build radical confidence, we invite you to learn more about the Women Rising program.

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