If you want to ensure the lifestyle you want then you need confidence. There are no mystical processes yet it is clearly misunderstood by most people. This article is a from years of experience helping people find their own confidence.

When clients came to me for confidence coaching and asked me how to build confidence I used to feel quite concerned. As a Personal Coach I was very clear what they wanted – but I also recognised that the concept of ‘confidence’ was intangible. It took years of helping and supporting people before I realised what this request was really about.

While sometimes these feelings are appropriate to a situation, there are times when they’re really not the kind of confidence required. For example, if a loved one needs emergency brain surgery and the surgeon who is going to perform it is bursting with energy and absolutely 100% confident, you might feel very unhappy about entrusting your loved-ones life to them if you then discovered they were only a junior doctor!

In this article I offer you an invitation to explore what being confident means to YOU.

Let me start with some simple questions:

– Are you confident about cleaning your teeth or do you need to use techniques to feel invincible before you’re prepared to pick up your toothbrush and toothpaste? I imagine you just go to the bathroom, brush your teeth and don’t give it a second thought! I think it’s probably safe to say that you’re confident you can clean your teeth.

– What about switching on the living room light, getting dressed in the morning, or driving yourself to work? I’m sure these are also things you know you can do and feel confident about aren’t you?

– I wonder if you’ve noticed the way people talk about confidence? What they may say is “I’m confident I can do this,” but the fact is that people talk far more about their lack of confidence! They will say things like “I don’t feel confident in job interviews” or “I wish I had more confidence to speak with people of the opposite sex” or “I don’t have the confidence to speak in public.” So now we’re getting closer to the reality of what confidence is, and what it’s not.

The things you know you can do (such as getting dressed) don’t have associated feelings. They’re things you just do. The feeling is there only when you lack confidence.

It’s the lack of confidence that we need to start dealing with – not confidence itself – and lack of confidence is little more than a way of saying we’re concerned or afraid. Just for a moment, think of something you feel unconfident about. Do you fear that you might not be able to do that thing? What you actually fear is what the outcome might be.

You’re maybe familiar with the principle that says that when you’ve finally defined what the problem is, you’re most of the way to solving it! People seeking confidence are seeking something that probably doesn’t exist. For most, the word confidence just means ‘lack of fear.’

Knowing this makes it much easier to deal with.

When I now work with people using confidence coaching, on their confidence-building I get them to identify the precise fears or concerns they have. With each individual client these will be different. Sometimes they’re imagined; sometimes they’re to do with lack knowledge; often it’s because they don’t have the skills to do certain things yet.

As an example, let’s say a client wishes to gain confidence in talking with the opposite sex. What’s likely to be going on inside their head when they first approach me is a combination of fear of rejection, fear of being laughed at, fear of failure etc.

Now if that same person had already enjoyed thousands of conversations with people of the opposite sex and so had the experience of being flexible and relaxed in conversations, how do you think they’d feel? Is it likely they’d have that confidence they’re looking for?

Now apply the same principle to things that you feel lacking in confidence about. Identify your own concerns and fears. Consider what skills or abilities, if you acquired them, would mean that most of these fears and concerns would disappear. If you had a great deal of experience in that situation, how would you feel?

It may be that the way for you to acquire the confidence you’re looking for is to identify ways to develop your skills to gain knowledge then to gain experience.