Do you have the true confidence you need for success? Self-confidence contributes a great deal to your level of success and is something that can be improved by working with a coach. However, you’ll need to develop authentic confidence and not merely buy into false confidence if you are really going to master it. Now I and other coaches ‘talk about faking it till you make it’ and whilst this is useful in the short term, you do need to do the work to embed a new level of true confidence or it becomes false confidence.
Many seemingly successful people lack understanding of what is authentic confidence vs. hubris. At work, some of us become skilled at projecting “executive presence” and self-assurance and there is nothing wrong with that. Our ability to influence others depends on coming across as authentic, secure, knowledgeable and expert. In our businesses and at work we walk around trying to convince others we’re confident, competent, and trustworthy.
Yet a large part of that is done in an effort to convince ourselves—to override that little voice inside that whispers “not good enough,” or “imposter,” or “maybe they won’t notice it’s not perfect.” Sometimes these voices have their origin in our pasts and often we will say things to ourselves that we would not say to someone else. In order to develop self-confidence, we need to sort out authentic self-beliefs from left-over childhood scripts and be aware of when we’re compensating by buying into our own press releases.
Self-doubt and lack of self-confidence is pervasive and universal yet few of us admit to our insecurities (unless to our coach in private). This type of self-doubt can play itself out as our inner critic, those mind monkeys that tell us that we are not going to succeed or are not good enough. Whilst it is not the only way that they come about these head tapes can often form in early childhood, during those formative first six years when we pick up messages from adults in our lives.
“Impatient parents, critical siblings, inept teachers all can turn the impressionable and moldable young child into someone lacking the basic tools for confidence. Yet this doesn’t condemn us. It just means we have to develop the required attributes for confidence as adults.”
Robert Kelsey, What’s Stopping You Being More Confident?
Even leaders and others who appear very confident aren’t immune and may be subject to imposter syndrome and false confidence. Frequently, they lack authentic self-confidence; instead, they cling to organisational power and other status symbols in an effort to prove their worth. In fact, many over-achievers are driven to suppress inner fears by outwardly proving to the world they are worthy. Over-confidence often stems from self-doubt and insecurities. It doesn’t make the lack of self-confidence go away. It is a fragile substitute that crumbles with criticism and mistakes.
Lack of self-confidence thrives on negative self-talk and messages that tell us we’re no good or not good enough. Such negative messages sabotage our best intentions when we give in to it. But then when we don’t give in to it, when we try to deny its existence, we end up over-confident, over-promising to others, and inauthentic. This isn’t a Catch-22. As experienced self-doubters, we get really good at covering up insecurities, but the smarter approach is to own them and work with them.
If this sounds like something you need to do, then use the contact form to let me know if I can help.
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