Episode 72: When Your Confidence Takes a Hit

 In Blog

It can feel easy to feel confident when life is smooth and everything seems to be going right but what about the times when life isn’t easy and things aren’t going the way we think they should? Everyone has had times in their lives when it seems like their confidence takes a hit and it’s a tough road to try and build that back up. In today’s episode I’ll walk you through the doubt and out of the darkness so you can feel the warmth of true confidence again.

Hey and welcome back to the podcast! We’re getting closer to Christmas and the holidays but in the Catalyst Membership we’re all POWER MONTH and gearing up for an amazingly confident 2021. We’ve broken the class up into four sections so we can take bite size amounts and make them really doable to exciting and this week has just been so fun, so powerful, and so abundant. I love everything we create inside the membership. It’s entirely an amazing space that will help you live and benefit from a confident life. So good!

Before we dive in I want to dive into our community spotlight and today’s is from Cocacole77 who writes: Wow! Eye Opening!  – “These podcasts are so eye opening and profound. Listen to these if you are happy, sad, hard on yourself, or stuck! You won’t regret it!”

Thank you Cocacole77! You’re fantastic and that’s exactly what this show is all about – helping you remove the limitations and to move forward into a confident space. I appreciate your kind review! Thank you!!! 

So lovely friends, if you haven’t left a review yet, why not? I just want to tell you how much I appreciate them and read every single one of them. I’m humbled by your kindness and thoughtfulness. So please go leave a review and maybe you’ll be spotlighted too! 

Okay, let’s dig in to today’s podcast. It’s a good one!

I think we’ve all had moments or seasons even where we feel really confident. Things just seem to be clicking, people are noticing and making comments and giving compliments, and overall things are just going well for us and so it’s easy to feel confident in these times. But what about the times when things aren’t going right?

People aren’t noticing, commenting, complimenting? What about the times when it’s not easy and in fact, it’s really, really hard?

And this is true for all of you – whether it’s in your work life and you’ve been working so hard to progress and make yourself invaluable and your boss, company, doesn’t seem to notice or care

Or maybe with your abilities and talents – like that time when I was a rockstar vegan baker and everything I made was amazing and then I volunteered to bring the birthday cake to my family who is highly skeptical of my dietary choices and of course it’s a huge flop and so are the several that came after so you start questioning if those first few were the flukes and this is the real you. You can’t bake. That was me btw.

Or if you’re a single or a midsingle and struggling in your dating life – you’ve been dating and trying and putting yourself out there and you just can’t seem to find the right one or you’ve been rejected again and again so you start doubting yourself and your confidence takes a huge hit.

Wherever you’re at this is for you. You WILL experience times when your confidence is shaken and you start to doubt yourself and you’re at this point where you find yourself questioning, What’s the point? Now what?

And what’s fascinating is that THESE are the times you need confidence THE MOST. It’s because you’re lacking that confidence – aka certainty that you start to let in holes of doubt and discouragement and the longer you allow yourself to sit in that space the bigger those holes are going to get and let me tell you, it’s not pretty. It feels worse than worse and it’s difficult to find your footing again.

I think I’ve mentioned this before but it’s one of my favorite examples of a confidence crisis. I love music, especially classical. Rachmaninoff is my favorite composer – although it’s hard to have a favorite, right? Any opportunity we had to hear his compositions live we’d take it. And yes, I am sorely missing the arts right now. It was a staple Christmas gift too – a concert ticket and an invitation to go on a fun, elegant outing. But 2020 calls for creativity so I’ll continue to support the arts during this time. 

Okay, that was a tangent. Back to Rachmaninoff. When he composed and performed his first symphony no.1 in D minor he suffered a major psychological collapse. The performance was a complete disaster. I quote, “The symphony was insufficiently rehearsed, the orchestra ragged, the basic stability in tempos was lacking, many errors in the orchestral parts were uncorrected; but the chief thing that ruined the work was the lifeless, superficial, bland performance, with no flashes of animation, enthusiasm or brilliance of orchestral sound.”

They believe that the conductor was under the influence at the time, the critics just ripped it apart. There was a lot going on and his confidence took a major hit. Rachmaninoff said, ”My confidence in myself had received a sudden blow. Agonizing hours spent in doubt and hard thinking had brought me to the conclusion that I ought to give up”

And he did for 2 years. He didn’t compose at all. 

How many times have you experienced this same sequence? Maybe not for that duration but notice what happens when your confidence takes a hit.

You doubt yourself. You get discouraged and then you stop.

You don’t move forward. You don’t feel like even getting up and moving. You’re just in this darkness blanketed with despair. 

And two things of note right here:

1.) You stop not because of the circumstances but because you started DOUBTING

2.) You’re not alone, we just feel alone because we think it’s taboo to talk about and I don’t say that to minimize what you’re experiencing or what you have experienced. I’m telling you this because in the darkness when we feel alone knowing that others have felt the same way and overcame it can be a much needed glimmer of hope and light.

So what do you do when these times come or if you’re in the midst of it right now?

I want you to invite a broader perspective into your thinking. It’s your thinking that created this in the first place. It’s always our thinking and I know you know this but it’s all too easy to forget and want to blame it on our circumstances. But if your thinking created it then our thinking will uncreate it too.

We all know that our lives are supposed to be rocky. If you asked anyone they’d all collectively agree that life isn’t supposed to be all ease and comfortable footing. They’d all say that there are ups and downs and they’d all believe that when the downs come that they’ll be strong enough to keep moving forward. But something happens when the downs come, we forget all about this and instead we start questioning why this is happening, what’s wrong with me?, and what’s the point of it all? Which really just masks what we’re really thinking, “I should just give up”

This is all because we haven’t fully discovered our real identity or practiced believing who we really are. Moses is such a beautiful example of this. Remember that he doubted himself and said, “I am not eloquent…I am slow of speech”  – like, I can’t do this. Don’t make me a leader, a prophet! But as he spends time learning and understanding who he is he’s able to go face to face with the adversary and tell him, “Who art thou? For behold I am a son of God”

It’s in learning and devoting intentional time to understanding who we really are and what our purpose is that we won’t be shaken into the darkness and into despair. It’s in learning your identity that you can move from obstacle to obstacle without making it mean anything negative about you. 

That is true power and confidence!

Remember and I say this in every episode because it’s true – confidence is Certainty. The only reason you’re doubting is because you’re not sure of yourself. Rachmaninoff didn’t know if he was a good composer anymore of if his previous concert was just a fluke – and that was a man who devoted his entire life to that art.

Even if you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in your chosen area doubt will always knock at your door. We somehow think that after a certain point we’re going to just be confident and that we’ll never doubt again but even big stars, big actors, singers no matter the success they’ve had they’re human and doubt comes knocking. 

And it’s not a problem that it comes. That’s a big part of out mortal experience. It’s a huge part of your brain’s job too. It’s looking out for you, scanning for all potential threats and danger but what you do with it, that’s the key.

So just remember, it’s your story that created this for you and your story will uncreate it for you. The more time you spend thinking about what happened, or all the what if’s, or if only’s the more doubt you’re going to create and the more your brain will just keep digging in an area that will never serve you.

Doubting yourself and your abilities will never serve you. It will never create the results you want. It will never feel the way you want it to. It will never give you what you want. So even though it will always knock at your door and offer it’s services it’s never a good idea.

Have you guys seen the hot pocket comedy act by Jim Gaffigan? We laugh and tease about it sometimes  all because of the line where he says, “There’s never been a time that you eat one and think, ‘I’m glad I ate that’”. It might seem appealing especially if you’re really hungry. It might be a quick fix and satisfy that instant gratification but it’s never a good idea.

It’s the same with doubt. Even though it sounds appealing, even though you’re like, “okay maybe this time…” it never creates the result you want. Never.

The good news is, you have a choice. And listen, if you take care of your mental health on a regular basis and feed it thoughts that strengthen, uplift, and bring you closer to who you really are then you’ll never be figuratively hungry enough to fall for doubt. You’ll have the strength and capacity like Moses to acknowledge the doubt knocking and decide instead, “who art thou? For behold I am a child of God”

David in the Bible – little David and Goliath said, “Thou comes to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.” And I love that because those weapons, that armor are like nothing to him. He’s like, “that’s cute” and he can think that because he knows who he is and who’s on his side.

This is available to you. We have obstacles to strengthen us. It’s only in the resistance that we grow. I love the comparison of a house plant vs a redwood. The houseplant can’t weather any kind of outside climate. It’s not strong enough. It hasn’t grown up with trials, with resistance, and a variety of climates. So it stays small. But the redwood grows to majestic heights because of the obstacles. Because of the rain, wind, and hail storms. Because of the obstacle it deepened it’s roots so it could withstand the weather.

When trials come our way are we the houseplant or are we the redwood? Do you want to run away from resistance or weather it?

We have a choice to believe that something has gone wrong, that something is wrong with you maybe or you can believe that this is here to strengthen me, to give me an opportunity to deepen my roots and to become refined in the process?

It doesn’t mean it’s fun. Rejection isn’t fun. In fact, I have another podcast coming out for you specifically on rejection again because it’s such a biggie but it can be not fun and still okay. I don’t exercise because it’s fun – don’t get me wrong. I enjoy exercising. But it doesn’t feel good in the moment. It feels hard in the moment at least at first until I get into a rhythm and flow. But I don’t do it because it feels good. I don’t push myself because it’s easy. I do it because I want to be stronger. I want to see what I’m capable of. I want to grow to heights that I can scarcely imagine. I do it because I want to be a redwood – even if the houseplant sounds tempting sometimes.

You always have a choice. It’s never the circumstances that thwart you. It’s the story you make up about your circumstance that create the resistance and difficulties.

We think it’s the circumstances. We sure like to blame the circumstances but the only that created the drama is the story you told yourself about it.

We tell ourselves the most terrible things like, 

What do you think you’re doing?

You’re not good enough

No one will like you

No will love you

You’ll never make it, you’ll never be that, look like that

You’re not smart enough

You can’t do that

You should just stop 

Give up

No one wants what you have to offer

You’re nothing 

And it’s crazy because we believe it. We’re like, “yeah…you’re right. I’m not enough” and then your brain that’s so quick to respond to our thinking goes to work finding evidence to prove our story true. It’ll bring up things in your past and offer you several times this happened and how this is true so it feels true. It makes it more believable. 

But we forget that it’s also bypassing all the things that did go right, all the examples of times it did work, and it makes the possibility of hope seem small and unattainable.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you tell yourself you can’t do it – it makes it true. When you tell yourself you should just give up – that’s what we tend to do.

So when my confidence takes a hit I know how critical it is to not be tempted by the hot pocket of doubt. I know I will never be glad I ate that. Instead put yourself on a mental math diet.

That means constraining yourself to only think about the absolute facts. No spicy sides or interpretations. Just plain, basic, seemingly boring facts.

It’s like choosing the salad over the hot pocket. The salad has substance and will benefit you and leave you able to progress and feel great later whereas the hot pocket, well…not so much, right? Side note: I feel like I have to tell you – I have nothing against hot pockets – I don’t know if I’ve ever really eaten one but just adding to the comedy skit. 

So facts. Focusing on the facts changes your story – it changes the narrative in your brain and allows you to move forward and progress without the heavy weight of drama and doubt.

What are the facts? What’s really going on? A good rule of thumb is knowing you’ve veered off path if you’re using lots of adjectives. Those are generally subjective and interpretive so back to the facts. And you’re not confined to only the facts forever – just long enough to let the urge to doubt and despair pass. And it will pass. I promise you.

And then you can move forward and continue to progress.

It gets you to that clean space of, okay…that happened, now what?

Remember, confidence is knowing, embracing, and trusting.

It’s not kicking you when you’re down. It’s learning to have your own back. I start with making a bullet point list in my head of the facts. My sentences start out with, “I know…”

I know that my brain want to offer me this thought.

I know that this person said, xyz

I know that…

And just keep going through that list – notice – no adjectives – no story- just plain ‘ol mental math no drama

Then once you’ve shined a light on all the corners and dark crevices you can move into embracing yourself which is fortifying your sense of self-worth. It’s adding the much needed understanding and giving yourself a beautiful hug – figuratively.

I always start this with, “Of course…”

Of course my brain thinks that – it’s my brain’s job to offer it to me – I’m human

Of course that happened

And just keep going with that validation and understanding. It really does a world of good in bolstering your strength and resilience.

Then from this standpoint you can move into the how – but from a place of trust in yourself. We too often try to go right here first but we’re so full of doubt the thought of moving forward is terrifying and your brain shoots it down so fast – like, are you kidding?! We do not want to do that again, what are you thinking???

So you need to come from the two previous steps – knowing, and embracing and then you’ve created a foundation – you know your identity and that your worth is in tact. So now it’s time to ask the two golden questions to give yourself what you need.

Think about it, when your confidence takes a hit what you really want is to know that you’re okay, to know that you will be okay, and that you will make it but we’re so focused on the thing, the person, the job, the scale that we forget what we really need.

So ask yourself, what do I think I want?

And then, how do I think I’d feel if I had that?

I think a lot of you hear that and think, yeah, yeah…that’s nice…and then gloss over it but I’m telling you – this is real deal. We’re always chasing after feelings so what you really, really want isn’t going to be the thing – it’s going to be the feeling – we want to feel confident. Because once you have that feeling you can go and do and create and have the first thing – but we’ll never try, we’ll never take that action without the feeling in the first place. 

We stop because we feel doubtful.

We stop because we feel insecure. 

We stop because we feel discouraged.

We create, we go and do because we’re confident. 

We go and do because we feel courageous.

We go and do because we’re hopeful and believing.

We need the feeling first and then we can go and do.

So don’t bypass the golden questions – they’re golden for a reason. Give yourself the feeling first and then watch out as you blow your own mind. Your story is optional – if it’s not serving you you need to change the narrative. You need a game plan to get back to the light.

That game plan is the confidence model. It’s not something that happens by chance or to the lucky few. It’s work. It’s mental work and it’s laid out for you. 

Listen, you’re going to expend your mental energy one way or the other. You can expend it in doubt and discouragement which will leave you empty and most likely in a puddle of tears on the floor – which sounds so tempting 

OR you can expend your energy following the confidence model – what do I know? Where’s the fear? Stick to the mental math. Then Embrace – Of course that happened…Of course my brain thinks that…

Then the golden questions and creating trust.

It’s a major game changer. Doubt will always be a part of our lives while we’re in mortality but it doesn’t have to thwart you or knock you down.

I love in the New Testament the example that the Savior gives. You’ll remember this. When the Savior is sleeping on the ship and the disciples think they’re going to drown so they wake him up and they’re like, “carest thou not that we perish?” And he responds with a question, This is Mark 4:40 “and he said unto them, Why are ye so afearful? how is it that ye have no bfaith?”

Notice the SO in there. S. Michael Wilcox taught that the SO is really significant. It’s like the Savior knows there’s going to be SOME fear, some doubt because that’s part of mortality but why SO fearful?

Why are you indulging in that narrative? In those thoughts? In the belief? He asks next, “how is it that ye have no faith?” Faith is a sister word to confidence. It’s believing IN – certain THAT. 

It’s almost like He’s saying, Knowing that you have the choice – why are you choosing to believe that? Out of all the things in the world to eat, why are you going with the hot pocket that will make you feel terrible later?

You hold all the power. You are the master storyteller. You create how you feel so when your confidence is shaken it’s not because of what happened, it’s because of your narrative which is great news because you can use your agency to indulge or to constrain, to chose which thought you’re going to consistently believe.

You get to chose to argue for you limitations or to question them. I love looking to people that have overcome. It’s really powerful to see what’s possible and to choose to believe that if they can do it, maybe, just maybe it’s possible that I can too.

It’s not so much that I believe that yet but rather that I can borrow beliefs from others until I can formulate my own. 

I think about Rachmaninoff and when the came back he came back with a bang. He composed his 2nd and 3rd piano concertos which are quite easily his major claims to fame. The 2nd is by far my absolute favorite of all classical music. I can hear – at least I choose to hear and believe how moving the piece is. It’s three movements. The first starts off with this intensity that just immediate draws you in and the second movement is so transcendent and loving – it like an outpouring of gratitude and abundance and then third is triumphant and powerful. I choose to believe it’s his transformation put to music and maybe that’s why I love it so much. 

You don’t have to look far to find people that have overcome and we can borrow their wings until ours are strong enough to fly again. If you googled it – famous failures and just spent a few minutes reading those you’ll be amazed at what a healing balm it is. We get so wrapped up in our own stories of despair that we forget that it’s possible to overcome. It’s possible to come back with power and to create your masterpiece.

You can see how their narrative changed and you can see how that changed how they felt and because they felt differently they tried something new and then we can think, if they can do it, maybe I can to. Then your brain will do something incredible useful and look for evidence that maybe you can move forward. Maybe there is something you haven’t tried, somewhere you haven’t looked.

Remember this, whatever you choose to consistently focus on is what your brain will offer you. You’ll get stronger and faster at believing it. Your brain will create shortcuts to create that for you. So if you’re consistently believing that people are rejecting you, that’s what will grow for you. 

If you choose to believe that it’s possible for me, then that’s what your brain will find evidence for. That’s what you’ll strengthen, that’s what you’ll get faster at believing.

Everyone will have times in their lives when their confidence takes a hit – it’s just part of the journey and chances are it’ll happen often – to varying degrees BUT…it doesn’t have to debilitate you or takes years to recover from. You have a choice.

Be like David, “You (brain) come at me with your doubts and evidence from the past but I come with the potential and possibility of my future which is of infinite capacity”

You have more power than you realize. You are light and love and goodness. You have so much to offer. You are more than enough. Your work is just getting started. 

Okay, all…that’s it for this week! Don’t forget to leave a review please and I’ll talk to you next week! Bye all!

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