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Episode 123: Building Self-Belief

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Hello my friends! Welcome back to the show. Today I want to teach you something that will benefit every area and aspect of your life forever. My coaching practice is founded on learning a skillset that I call Quiet Confidence. It’s that inner peace and certainty that you know who you are and that you are infinitely capable. It’s being able to live the good life regardless of what your current circumstances are – and that’s one huge area where my philosophy of confidence differs from that of the worlds.

Most people think about confidence as being synonymous with motivation and talent and because of that many people seek to find confidence IN things: in their achievements, accolades, status, wealth, appearance, etc and why so many people struggle to actually feel confident because it’s never the thing that makes you confident. It’s really a let down when you do reach that goal or that benchmark and sadly you’re still struggling with insecurity and doubt. But when you learn how to develop quiet confidence which is synonymous with faith, with security, and with certainty then the outside things don’t have any bearing on your emotional foundation.

It’s an inner peace and security that then drives you to keep taking steps and moving forward, to keep trying new things and allowing yourself to keep learning without a time frame. I say that because most people give themselves permission to be a beginner but then after a self-proclaimed time stamp they then shame themselves because they haven’t made it yet, they don’t have the results they think they need to be happy so then they make it mean terrible things about themselves and it’s just not fun and it’s damaging both in the short term and long term.

So my wish, my hopes, my aspirations for each of you is to learn how to develop quiet confidence and if you’re new I call it quiet confidence because insecurities are loud. Confidence is silent. And what that means is that we are hardwired to see the world through our own perceptions and not only that but we see it through our insecurities. In psychology it’s called the negativity bias which means that you’re more prone or biased towards any potential negatives – but the negatives are subjective and largely constructed by your thoughts, your fears, hence, your insecurities.

You know when someone is talking to you and you start to create this story line in your head that they’re really being passive aggressive? So you start reading between the lines and interpreting what you think they meant and are meaning, right? I’ll give you an example – I remember this one time I was talking with my husband and I had been feeling frustrated with this certain person and just that particular situation and I say talking but I was venting/processing to him and so later that day I get a text from him with a link to a conference talk from Jeffery R. Holland. No message with it or why he sent it just the link. So I clicked on it and it’s a talk all about forgiveness.

Now, you can Imagine where my brain went. Where my brain immediately went, right? My brain – my insecurities went straight to, “He’s judging me. He’s telling me I need to be more forgiving and I should’t think about this person that way.” Then immediately because our brains fire off thoughts at lightspeed – it went to defensiveness – “I should be able to talk to my husband. I’m allowed to be human.” Right? 

It’s so easy to dive into these stories, to fill in the blanks with our own thoughts and any other day I would have had different thoughts, right? But because of where I was at that day, because of my thoughts that morning and what I shared – because I didn’t like the way that I was feeling my insecurities headed up that storyline. 

And those insecurities are loud!

And because I know my brain and what our brains like to do – I decided that I didn’t want to believe that story about my husband. So I just questioned it instead. I texted back, “I love Holland – thank you for sharing that. What thoughts were you thinking when you sent that to me?”

And he replied that he was reading a book, The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister and that talk was referenced so he went down this rabbit hole and thought, “Hannah would really like this. I want to send it to her”

Which was worlds apart from where my brain wanted to take me, right?

My insecurities wanted to run with a story that would only serve to disconnect and divide but when step back and allow quiet confidence to step in – which includes questioning and being open to possibility then it allowed us to connect and to come closer.

We all have our own experiences with this. We all fill in the blanks and attach meaning to what others say or don’t say and how they’re showing up or not showing up and because we live in this world full of humans we want for our own sake and as a kindness to them to work on our own self-belief and self-confidence.

And to do this we need to learn how to build up our self-belief muscle, so to speak. We’ve grown up to be dependent on others giving us our confidence. It’s when others tell you you’re talented in certain areas that we believe we are. It’s when others pay us or hire us that we believe that what we have to offer is worthwhile or valuable. It’s when we’re told that we did a good job or that you’re really good at that that we can accept that we are.

But here’s what’s really fascinating about that. We think it’s because of others. They see, they comment, they notice, they believe but it’s not. It’s only because you gave yourself permission to believe them. You think, well if they say that and because others have said the same thing, well then, it must be true. I must be good in that area. But then this becomes a problem when we don’t hear constant praise or we don’t have the job offerings or people wanting to work with us or pay us that our self-belief starts to waiver.

And I want to be really clear about this – it was never the outside thing. It was never their praise, their words, their belief that made you feel confident. It was that you finally gave yourself permission to believe that thought about you. You know this is true because there’s been times in your life where someone has complimented you and you chose NOT to believe them, right?

I remember years ago – like, when I was in High School and I was asked to sing at this event and I just did a terrible job. I was so nervous and just a wreck and people came up to me afterwards and said kind things but I wasn’t having it. In my mind I was like, they’re just being nice. They don’t really mean that. They’re pitying me, right?

Insecurities 

So they can say all the most wonderful things and you can choose not to believe them – sometimes we do that. But if this is true then the opposite is true as well – they can say nothing or words contrary or even just downright rude to you about you and you can choose to believe that you are worthy, whole, talented, good, and special. And it’s all because how you feel is never contingent upon outside sources and always because of your thoughts, your beliefs, and what you’re choosing to make the circumstances mean about you.

Self-confidence is like a muscle and like our physical muscles – if we don’t use them constantly they get soft, weak, and atrophy. Did you know that if something happened and you needed to be on bed rest for just 2 weeks your muscles would atrophy to the point where it would require physical training.

Just 2 weeks and those muscles that carried you to your various destinations would grow weak and frail to the point where you would need training to be able to use them again.

That’s crazy fast! Self-confidence is like a muscle where it needs constant exercise and attention. It doesn’t require much though and that’s the really exciting aspect – it’s a little drip building up over time so your cup doesn’t ever feel empty. 

One way to build our self-belief muscle is be aware of what you’re thinking. Just like that example that I shared earlier that awareness saved me a lot of thought drama and potential contention. Because I was aware of my thoughts and how they were most likely tainting the story in an unfavorable light – for both of us I could work with that and instead of going straight to a condemning story I could be curious and be open to questions and his perspective.

Just like with our bodies awareness plays a pivotal role in being able to strengthen it. When we are aware that sitting for hours is weakening our muscles we can then do something about it. We can stand, walk around a bit, use our muscles because each time we do they get a bit stronger. Then when we want to get really in shape we might try new and different methods of targeting certain areas and looking at different fitness programs to widen our perspective and offer options, right?

Similarly with our self-belief muscles there are things we can do to strength our confidence in ourselves. And I love this practice that I’m about to share with you because it’s so full of light and love and it’ll be something you cherish forever.

I invite you to grab a notebook or journal or even just an app on your phone and be really intentional to write down every kind, nice, complementary thought or words said to you and about you or that you have thought about yourself  – especially those!  And I mean about everything – that dinner you prepared, that contribution to a conversation, a kindness you offered someone and the thanks they gave in return – write down everything. This includes music, art, anything. Any kindness, anything positive, anything uplifting or generous. You can print off the email, screenshot and take a picture of the text thread, copy the card and paste them into this book and keep them all in this special notebook.

Then daily pull it out and read it. Every word. You won’t feel like doing it everyday. So read those words – read them before you go to work, read them before you interact with the fellow humans, before that family dinner, or seeing that person. Read them before you have to go and do anything. 

And as much as you can, read them out loud. Sit in your car and just talk out loud. 

It’s like doing reps and building muscle. The more you do it the more solid these beliefs are in your brain and the easier to keep moving forward.

Our brains daily want to tell us that we don’t know what we’re doing. It wants to tell us that we’re different, people don’t really like us, we can’t have what we really want, or be who we want to be, it’s too late for us, we’re too something – too old, too young, too inexperienced, too whatever so having tangible proof, evidence, something in your hand that you can remind yourself that no…actually I’m a person of impact – that is going to be life saving, life changing, and transformative for you.

In our moments of doubt it’s too hard to remember or to be in a space where we think kindly about ourselves. We can’t. Our brain can’t access that part of us so doing this work daily, listening, writing it down, reading it aloud builds your self-belief muscle so when you need it, that strength is there.

We grow in confidence when we know who we are – our identity and the story we tell about ourselves. So the more you practice thoughts they eventually become beliefs which become your foundation and your subconscious thoughts – which also means that down the road your quiet confidence will be the one speaking and leading instead of your insecurities trying to take the wheel. We want these thoughts, these empowering beliefs to be our default and our automatic auto-pilot – not the fears or insecure thoughts we’ve been carrying since grade school.

We need to build a case that works for us and not against us. So grab a notebook and make time daily to write, glue, copy and paste all those wonderful things about you – all the ways you are valuable, worthy, capable, kind, loved and just pay attention to the huge impact will have on your everyday life.

Okay, catalysts! Have a great week and I’ll talk to you next time!

 

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