Or lack of it?
“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started.“ Marcus Tullius Cicero
One major result of lack of self-confidence is that we are afraid to make choices. We may end up letting other people choose for us, to the point that our lives no longer feel like our own.
For some people, life’s events have eroded their natural self-confidence so that they have no faith in themselves for even minor decisions. Some of us are convinced that whatever we choose will be judged to be wrong. Some turn to others, who may not share their dreams or understand their potential, for answers. Or they may seek guidance from whomever or whatever they experience as being an authority – even horoscopes or other generalities. Others simply accept the status quo and make no attempt to better their lives. They see themselves as helpless. I would like to help them to see that they are not helpless, that they can make their own choices and, even more important, they can act on them!
We may lack self-confidence because we were told when we were young that we were not “smart.” Perhaps, older siblings, or even well-meaning parents, may give a child the feeling of not being as smart as other people. Clearly older people make better choices than a young child, but – sadly – this feeling of not knowing enough to make good choices can continue well into adulthood. Even a a confident adult can lose confidence in view of a major failure, or the presence of others who frequently humiliate or make them wrong in some way.
What to do?
In reality, how we lost the bubbling self-confidence that we probably had as a young child is much less important than what we are going to do about it NOW. So, what are we to do about our self-confidence? I have an ongoing system for working with clients who seek a focus in this area (although if I think they need counseling rather than coaching, I refer them). My process usually – every client is different – involves putting a major emphasis on the person’s strengths and achievements.
Both in coaching sessions and in “homework” I ask my clients to focus on strengths. We look at what they did do well – or have done well. We look at, ways in which they have been helpful to others. We look at what they are passionate about. No matter how large or small, I put particular emphasis on finding achievements or actions that they tend to overlook, which often involves reframing previous situations.
Perhaps their lives are currently a mess but we can still look at what they do well. Let’s document that and put together some kind of record, be it a self-confidence shelf, 3-ring binder or some other format that they choose. Of course, there is much more to it, but this is a beginning.
To talk with me about Self-Confidence coaching and how it relates to becoming a wise choice-maker, please go to my Contact page.