There are many confidence killers. These are just my 3 favourites. Any combination of inconsistent action, bad thoughts, negative talk, and feeling lousy about yourself and the world around you can kill your confidence.
1. All or nothing thinking
“I’m so tired. I don’t want to go to the gym this morning. I should really go but I won’t have time to get my full work out in so why bother.”
“If I can’t complete the report now, I might as well put it off until I have more time.”
“My husband forgot to kiss me before he left today. He must be having an affair.”
This mindset suggests that there’s no point in doing anything unless we are doing it 100%. It also suggests that if something isn’t working perfectly, it isn’t working at all. This mindset is a definite confidence killer. It completely goes against what we all know works and that’s the 80/20 rule. If we do the 20% that gives us the 80% of our best results, then we would have a lot more wins in life and hence a lot more confidence.
If we focus on the 80% of our relationship that is going right instead of the 20% that is going wrong, then we would be more confident in the love we are actually receiving from those around us. Building confidence means letting go of a black & white mentality.
2. Discounting/Self Ridicule
“I’m so bad with remembering names.”
“I’m geographically challenged.”
“I’m terrible with details.”
“Nah, I’m not very good.”
When we discount, we are eliminating any chance of developing ourselves or accepting our talents and at the same time killing our confidence. What would happen if instead of believing we are bad at remembering names we believed we were working on mastering names? Just the thought process of “working on something” suggests to us that we are getting better. And if we believed that we were developing a system for navigating easier rather than being stuck with the idea that we are forever lost. Can you see by just shifting the focus, the whole feeling shifts? It turns positive, future oriented and gives us a huge break from the self ridicule.
Another confidence killer is the belief of the “imposter syndrome.” This is another form of discounting. These people underplay their strengths and talents sometimes so they don’t sound arrogant. Over time though, it leads to them believing that they aren’t very good. They have the skill set and yet don’t believe it. For further thoughts on the Imposter Syndrome, see my video on Building Self Confidence with NLP.
“I wasn’t able to finish it because of the overseas conference call we had.”
“It’s not my fault we got in a fight. I wasn’t the one who forgot to pay the bill.”
“I’m late because of the traffic.”
Stating that someone else is ultimately responsible for our behaviour or choices is utterly ridiculous. No one controls us. Believing that someone else is in charge of how life happens to us allows us to play victim and that’s definitely a confidence killer. To build our confidence we need to admit and understand that we are the ones in control of our choices. Sometimes our choices are hard. Sometimes they are unpleasant. Ultimately though, they are OUR choices. No one can make you do or not do anything, unless of course they have a gun to your head. Some people like to think there is a gun to their head when it’s the boss or the family member or the government. But you can always choose to change your job, your relationships and where you live. You do actually have choices. They just aren’t the ones you want to do because they would be too hard. Have the confidence to admit that you have the choice and when you do, you will be free from other people’s control.
Building confidence is a combination of the things you do, the way you think and speak and how you feel about stuff. Build your confidence consistently by remembering the 80/20 rules, have the mindset that you’re working on stuff and know that you are in control of your choices.