Self-Confidence Traps and How to Overcome

By Michelle Cole

Many of us have developed a habit that we are completely unaware of – Conditional Confidence.  Because of a lack in self-esteem, we find ourselves only being confident in familiar situations.  Instead of learning to develop self-esteem from the inside out, we’ve taught ourselves to gain confidence from sources outside of ourselves.  So we then only put ourselves in situations in which we know we can succeed because we’ve been there before.  Sound familiar?

​Well, this need not be so!  When you learn how to believe in yourself and in your power to make things happen, it enables you to step through fear and uncertainty and reach your full potential.

So how do we leap from the known to the unknown?  First we have to identify the traps we’ve become prey to & then​ use mindset skills to move past them.

​There are three traps that keep us from developing sustaining self-confidence:

1. Fear of the Unknown
We all get nervous when we do something for the first time and it’s supposed to feel unsettling!  Not because you will fail but because you haven’t developed neural pathways yet.  Your brain is like a map and the neural pathways are like the roads.  When you are trying something for the first time, a “road” hasn’t been built yet but the more you try it, then the “road” gets built and each time it gets easier!

So how do we settle our nerves before that neural pathway has been made?  We can use visualization.  Visualization is when we imagine ourselves in the future having already achieved our goals.  You see, your mind does not know the difference between reality and imagination.  So when you visualize, you actually go ahead and start building that neural pathway!

2. Self-Doubt
When we play it safe because we are unsure of our abilities due to our lack of knowledge or experience, we limit ourselves from reaching our full potential. And each time we do this, we create more self-doubt.

We can overcome this habit with the use of affirmations.  Affirmations are statements you make to yourself that communicate positive messages about what you want.  So we shift our self-talk from “I Can’t” to “I Can!” and in the process, we build a trusty new neural pathway!

3. Failure or Disappointment
When we have failed at something or had a different outcome than we anticipated, we often make the decision not to try again so we’re not hurt again.  When we do this, we are allowing a failure or disappointment to define who you are but this label is not you.  It was just something that happened outside of you.  But when we learn how to separate ourselves from an experience, we no longer allow that experience to define us.

​One of my favorite techniques for overcoming failure or disappointment is Put It In A Box.  In this exercise, you literally do just that!  You right down the experience in a brief description and draw a box around it.  Then toss it to the side.  Next, describe out loud the facts of what happened – not your emotions.  Seek then to learn from it and often that means reaching out and asking for someone’s opinion or help.  Take action based upon what you’ve learned, make a plan to fix/solve/prevent it and as Elsa sings….Let It Go!

I hope this was of service to you!
Much love,

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