Hello, and welcome to another episode of Create Lead Live. I'm Emily Wilks. And I'm really grateful that you've been able to join me for today's session.
Today, I'm going to be talking all about how to have more confidence. And I want to chat to you about this, because it's probably one of the number one things that people say to me that they're looking for when they come to work with me. And I think it's something which we all know and recognise is something which can help us in our lives to feel more confident and to have more trust and faith in ourselves. It's something that we all value and look for.
But really, what does it mean to have more confidence?
I really want to, explore a different perspective on this, which that is that confidence isn't something that we learn or something that we develop through practice. It's not something that we've been taught to do, it's something that we actually have access to inherently, as part of being human, as part of our human spirit and our human connection to the universe. We actually have this inherent confidence within us.
One of the challenges that we face when it comes to confidence is our disconnection from it. It's there all the time, but sometimes we lose our connection to that confidence. And we start to believe that we're not confident, even though we have access to it within us all the time.
And I want to share an example of this. So just imagine you're experiencing something challenging or difficult, or something which is really bringing up some emotion for you and you share it with someone close to you - a loved one or someone that you trust, and they start telling you what you should be doing in the situation. They start telling you how they think you should handle it, or the kinds of strategies that you could use to manage it better or to move through whatever it is that's coming up for you.
How do you respond in that situation?
Usually what happens when someone tells us what we should be doing or how we could be approaching something, as an alternative to what we're doing, is we start to resist it. We start to put up barriers. We start to tell ourselves 'Hang on, this doesn't feel right', we start to reject it and defend ourselves or let the other person know that what they're suggesting, or the ways in which they're trying to help us and not necessarily going to work for us. Or we bite our tongue and we don't say it. We nod our head in agreement with the other person but all while inside ourselves, we're saying 'no, that doesn't feel like a good fit for me'.
And the reason for this is because we know inside ourselves what's best for us. We have an inherent guidance system, which helps us to know what we need to do and when. And sometimes when we feel disconnected from it, we start to have those low feelings, or we feel concerned, or worried or fearful about the future, or doubting ourselves.
And we can express those feelings to someone else, but as soon as they start telling us that they know best or that they think that they have the answers that we need, we put up walls, we put up barriers. Because when someone else tells you what to do, it disconnects you from your own inner connection, from your own inner guidance system. It disempowers us because what the other person is inadvertently saying is that they know what's best for us, instead of us knowing best for us.
This is one of the values of coaching, is helping us to kind of reconnect with our own inner guidance system and our own answers to our own challenges. Rather than feeling as though we're not doing something 'right' or we're going down the wrong path, it helps us to see what we have available to us already.
This is one of the reasons why confidence is such an important topic, because we will all want to be able to access it more readily and more often. And the processes that we often use to connect with that confidence can sometimes actually take us off track. They can lead us to feeling less confident. They can lead us to feeling more doubting within ourselves and with our within our own inner resources.
The reason that these approaches sometimes take us down the wrong path is because what we do (and what we've been taught by society) is actually to look outside ourselves for the answers. The number one thing we all do, when faced with a problem, or a challenge, or something which comes up is we Google it, or we go and we ask someone, or we look for some kind of resource outside of ourselves that will give us the solution to our problem.
And when we do this - not because this is the best path forward - we do it because we've been taught to do this. We do it because we're taught to reach outside ourselves for the answers. But we never find that kind of approach satisfying. We don't find it satisfying because it doesn't build our sense of self efficacy. We find what we're looking for, which is 'advice'. We find people that will happily give us advice and guidance on what we 'should' be doing or how we 'should' be approaching things. But this doesn't build our confidence. It doesn't give you necessarily the skills, or the ideas, or the insights, or wisdom that you need to be able to feel confident as you move forward.
Often, what it does is it leads you to feeling less confident because you feel like you're not doing the right thing. Or you think that by someone else's standards, that you're not necessarily moving forward in the acceptable way or the accepted way.
And so this tendency we have to look outside ourselves for the answers is actually a learned tendency. We learn it from our parents, as we grow up. We learn it from our school and the way that we're taught by society.
And the way that we approach things is always looking outside ourselves, to be 'judged' on how we're going on how things are actually working for us, and whether or not we need to tweak and change things, as judged by someone else's standards.
All of this does is serve to disconnect us from that inner wisdom and confidence within us. And so what I really want to suggest to you is that you already have this confidence within you. And that part of this process of feeling more confident, is really about reconnecting with that inner wisdom within you. And us reaching out less for reassurance and guidance outside ourselves, and actually tapping in to our own inner knowledge and wisdom.
So this is a powerful, a really powerful tool for you to have in your back pocket to always be thinking about - 'Am I turning outside myself here for guidance from outside from others from the external world?' Or 'Am I actually relying on myself here? Am I actually turning within and connecting with that wisdom and confidence within me, to help me to know what the next step is, or to help guide me in what the next step is?'
Now, that is not to say you don't, take guidance and wisdom from outside yourself. It's not about that - it's about starting within, it's about tuning within to figure out what it is that you're looking for, and what you're needing and then going outside.
Because what happens when we turn outside (without first turning within) is we find ourselves bombarded, we talk to every person and his dog about what we should be doing. We get 10 different versions of how we 'should' be approaching things, or how we 'could' be approaching things and we end up more confused. We end up more uncertain, we end up more doubting of ourselves.
And so turning within first, helps us to really refine what it is that's, troubling us, what we're looking for, how we want things to be, and then enables us to be more discerning about the kinds of information that we take in from the outside world.
So these are ideas, to help you really tune within yourself and connect with that wise place within yourself first, before you actually go outside looking for the answers.
One of the things that can happen, which can be really useful to think about, is the internal lessons or beliefs that we hold - that we've learned over the years - that actually prevent us from connecting with this part of ourselves.
So one of the beliefs that we hold that prevents us from connecting with our inner wisdom is a belief that when we're the 'problem', that there's something we're doing that's wrong, that we're messing something up, or that there's something missing from what we're doing, that's preventing us achieving the result or the outcome or the desire that we're looking for in the outside world.
And so this belief about our inner world being responsible for our outer world, or the our inner flaws, or faults or problems, or failings being responsible for what we're seeing - is we start to doubt that inner wisdom within us.
So we've got this belief that covers up our confidence.
So instead of us hearing that confidence voice, we hear that voice within us that says, 'You're messing this up, this isn't quite working, you're doing something wrong here, you need someone else to help you, you need someone else to guide you, because you're not doing it 'right', or you're not, solving this problem on your own. There's clearly something wrong here'.
And so what happens is this belief that we hold, disconnects us from that belief and trust in ourselves.
So instead of asking for ourselves for that inner guidance or believing that we can solve the problem, or we can find the solution, or we can be innovative and creative within ourselves - we start to discount that belief and that faith and trust in ourselves, and we start to grab for the beliefs which support the idea that we're the ones that are failing, or we're unable to solve our own problems.
It's really useful for us to come back to, 'What am I believing here which is preventing me connecting with that inner confidence?'
The other one, besides believing that we're failing, or we're doing something wrong, or we're 'not good enough, is this external belief of the world is 'failing me'. Or the world is, where the problem lies.
What we then do when we believe this, or we externalise our problems or our challenges, we push them outside ourselves, and we say - 'This has nothing to do with me'. And then we push away or try to push away those really uncomfortable feelings that we're having. We start to believe that we can't deal with the problems and challenges which are coming up in our lives. We don't want to deal with them.
We want to bury our head in the sand with this message that we're sending to ourselves. When we do this, when we push our problems and challenges away and try to bury our head in the sand, is we're telling ourselves, we don't have the resources to cope with what's happening. That it's better to not deal with it. It's better to turn away from it and pretend things are okay, or to just distract ourselves with something else.
And so inherently the message - again - is 'I don't have the resources within me to deal with this, I don't have the resources within me to cope, I don't have the resilience to this'.
We're, we're not necessarily consciously telling ourselves this. But when we bury our head in the sand, and we start pushing things away, we're telling ourselves, we can't cope with whatever comes, whatever happens, whatever flows into our lives.
And so really, confidence is not about feeling good all the time. And having things always work out.
Confidence is really about knowing that you can manage whatever happens, knowing that you have the inner resources and resilience to be able to ride the ride the ups and downs to ride the roller coaster of life. To be able to weather the storms, which come in. To be able to know that you can find your way through anything which comes your way.
This is this inherent confidence you have is actually about reconnecting with - 'You're here, you're you've weathered all kinds of ups and downs before, you've got through all kinds of challenges in your life before. And you've come out the other side' - okay, and often all the better for it - having grown as a person and having learned and gained some value, wisdom and knowledge from the experience.
This process of confidence is about reconnecting with that resilience and ability within you to kind of weather the storms, wherever they may be. Because you have the inherent abilities to be able to manage the emotions that go with that.
I'm going to share a little bit more about some ideas about how you can do this shortly, but the process is really about reconnecting with that inner resilience, that confidence that trust within you always coming back to that always supporting and strengthening that part of yourself through clearing away the stuff which is preventing you accessing it.
This confidence is there within you, it absolutely is there within you - but it just sometimes feels like it's not and it's purely because these beliefs that we hold about where the problem lies, who's responsible and all that sort of stuff, cuts us off from being able to access that inner wisdom and confidence within us.
So I want to give you an example of this which can be really helpful.
We live at the moment out on three acres of land and we have a bunch of magpies, which live out the front. (And I'm sure you can kind of resonate with this, because wherever you live in the world there, you know, we come across nature in all of its magic and beauty and wonder) One of the things that this little family of magpies, remind me of every single day, is that they don't overthink things. They don't overcomplicate things. They just go about their daily business. Every morning at the same time, they come out and they look for their worms, and they wander around together as a family, they stop and they have a drink from the birdbath. And they do their daily activities.
They don't spend their time worrying about what's going to happen, or whether there's going to be enough worms for them today or tomorrow, they don't worry about whether they're going to, cross the road at the wrong time and get hit by a car. They don't think about the kinds of things that we think about, they don't worry about the kinds of events that we worry about, or they don't think about the future. They live in the here and now, they live very present in the here and now. They live from their instincts, they trust their instincts, they do what they know how to do. And they, they kind of operate in the 'here and now' as if everything they need and want and could desire in their lives is available to them.
When they come across a problem or a challenge. Do they start over analysing it, stressing about it and worrying about it? No, they deal with it? Is it pleasant? Do they always come out on top? No, of course they don't. But they deal with it instinctively at the time that it happens. And they move through it. They, experience whatever it is and they get up again, dust themselves off and they go about their lives.
They don't spend time thinking, 'there's a 'right way' to do this or a wrong way to do this to approach this problem or challenge'. They just do what they know to do in that moment. They do their best, and they learn from the experience in a way that probably will help them if they encounter it again.
They're not necessarily thinking about it for days after afterwards - they might, have an emotional reaction in that situation, because they remember the event that happened - but they're not going to be thinking about it all day, every day and worrying about it or stressing about it and trying to re-build their confidence. Their confidence comes from their inner intuition. And the inner learning that they've done over the years of their life thus far.
They trust themselves, they lean into the moment, and they do what needs to be done, and they get on with it.
I really think there is a lot of value to be gained from looking at nature and the way that nature operates. We spend a lot of time as humans in our heads. We spend a lot of time worrying about things. We spend a lot of time blaming ourselves for what did or didn't happen, or what we did or didn't say, or how we should have said things or done things. We spend a lot of time holding ourselves back thinking that we need to get things 'right'.
The world of nature doesn't necessarily worry about those things. It acts and learns and then does better next time, and spends a lot less time kind of in their heads and over analysing things than what we as humans do.
This tendency that we have to do this to overanalyse and overthink things really disconnects us from the instinctual part of ourselves, from that inner wisdom and confidence that we have just by virtue of being human, by being part of nature connected to that universal wisdom.
Part of this process is about choosing, and deciding to, rely more on that inner innate intuition that we have, and relying less on our intellectual thought capacity to overthink things, problem solve and spend our time overanalysing.
Now, obviously, thinking and problem solving is of value to us. But it's the getting stuck there that's where the problem lies. When we start to get stuck there - we've become completely disconnected from what our heart is telling us, from what our gut is telling us, from what our instincts are telling us.
And so this process is really about letting go of some of that stuff, letting go of some of the clouds of that come into our mind or the beliefs and the thoughts and the expectations that we have of ourselves and starting to lean into - 'What am I called to do here? What is my instinctual reaction in this situation? What feels like the right path for me?' Without thinking about necessarily about how things have to turn out. 'What feels like the best solution in this problem? What am I really been drawn towards right here?'
And so this is something that's really useful to be thinking about is how do we ground ourselves in our intuition and our inner wisdom, and move ourselves out of our heads and into that intuition that we have available to us.
Why do we have problems with confidence?
It's because we are taught by others that there is a 'right way' to do things.
And we all believe this. We tend to have this black and white thinking, where we think that there's a 'right way' to do things. We think that we can stuff things up, we think we can make a mess of it, we think we can really make big mistakes.
Now, inevitably, there are things we can do that are better than others...
But there is no such thing as this is the 'right way' to do things there. There are degrees of better and worse ways of doing things. But there's no one right way of doing things. Your neighbour can do things in a totally different way than you and it's still 'right' - their version of 'right' is still 'right'. Just because it's different, doesn't mean it's wrong.
A part of this process is about really trusting ourselves, to give things a try, to be willing to make mistakes, to be willing to, trust and have faith in ourselves that we can make mistakes and will still be okay.
We'll still get through life, we'll learn from it, we'll gain some value from the mistakes we've made, we'll learn how to approach things in a different way next time - just trusting where you're at right now, that you're doing the best based on the knowledge and wisdom you have available to you right now. Next time, you'll do your best based on the knowledge and wisdom you have available to you right then.
We don't need to spend as much time kind of trying to get everything right, trying to create a life that is a 'mistake free'.
Really the beauty and wonder of life is in trying and giving things a go, in learning, experiencing life, in finding what works, what doesn't work and experiencing the full range of emotions that go with the roller coaster of life. Being willing to lean into these, being willing to trust ourselves to manage whatever feelings come up, to know that we have the inner resources and resilience to ride the waves, not just of the experiences we have, but of the emotions which had been triggered for us as well.
So I think this captures in a nutshell, the reason why I want to talk about this and why it is such an important topic for us. Having more confidence is really not about building that confidence or learning to have confidence. It's really about tapping into the confidence we already have.
Now I'm going to share four points here on 'how' you can do this - how you can really build this sense of connection to your own confidence that already exists within you.
1. The first one is practicing connecting with your inner wisdom, regularly, daily if you can. Spending time every single day, connecting with that inner wisdom within you and finding the tip tools and techniques which help you to do this.
I touched on some of these last week in our video and I often talk about these in our videos - the kinds of things that help you connect with your inner wisdom and confidence. Examples like journal writing, meditation, prayer, going for walks and all kinds of different activities.
Physical activity can be one that helps people connect with their inner wisdom and confidence. Often when you've been for a run or a walk or something outdoors. When you finish, you feel lighter, you feel some of the heaviness of life has lifted off you. And you start to be able to access that inner wisdom much more readily.
Things like listening to music, doing things that bring you joy, spending time with a friend that makes you laugh and have some fun and feel lighter as a result.
There's so many different options, but it's going to be unique to you - by trying and practicing doing this every day, practicing connecting with your inner wisdom and confidence.
It's not about making it hard work. It's about doing the things which lighten you and enable you to feel really good, feel really happy and joyful - that free, relaxed holiday feeling.
What you'll find is your inner wisdom will start to speak to you, you'll hear it (it's speaking to you all the time) but you'll actually start to listen to it. And you'll hear it much more loudly because all the chatter in your mind will have fallen away. You'll find that your mind will be more relaxed and at ease. You won't have as many thoughts going through your head and as much overwhelm going on within your mind. So practicing this every every day is really powerful.
2. Another technique or the second 'how to', which can be really helpful, is about practicing turning within instead of without when things become challenging.
It's really good to start with the awareness of this. Start noticing how you've what you want to respond when you feel like you're struggling, or when you feel like something's become challenging. What's your tendency?
Are you reaching outside yourself for the answers? Are you googling things? Are you asking other people what you should be doing? Are you debriefing, you know, things with other people all the time, lots of different people in order to get advice about what you should be doing?
Once you've got that awareness, then start to practice saying, 'Well, how can I use what I've been doing like this daily practice of connecting with my inner wisdom? How can I do this here in this situation? So not just doing it necessarily, in those times when I feel joyful? But how can I help myself to reconnect with that inner wisdom at times when I'm really struggling as well?'
'What can I do to help myself in those times of struggle, that will enable me to connect with that wisdom within me that confidence within me that exists already?
Really just recognising that you have, within you, everything you need. And also that turning within helps you to then be discerning about finding the right people or the right input, advice or guidance (when you do turn outside), rather than bombarding yourself with everyone in anyone's ideas.
3. The third 'how' is, writing down what's coming up for you when you're feeling confident, so that you can come back to these ideas anytime.
One of the things that I get my clients to do a lot (and it's just such a powerful technique) is about thinking about those times when you're really confident, leaning into them, really experiencing those feelings, allowing yourself to connect with what it is that helped you, to feel that what you've been doing that's helped you to feel confident, what you're telling yourself, what stories, beliefs and the messages are going through your mind that are supporting that confidence? What are the kinds of things that you're doing that are helping you to really stay connected to that confidence within you? Then write them down. Just write some dot points in the notes on your phone or in your journal - a list for yourself that you can come back to anytime in the future.
It's really about writing them down so you can tap into them at times when you're not feeling so confident. So you can look back and you can say;
💫 'What did I do that really helped me last time so that I can start to bring more of that into my life now into into this moment?
💫 What can I do that helps me get out of my head right now and into my intuition?
💫 How can I get back into that inner wisdom connection?
💫 How can I listen a bit more closely to my heart?
💫 How can I release the stuff that is disconnecting me from that inner wisdom and lighten the load a little bit? 💫 How can I feel more joyful here?
💫So my inner wisdom can speak to me more loudly so I can hear it?'
Just really thinking about, what are those things that I did that helped and drawing on them again.
You are the source of your inner wisdom. You've done it before, so you can do it again. So you can tap deeply into those resources that you already have, that you've drawn on before that you know you can draw on again, and just reminding yourself of those in those more challenging moments.
4. The final point is self compassion - practicing this self compassion during these times of difficult feelings.
So instead of pushing those feelings away, it's about trusting yourself, to sit with them. Trusting yourself to move through them. Trusting yourself to navigate whatever comes, being able to have that confidence and connection within you that you can weather, all kinds of emotions.
You can do it because you've done it before you know that you can do it. It's hard. Sometimes we have really overwhelming emotion. But one of the things that makes it harder to deal with is when we start to push it away, we start to tell ourselves, 'I 'shouldn't' be feeling this. I 'shouldn't' be feeling this way', or 'This is this is hurting me or hindering my progress'. Rather than actually embracing them and saying, 'What's my body telling me here? How can I sit with this and feel it? Where is it in my body? What is it actually? What's actually coming up for me here? What is this inner wisdom through my emotions trying to tell me?
It might be trying to tell you that you're off course and it's time to adjust and move back in a different direction.
And so these feelings far from being something which is actually hindering you or blocking you or preventing you living the life of you dreams, these feelings are helping you find your way. They're helping you to know when you've stepped over a boundary or when someone stepped over your boundary. These feelings actually tell you everything you need to know about whether or not the path that you're on feels good or not whether or not there's something that needs to be tweaked and changed and altered, so that you feel like you're on track.
These feelings within you that make you feel like you're disconnected from your confidence, ARE actually your confidence speaking to you, telling you what you need to know - not in words - but in that sensory experience within your body of, the feeling in the pit of your stomach, 'Something's not right here, something doesn't feel right here. How do I navigate this situation? How do I turn within and find what does feel right? How do I find the pathway through this experience through these feelings, and out the other side?', so that rather than pushing them down, or trying to bury them and not deal with them, trusting yourself and knowing that you have within you everything you need to weather it to navigate it, and to come out all the better for it on the other side.
So those are the four points - I really hope that you found this topic really useful today. I really hope that it's helped you to reconnect with that confidence within you that inner wisdom that you have. And that sense of faith and trust within yourself that you have everything you need already within you. And that this inner guidance system will help you through anything which comes up. It will not only help you to navigate it yourself, but it will help you to find the answers you need outside as well. It will help you to tap into the resources that you need rather than everything. It'll help you streamline things and feel less overwhelmed and exhausted through the process of asking anyone and everyone, what you should be doing.
It will help you build that sense of connection with your inner wisdom over time of trusting and having faith in yourself that you can do this anytime you need to anytime you want to.
I really hope that it's been powerful for you. I'd love to hear from you any ideas or thoughts or feedback that came up for you from today's session.
I want to just finish up by saying if you are really struggling or you have emotions coming up, which are overwhelming, it's okay to reach out for help.
Sometimes that starting point is about like reaching out to your GP, or a counsellor, or a psychologist or someone who's not necessarily going to give you lots of advice, but someone that's going to hold that space for you to navigate what's coming up. Someone that will hold that space for you, to help you connect with that inner resource within you, maybe a coach like myself, somebody that's able to kind of really help you to hold that space and capacity to be connect with that resource within you.
What you'll find is that there's people outside of you that will happily give you their advice and guidance. And then there's people that will hold space for you to be able to find that and tap into it yourself.
So think about if you are able to do it on your own right now or if you're actually needing someone to hold that space for you. And be willing to reach out and find that support, if you need it.
It can be part of that powerful process of moving through those feelings that you're having, and coming out the other side or the better for it.
Thanks so much for listening. I hope you have a wonderful week. I look forward to speaking with you next time. Until then take care. Bye!
Lots of love,
Em 💛 xo