Many people feel insecure, even those who are talented and accomplished.
We may not feel confident even after being acknowledged and acclaimed.
Photo: Will Smith exudes assurance and confidence in his roles and in person, but has admitted, “I still doubt myself every single day. What people believe is my self-confidence is actually my reaction to fear.”
But in a taping in front of a college audience for the tv show “VH1 Storytellers”, she responded to a question from a college student, and said:
“I doubt myself 400,000 times per 10-minute interval.
“I have a terrifying long list of fears. Literally everything — diseases, spiders… and people getting tired of me.”
[Hollywood Reporter 10/17/2012]
How can we overcome self-doubt?
“Feelings happen. Doubt happens. What will you do with that story your brain is telling you? Will you buy in to it?
“Or will you observe it, acknowledge it, and let it pass? The choice is always YOURS.”
Those quotes are from the caption for a photo on the Facebook page of Mel Robbins.
Here is another video of hers:
The Biggest Obstacle We All Face In Pursuit Of Our Dreams
Mel Robbins is “the most booked female speaker in the world, a serial entrepreneur, and a best-selling author.
“She’s also a CNN legal analyst and opinion columnist, a Dr. Oz Healthline Expert, a SUCCESS Magazine Contributing Editor, and one of the most popular TEDx speakers of all time.”
Profile quotes are from the site for her online course:
Follow link to learn more and see short intro videos. Here is an excerpt from one of them:
Creative people and self-doubt
One of the course sections is titled The Unique Challenge Of Being A Creator.
From the course transcript:
The first thing I wanna talk a little bit about is the unique challenge of being a creator.
So you may look at me, right, and you see me doing all these kind of fun crazy things, whether it’s giving speeches or the company that we have that does courses and a lot of social media stuff or the book that I wrote or whatever it may be, and think oh, she’s X.
The truth is I’m just like you. I’m a creator, too. And it presents a really unique set of challenges, doesn’t it?
Because on one hand I wanna acknowledge the fact that you do what you do because of your heart, because of your soul. So do I, so do I.
Yet your business requires your brain. Your business requires your head.
And I think for creators, even those of us that are extroverted by nature, that we tend to prefer to be behind the camera instead of in front of the camera.
That we tend to prefer to be in the contemplation of doing our work, of doing like what it is that our soul is calling us to do.
And yet when it comes to promoting your work, when it comes to marketing your work, when it comes to selling your work, when it comes to figuring out what the hell to focus on today, that’s the head.
And we’re in this amazing battle at all times because we’re such deep feelers that it exposes you I think even more acutely to anxiety, to self-doubt, to the imposter syndrome because if your work is also an expression of you, every time you’re trying to sell it, you’re putting yourself on the line.
And so I totally get it, I totally get it.
And you know, one of the major takeaways that we’re gonna talk about is this. That you can’t choose how you feel.
See more transcripts and video excerpts at the course site:
Can affirmations help us gain confidence?
Danielle LaPorte cautions about trying to overcome self-doubt with affirmations
She quotes Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön:
“Affirmations are like screaming that you’re okay in order to overcome this whisper that you’re not.
“That’s a big contrast to actually uncovering the whisper, realizing that it’s a passing memory, and moving closer to all those fears and all those edgy feelings that maybe you’re not okay.
“Well, no big deal. None of us is okay and all of us are fine. It’s not just one way. We are walking, talking paradoxes.”
(From book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön.)
[Another quote of hers: “To find our ability to rejoice and to care, even when it’s fleeting, strengthens our confidence.” From her book The Places that Scare You.]
“I came of age in the New Age of the ‘90s. I had affirmation cards before I had business cards. And I tried to love affirmations, really I did.
“But affirmations didn’t do me any favours.
“When my mouth was saying, ‘I am fearless and courageous!’, my brain was saying, ‘I’m scared shitless.’
“So then not only did I still feel scared, I also felt like a fake.
“If you say that all is well, when all is not well; or that you’re skinny when you’re feeling fat; or that you’re healthy when you’re sick — well, to state the obvious, you’re lying to yourself.
“Self-deception creates a cognitive dissonance so that, despite the positive-sounding phrasing, you’re creating inner tension and conflict.
“Scientific research proves that positive thinking and affirmative words work. No argument there.
“Do we need pep talks? Hell yes! Are you the very best person to coach yourself through despair? Hell yes!
Do we want to end our suffering and return to limitless bliss, and infinite awareness? Yes, yes we do!
“Do we need to talk ourselves through it? Abso-speakin’-lutely!…”
Read more in her post:
Why affirmations can mess you right up (and what to say to yourself instead.)
Another post of hers on this topic:
confidence vs. blind faith: rock ’em both
From profile on her site: “A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, ‘equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.’”
Brilliant women holding back
Coach and personal growth teacher Tara Mohr says “Most of my clients were brilliant women – smart, gifted creative women working in all different fields – and as I started working with them one-on-one around their career and life goals, right away I started to see this very striking pattern…
“I think of it as “the voice of not-me” – the internal chatter that tells a woman she’s not ready to lead, she’s not enough of an expert, she’s not good enough at this or that. It’s the voice of self-doubt, of the inner critic.”
See much more in article
Coach and personal growth teacher Tara Mohr is author of the book: Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead.
She is a presenter at The Self-Acceptance Summit on the topic “Quieting Your Inner Critic and Navigating Feedback.”
Follow link to article with video clips from some of the speakers, and more information.
The impact of beliefs on self-confidence
How to build confidence
by belief change coach and author Morty Lefkoe
Most of us would like to improve our level of confidence.
How does a low level of confidence affect us and what changes in our lives when we gain confidence?
What is confidence anyway? Where does it come from? Why do some people have more of it than others?
As someone who has helped literally thousands of people build more confidence, I think I am qualified to answer these questions.
(By the way, I had very little self-confidence for most of my life but now I consistently experience a high level of confidence.)
What is confidence?
Confidence actually exists on a continuum, ranging from a very low to a very high belief in our own abilities, a sense we can handle whatever life throws at us.
Very few people are totally lacking in confidence and very few feel confident that they can handle almost anything.
So the issue for most people is where they currently are on the continuum and how they can improve their confidence.
It is important to distinguish between confidence about being able to perform a specific task (such as fly a plane or speak a foreign language) and confidence in yourself.
One might not be confident about being able to perform a specific task even though they have high level of self-confidence.
Such a person knows that her inability to perform a specific task means nothing about her as a person.
How to improve your level of confidence
The way to gain confidence about specific abilities is to learn those skills and practice a lot.
The way to improve our internal level of confidence that we apply to life in general is to eliminate our limiting beliefs.
Every negative belief we have lowers our internal level of self-confidence, beliefs such as I’m not good enough, I’m inadequate, I’m powerless, I’m not capable, Nothing I do is good enough, and I’m not worthy.
Once you understand that a lot of negative self-esteem beliefs lowers your level of self-confidence and getting rid of them raises it, you will understand the myth that self-confidence comes from succeeding or failing at specific projects in life.
If you succeed at tasks as a kid and your parents constantly tell you that you should have done better, you are likely to conclude, Nothing I do is good enough and other similar beliefs that will lower your self-confidence.
On the other hand, if you don’t succeed at tasks a lot of the time as a kid and your parents say things like: “That’s okay, no one gets it right the first time. If you keep practicing you will get better and better”—you are likely to conclude: If I keep trying I can do anything.
That belief would raise your level of self-confidence. In other words, your level of self-confidence is a function of your beliefs, not your practical results.
And if you already have a bunch of positive self-esteem beliefs, failures later in life probably will be experienced as temporary set backs that have nothing to do with who you are as a person.
Video: The Power of Beliefs
Some of the consequences of low self-confidence
A low level of self-confidence can result in a host of other emotional problems, such as
- procrastination (we are afraid we won’t do a good job so we keep putting things off),
- worrying about the opinions of others (we don’t have confidence in our own opinion),
- a critical “little voice” in our head that constantly criticizes almost anything we do (because nothing we do is really good enough),
- and stress (because we are constantly worried that what we are doing is just not good enough).
Low self-confidence also can result in self-defeating behavior.
It can keep you from ever getting started. Or it can have you quit at the first sign of a problem.
Or it can lead you to sabotage yourself when you get close to success because you feel you don’t really deserve to get what you want.
Or if somehow you manage to get some of what you want, a low level of self-confidence will keep you from truly enjoying your success.
The best illustration of this latter point is a study of large company CEOs done many years ago in which most of them admitted they were terrified that they would be “found out” and that it would all be taken away from them.
How building confidence improves your life
Some of the benefits of increased self-confidence include: You’ll take more chances. You’ll stop procrastinating. You’ll do whatever you need to do to move your vision forward.
You’ll finally start things you’ve always wanted to do and never got around to doing.
It will make social activity easier. Talking to people and meeting new people will become easier and effortless.
Failure and mistakes will no longer be dreaded. And you’ll do what you want without worrying about what others will think.
Nothing I can say will provide as good a sense of what happens when you eliminate the beliefs that thwart a high level of self-confidence than a note someone posted on my blog:
First and foremost THANK YOU!
I thought I was confident before so I grab the [Natural Confidence] course just to see how it worked. I starting doing them, I did the first one and when I said the belief, I could feel the charge inherent in it.
I thought wow really. At the finish of the first belief, when we repeat the belief it was dead, no charge whatsoever. It was more observing the belief as if someone else said it not me believing it. That moment I was hooked.
I could not stop. I did the first 5 beliefs in a day. Each day I did 4-5 beliefs.
I love it. I don’t really know what I had before the course, it was not the confidence I thought. But now I feel deep inside a calm assurance, a swagger if you will.
I am walking taller, chin up giving eye contact without instructing myself to. Before I would say to myself “you gotta make eye contact,” etc. There is no little voice telling me to act confident; it is just what I do now. I just am Now.
They say when the student is ready the teacher will appear, I guess I was ready!
Thank you once again,
Programs of Morty Lefkoe and The Lefkoe Method:
ReCreate Your Life – eliminate a self-limiting belief free