Show Notes – 010: Build Your Self-confidence with These 5 Powerful Questions
Growing our self-confidence is one of the most important things that do in order to create the change that we want to see in the world. It allows us to stand up, speak out, and take courageous action.
So this week on the podcast I share five powerful questions that you can ask yourself in order to build self-confidence in any area of your life, common signs of low self-esteem, and how I developed self-confidence in public speaking.
Below is a brief outline of this week’s episode. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts, and please subscribe so that you don’t miss an episode!
What does low self-confidence look like?
There are certain questions and doubts that I see pop up over and over in communities of activists, advocates, and changemakers.
- Can I actually make a difference?
- I don’t know if I have what it takes.
- I’m not doing enough.
- Who am I to think that I could be a leader or actually create change in the world?
- I’m not talented enough or smart enough to make an impact.
These all boil down to a lack of self-confidence, and that’s completely understandable.
When watching the news we see how much needs to change in the world. It’s easy to feel hopelessly insignificant. Many would-be changemakers are held back by a lack the confidence.
And that’s why I am incredibly passionate about helping environmentalists, activists, and advocates develop confidence. The world needs more confident leaders who are speaking up and challenging the status quo, systems of oppression, and the corporations and practices that have led to the climate crisis.
The world needs YOU to be confident!
Confidence is not…
- Never being scared or experiencing fear
- Never having imposter syndrome
- Succeeding at everything that you do and not making mistakes
- Based on anything external or your looks
- Based on the amount of money that you make
- Having everything together and your life perfectly organized
- Repeating affirmations or mantra
What Self-confidence Actually Is
The word confidence comes from the Latin word ‘fidere’ which means “to trust.” Therefore, having self-confidence means that you have trust in yourself. It’s the belief that you have the ability to meet life’s challenges and succeed. It’s a willingness to take courageous action because you know you can handle the consequences.
A confident person knows their strengths and weaknesses. They have a positive view of themselves, set realistic goals, communicate assertively, and can handle criticism well.
People with high self-esteem have negative feelings, setbacks, and fears just like everyone else, but they have the self-belief and the tools they need to overcome these challenges.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Low Self-confidence
Below are some common signs and symptoms of low self-esteem that aspiring and experienced changemakers often experience.
- Don’t speak up for themselves, their beliefs, or other oppressed groups
- Calling people OUT instead of calling them IN
- Difficulty trusting others
- Forever learning and never applying what they’ve learned
- Not living up to their potential
- Just spending time with people who agree with them (so their views aren’t challenged)
We all struggle with a lack of self-confidence in some areas of our lives, and that’s okay. There is no need to beat yourself up about this. You’re human!
The good news…
Research has shown that having high or low self-confidence is rarely related to your actual abilities. Instead, it’s mostly based on your perception of yourself, aka the thoughts you have about yourself. Oftentimes these thoughts are flawed or based on outdated information like experiences that we had in the past.
And according to a National Science Foundation publication, an average person has about 12,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repeat thoughts!
There is nothing wrong with you if you have a loud inner critic. Our brains have evolved what scientists call a “nativity bias” for a reason. Check out this blog post to learn more.
But, a problem occurs when we allow our thoughts to go unchecked. And the large majority of people never question their thoughts.
The good news is that we can change of perception of ourselves and our thoughts. Regardless of where your low self-esteem comes from, you can improve your self-confidence.
5 Questions to Grow Your Self-confidence
Please tune in to the podcast for more guidance about how to answer these questions and to hear personal examples of how this process helped me to become a more confident public speaker.
What areas do I lack confidence in?
List as many as possible, and then pick one area to focus on.
What does it look like when you aren’t confident?
Note your beliefs, thoughts, actions, body language, etc. Get specific.
How would someone who feels confident show up in this situation?
What beliefs, thoughts, actions, body language, etc. would they have or take? How would I show up if I were more confident?
What knowledge or skills do I need to become more competent in this area?
How can I get this knowledge or develop this skill?
What specific steps am I going to take today (or this week) to start gaining competence in this area?
Remember, confidence comes from action, so schedule your confidence-building actions in your calendar and follow through. By taking small actions each day and/or week you will begin to transform your self-image into a more confident person.
Heal the voice that says, “I’m not doing enough.”
Now, go forth and be awesome!
Download the FREE Self-care for Changemakers guide to learn how to be an agent of change without sacrificing your health!
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Feedback? Topic suggestions? Ah-ha moments? I’d love to hear from you!
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Thanks for listening and/or reading!
Featured image: Photo by Christina@wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
Podcast music: “Bounce” by Coma-Media on Pixbay