I’ve talked about this quite a bit throughout my Daily Blogging Challenge, but I am definitely not the most confident person. I specifically went deep into this topic in yesterday’s post about how to feel more confident when putting yourself out there, but even beyond business related things, I struggle.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not the most shy person in the room, and I’ll definitely speak up when I have to. It’s more so I have a lack of confidence in myself. I don’t trust myself, and I often doubt my own abilities.
While I know talking about myself for a whole blog post isn’t exactly interesting for anybody beyond myself, I thought it might be helpful to look at the three reasons for why I think I have this lack of confidence in myself, so that perhaps you can examine your own tendencies against mine.
I don’t know about you guys, but I usually discover things about myself when people open up about their struggles.
If you also find yourself struggling with your self confidence, here are three things that I think affect my self confidence, and what I’m doing to help overcome them. Hopefully some can apply to you too!
I am the QUEEN of overthinking. I can pretty much psyche myself out of almost any situation.
For example (and this is what inspired this blog post), I was thinking about all the work I had to do for tomorrow, and realized I had one extra article to write than I wanted to have.
Almost immediately I started trying to calculate in my head how long each article would take, what else I had on the agenda for the day, and whether or not this was too much for me…
Let me tell you: when I give myself “too much work,” I almost always end up completing faster than when I don’t have a lot. The reason for that is a whole other blog post, but with regards to confidence, I almost immediately started doubting my abilities, which I now realize weren’t justified.
How you can overcome overthinking/doubting your abilities to gain self confidence:
I’m finding that the best way to overcome overthinking/doubting my abilities is through exercise.
Never does it become more obvious to me that I’m capable of more than I think than when I’m working out.
For example, today at the gym I planned on doing 20 minutes on the stair master, but I pushed myself to 30. Same with my run. I planned on doing 10 minutes, but went for 15, and every time I wanted to turn the speed down, I forced myself not to.
And you know what?
Once I was done, I felt like a champ, and that feeling has stayed with me all day.
I think we’re all capable of more than we think we are, and that only becomes clear when we really, truly push ourselves.
2. Double Checking
I am a compulsive double checker (probably more accurate to say triple checker).
Whether it’s checking to make sure I locked the door, or I turned off my straightener, I will check things a million times.
And guess what this does for self confidence?
Every time I do this I’m reminded of how little confidence I have in myself.
I mean, sure, sometimes double checking something is good, but guess how many times I’ve forgotten to lock the door, or left my straightener on?
That I can remember? Once. Literally just one time (and this time had particular circumstances for why the door was unlocked, so it doesn’t even really count).
I don’t know if confident people leave the house without the compulsive desire to check the door a million times or not, but I’m going to guess it’s a lot more rare for them, and it’s my hope and desire that I can get myself to that point too.
How you can overcome double-checking to gain self confidence:
To be honest, I still really struggle with this, and I’m not sure there is a particular solution.
I think it is one of those things that if I’m able to gain more self confidence through other areas of my life, it might transmit into this area of my life. It’s a bit of a chicken and the egg scenario, you know? Do I check things because I don’t have confidence, or am I not confident because I check things?
Really, the only thing I can do here is FORCE myself not to check things. Of course this is a little easier said than done, but in those moments where I KNOW I’ve checked my straightener a million times, I have to FORCE myself not to go back and check. That’s really no other way.
3. I was an obnoxious teen
Okay, this one might seem like a bit of a stretch, but I’ve been thinking a bit about it lately, and it’s actually kind of interesting.
When I was in high school I was ridiculously self confident. Not in a social way, but I was so confident in my intelligence,
I was always the first to raise my hand, I never worried about doing class presentations (as long as I got a good grade), and I would challenge any teacher that I didn’t think knew what they were talking about. For example, I once wrote a lengthy letter to my high school math teacher, telling her she had done a poor job teaching us, and that my mark on this particular test was a reflection of her poor teaching skills…
Yeah, seriously. I was intense.
Looking back at that girl 10 years later, I don’t have nearly that level of confidence. I mean, on occasion, if I’m really fired up about something, she might come out, but in general, I tucked her far, far, far away.
And, honestly, I think I did that because I didn’t like that girl very much, and other people probably didn’t either (not that I cared at the time).
She was combative, excessive, and probably not very fun to be around (for the record, I wasn’t like this all the time, and I had very close friends. This was my personality just in class).
Perhaps I have some fear of becoming that person again? Maybe I associate being assertive and self confidence with being disliked?
(Again, it’s not like there was some “I hate Andrea club.” I just think if you asked people who went to high school with me, who weren’t my friends, they would have described me as obsessed with school…)
How to overcome the fear of being disliked, so you can be more confident:
Plain and simple: I think you just have to get over it.
For me, I have to realize that I’m not the person I was in high school (at all), and there’s a fine line between confidence and being obnoxious.
Not that being assertive has to be obnoxious, but the way I was doing it probably was to an extent.
Having said that, as much as I don’t want to be that girl again, I wouldn’t mind getting some of her back, and I think part of doing that is simply caring less about what people think of me.
To do that, I really believe that the more I get over the fear of putting myself out there, the more I’m going to care less about what people will think, and the more confidence I’ll gain.
Again, it’s one of those vicious circles, where caring less about what people think will lead to more self confidence, while being more confident will make me care less about what people think.
Confidence can be weird a thing.
Some people have it, some people fake it, and some people wish for it.
But really, I think all it boils down to is changing your habits, altering your thinking, and just continually pushing yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of.
Once we start doing that, I think more confidence is available to all of us.
What do you think?