Confidence, just like happiness, creativity and inspiration, is something we all have inherently. Confidence is part of who we are and it grows as a result of taking action, moving through our fears and being brave enough to show up in the world.

Yet many of us don’t feel confident in certain situations because we allow negative, self-limiting thoughts to prevent us from seeing the bigger picture, we get caught up in sweating about the small stuff and start feeling fear instead. Rather than acknowledging our fears and actually allowing ourselves to feel them, we try and push the fears down, ignore them, or cut them off – this causes frustration, resentment and disconnection from our inner self. By trying to ignore our fears we stop ourselves from facing them and moving through them.

When we begin to become aware of our thinking, we are able to notice the thoughts that come into our head – we begin to identify when they are positive, encouraging and gently reassuring and when they are negative, self-limiting and demoralizing.

Many of us carry confidence-crushing beliefs from childhood that prevent us taking action on doing the things we’d really love to do. Just as we are about to begin something that takes us out of our comfort zone, in pops the little voice in our head saying “you won’t make it”, “you’re not good enough”, “who do you think you are”, “get back in your box!” That voice can lead to feelings of fear and stop us from taking the very action required to bring about the result we long for.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway” Susan Jeffers

If we engage with the fear, rather than cutting it off – by actually noticing how it feels in our body – then we can communicate with it and discover why it is presenting itself and what purpose it is trying to serve.

Usually fear arises to try and protect us from an envisaged negative outcome like rejection, humiliation or the inability to cope. Often it kicks in somewhat prematurely, when we start focusing on the worst-case scenario, preventing us from looking at the bigger picture and checking out how bad the worst thing that could happen really is. When we suppress our fears we get trapped in a negative cycle. The fear stops us taking action, which leads to feelings of regret, disappointment and worthlessness, these trigger more fear, leading to further inaction.

But by interacting with our fear we can allow the energy that it brings to flow through us. We can literally discharge the fear through our bodies. Have you noticed how your knees knock, your hands shake or your palms sweat when you get nervous? Rather than fighting that feeling, take a deep breath and really feel it. Notice it. Exaggerate it. Make any involuntary movement in your body a bit bigger. Act out the butterflies in your tummy. Draw a picture of it. Write a poem about it. Sing to it. Talk to the part of you feeling the fear. Experiment, get creative and play with it. Do whatever feels right for you. Use your fear. Before long you’ll probably notice it’s discharged and you no longer feel it.

“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.” Mary Manin Morrissey

By focusing on the joy you will experience from taking action, rather than the fear of not succeeding, you keep your focus on the positive results you are capable of creating in your life. In doing this you reconnect with your dreams, and inner desires which represent the essence of who you are. Fear subsides because it cannot coexist in that space.

Whenever you feel fear remind yourself of your inner most passions, have faith that in going for your dreams you will receive all the assistance you require to make them reality. Reassure yourself with positive thoughts and affirmations like “it’s ok”, “you can do this”, “go for it”, “you’ll be alright”. Give yourself permission to “give it a go” for things not to be perfect. Allow yourself to feel the fear and do it anyway.

“Confidence shows up when we do, but usually not before. That’s the magic bit! You can wait to feel confident or you can show up. When you show up to do something the confidence to do it shows up when you do.” Nick Williams

Ironically confidence often doesn’t emerge from within us until we accept our fears and take action. From taking action our confidence kicks in. By taking further action, over and over, it grows and grows. We start seeing positive results from the actions we took and our confidence is further strengthened.

This is why practicing the very thing we feel frightened of results in increased confidence and competence. Each time we take action our confidence grows and dispels our fear, so that the next time we approach it the fear is less and the confidence we feel is more. At the same time our competence continues increasing. The combination of confidence and competence makes our impossible goals possible.

About the Author
Jayne Morris, The POWER Coach, is Founder and Director of Power-Up Coaching. For more information see: www.jaynemorris.com

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