Avoidance Reinforcing Self-Doubt
Confidence isn’t pretty, it’s gritty like sandpaper! You need to rub against life, be knocked down, and get up again. If you avoid challenges because you think you can’t handle them, you will reinforce your self-doubt.
In hard times and difficult situations, there is a confidence opportunity waiting to be uncovered. You find the opportunity when you begin to shift from feeling uncertain to find a way to challenge yourself. When you realize you can handle hard stuff, it changes how you think about yourself. If you can do it once, you can do something else hard too.
Look for Confidence Boosting Opportunities
I have many stories I could share with you about how people can do hard things even with doubt and fear. Listen to how this man found a growth opportunity a midst a hard time.
A man runs out of the prescription medication he has been over-using to check out when life gets hard. He begins to panic and feel more anxious than the situation warrants. He realizes that he has become more dependent on the medication than he wants to be. It is telling him what he needs instead of him directing his medication use.
He knows if he shares this with the doctor, he may be given more medication. He decides to lean into the panic and see how long he can function without the medication he is dependent on.
His family gets anxious and wants to send him to the emergency room for more medication, but he stays focused on his daily goals. He ends up going a week without the medication he had been overusing.
What started out as a man who wants to numb himself becomes a man who realizes he can manage himself in hard times. Again and again, people can fall to the depths of despair only to tackle the challenges they face.
4 Steps to Gaining Self-Confidence
While you may not feel very confident right now, let’s explore how to start moving toward your goal even though you are experiencing self-doubt and uncertainty. These are some common steps people take to turn their “I can’t” into “I can” and “I am!”
Step 1. Boost Awareness: Identify what blocks you from improving your confidence. Is it looking to others for praise and guidance? Is it comparing yourself to others?
Step 2. Shift Your Thinking: Once you identify your roadblocks to becoming more confident, how do you start to shift your thinking from doubt to determined? Look for evidence that you have done hard stuff before. Entice yourself to rise to the challenge again.
Step 3 = Thinking into Action: It’s not enough to think you can do it, you need to take the next step and test yourself. Imagine running yourself through an experiment and look for ways to act as if you can do the hard stuff. Even though it’s uncomfortable, can you do it anyway?
Step 4 = Repeat Confidence Steps The more you repeat leaning into the hard stuff, the more you will find you can handle more than you originally thought. Instead of using avoidance to reinforce your doubt, you reinforce your self-confidence.
Life may be like sandpaper, but we can be just as gritty. Surprise yourself by grabbing the opportunity to grow in life’s challenges.
How has your confidence improved when you make it through a hard time?
I work with both men and women who want to build their self-confidence. Schedule a free 15-minute phone consult, and take the first step toward turning your doubt into determination.
Marci Payne, MA, LPC offers men’s and women’s counseling in Independence MO. (Also serving surrounding cities of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, and Lee’s Summit MO).