This week, we continue our guest blog series with a fascinating article about confidence contributed by Midlife Coach, Michelle Kuklinski.
Michelle specialises in helping women get clear on their future life goals, and has kindly shared with us her thoughts on how to build confidence so that you can strive to live a more fulfilled life.
Thank you so much, Michelle!
Hi ladies, I’m Michelle!
How often have you said to yourself that you have ‘lost’ your confidence, or ‘lack’ confidence, in certain areas?
In a lifetime? I’m guessing a few times!
Because that lack of confidence, or lost confidence, can come in many guises, such as:
- Not wanting to pose for a photo because you feel embarrassed or shy
- Feeling shameful or guilty over wanting to do something
- Fear around doing something unfamiliar or new
- Experiencing awkwardness around sensitive conversations or putting yourself out there ‘publicly’ – ever been that person standing at the back of a full room, concentrating on your mobile phone, and praying that no-one notices you…….?
Lacking confidence? Have low self-esteem?
The above are all examples of not having confidence in yourself or around a situation, circumstance, or event.
And if you can relate, seriously, you are not alone.
For instance, studies have shown that:
73% of women regularly lacked confidence in the workplace[i] and that 4 in 5 women have low self-esteem when it comes to their bodies and how they look[ii].
[i] Women: Confidence at Work by My Confidence Matters Ltd/Glasgow University
[ii] Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report
You can live a more confident life
Whilst quite shocking (and sad) to read, it doesn’t mean that any of us are powerless to change this.
Because what I want to be clear on is this:
- People are not born confident
- It isn’t a privilege reserved for rich and famous
- It’s not a special gift
- Confidence is not an either/or status
Related reading: How to reframe limiting beliefs to boost your confidence and wellbeing
How to rediscover your confidence
This means (big drum roll), that everyone can find their own unique & special, confidence sauce.
And I say unique because the confidence that will see you through those hairy scary moments, or lift your self-esteem up…
- is not the confidence you think you ‘should’ or ‘must’ have
- It’s not confidence you perceive through the filters of social media
- It’s not the confidence that other people tell you to adopt.
Just like that famous brand of fried chicken, the confidence that is going to be effective is your own secret blend of confidence.
Just like your DNA, you own your confidence in a way that no one else can.
So, pep talk over! How the heck do you go about discovering your confidence?
Related reading: Five tips to boost your confidence and mindset
5 simple steps to discovering your own confidence mix
Be clear on what you need it for
Because confidence in say, going on a date, is going to look quite different to the confidence you want in asking your boss for a pay rise.
Engage your senses
As I have already mentioned, confidence is a mix and not a 1-ingredient sauce, so start to think about what confidence means to you by engaging all your senses. In other words, what does confidence:
- Look like: e.g., outfits you know you look good in or make-up.
- Sound like: e.g., what do you tell yourself, are there songs that lift you up?
- Feel like: e.g., Sensations in your body.
- Smell like e.g., a favourite perfume that makes you feel special.
- Taste like e.g., a healthy breakfast that sets you up for the day.
Build a confidence kit
What do you already have that you can use based on the exercise above? It might be certain outfits or a playlist. What do you need to put into the kit that you may not have? Or maybe it’s a haircut or replacing a fave lippy.
Change the soundtrack
Stop telling yourself what you cannot do/say/be because your brain has a nasty habit of serving you up evidence to support whatever it is you are choosing to focus on. So instead, get your brain to focus on solutions and ask yourself, “How can I………”
Acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge
We just don’t pat ourselves on the back enough! Get into the habit of celebrating, acknowledging, and sharing your wins. And I don’t just mean the end goal but also each step that you successfully take to get there.
Finding your unique confidence blend
Don’t forget, your unique confidence sauce is always happy to be tweaked and remixed!
There’s nothing wrong with throwing something different into the mix and seeing what happens – you could just be pleasantly surprised.
About the Author
You can find out more about Michelle and her work at www.michellekuklinski.com.
She runs The Female Midlife Club on Facebook and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org