What if… you had more confidence?
In our recent survey where we asked “What is stopping you doing what you love?” nearly half of you told us that you are held back by a lack of confidence. Sound familiar?
We’ve all been there. It’s where the ‘What ifs’ kick in. What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if my life changes too much and I can’t cope? What if I can’t sustain this in the long run? What if this is not the right choice? What if after all this it still doesn’t get better?
Hey you! Give yourself a break. Stop being so critical towards yourself before it has even happened. Look at yourself as someone else would, as objectively as possible, thinking about all the good things you have achieved already. Be kind to yourself. That is a much better place to start.
I remember a couple of years back seeing an article in Marie Claire Magazine launching a new mentoring programme with some of the top female entrepreneurs in the country. They were on the hunt for the next generation of exciting young female businesswomen, and were planning to pair them up with women with proven business success to help them leap forward. What an incredible opportunity! My first thought was, “I really want to do this.” My second thought was, “Why would they pick me?” My third thought was, “What if I enter and don’t get chosen?” But then I came back to my first thought, reminded myself that I really wanted to do it, and thought, “But what if I DO get picked. That would be awesome.”
So I took a deep breath and entered. I remembered getting the call for interview at the imposing Conde Nast Publishing building in London, and getting very flustered about what to wear. Again I had a crisis of confidence – “What if there’s someone better at the interview?” “What if I don’t know what to say?” etc etc. But I came back to that other What If… “What if it goes brilliantly, and I get picked?”
So I picked out a fabulous dress and my best heels, swished down to London, flew through the interview and got chosen as one of the 16 most exciting young female entrepreneurs in the UK. What? Little old me? And what a phenomenal opportunity it was too. I got paired up with Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards (Europe’s largest urban music festival, with Kanye West, Adele, Jay-Z and Jessie J among the artists who have taken to the MOBO stage). Kanya is one of the most inspiring and brilliant women I have ever met, and her insight and guidance was absolutely crucial in the early days of Do What You Love.
So keep asking yourself ‘What if’, but instead of ‘What if it goes wrong?’ ask yourself ‘What if it goes right?’ Then imagine yourself in that situation, where it has all gone right, and see what that does for your confidence.
Your secret weapons
Knowing yourself better is paramount to doing what you love and it is also paramount in your quest for more confidence. That’s why it’s a big part of the Do What You Love e-course, and why I want to share a useful exercise with you today.
The Do What You Love e-course helps you get to know who you really are, what’s important to you, what past experiences have influenced you the most, your strengths and weaknesses, and your attitude to money, time and life in general. Knowing yourself better will help you have a more rational approach to what you want to do and how while quieting your doubts and stopping you from being too emotionally overwhelmed
There are a lot of exercises in the course that help you know yourself better, and today I’d like to share one called “Your Secret Weapons”. This exercise helps you realise you actually have much more power than you might think.
You can download the interactive PDF here:
(It is called ‘Explorer’s Log 15’ as it is just one of the many exercises in the Do What You Love e-course)
Please share your secret weapons in the comments below – I’d love to hear what they are, and how you felt about doing the exercise.
Use those secret weapons to start on your journey and remind yourself of them often along the way too, don’t let yourself forget how strong you are
What else can you do to build your confidence? Surround yourself with people who can support you, who give you energy and make you feel better about yourself. This is HUGE. Start seeking out those people today.
I won’t lie, you will feel doubtful, be scared, overwhelmed, and make mistakes as you push yourself towards doing what you love, but it’s all part of the journey and you will come out of this experience stronger and more resourceful than you ever thought possible.
Your confidence mantras
In its non-spiritual form, a mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently. The purpose of which is to put yourself in a certain state of mind. When we released the survey and invited your comments, many of you hasked for phrases that would keepyou motivated and give you some food for thought. We love beautiful words and images here at Do What You Love, so here’s a little compilation of our confidence boosting thoughts for you to enjoy. Take a moment to really think about them, and how they can relate to you on your own journey towards a happier life.
PS Here are some useful resources if you want to read more into the subject of confidence and how to boost it
- The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed To Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting: The Power of Positive Feelings by Lynn Grabhorn
- The Bold Life blog
- Seven Habits of Incredibly Happy People
- 10 Things That Will Happen When You Start Pursuing Your Dreams
- On Imposter Syndrome