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February 2, 2021

Episode 3: Courage to confidence - How to start building confidence right away

by Kristy Pask

About this episode.

How is lack of confidence holding you back? What's it stopping you from achieving? In this episode help you uncover what it would be like if you felt confident and how things would be different for you if you did feel confident. The first step to confidence is courage, so to begin I will offer you with some top tips on how to start taking those actions that lead to you creating and building your confidence, so you can step up and into your next level self. 


Hello and welcome back to The Business of Perfectionism, this is episode 3 - we’re a little behind schedule with this weeks episode but it’s happening - talk about imperfect action BUT also really just focusing on picking up and keeping going, regardless of missing deadlines! 

In case we haven’t met yet, my name is Kristy, I am your host, I am a business owner and I am a recovering perfectionist. 

Again a huge thank you to everyone that has supported the podcast, I am honestly having so much fun recording these episodes, I always knew deep down I’d probably enjoy this but I think I underestimated just how much I really would.

So today I wanted to jump into a conversation about confidence. 

Confidence or lack of confidence is one of those things I find myself speaking about with people all the time, with my clients, peers and biz buddies, even just my personal friendship group.  

Lack of confidence in certain areas of your life or business are so common - I personally don’t know anyone that hasn’t struggled with a lack of confidence at some point or another and so I wanted to chat with you today on what you can do to gain the confidence you truly desire to take the action you know you really want to take.

Self-confidence is your belief in how good you are at something, but it’s not a measure of your actual skill.

The way I really view confidence is kind of like a level of self belief, how good you believe you are in doing something, but it’s not an actual measure of your skill - it’s really just your own belief or opinion. When we believe that we can do something well, when we have proven that we are proficient at it or it’s something that came quiet easily to us, we tend to feel more confident in doing those things. The more confident we feel, the more likely we are to do them, the more willing we are to do them, and then the more confident we continue to become.

And this is called the confidence competence loop - so the more confident we feel, the more likely we are to take the action, and then of course the more we do it the better we become and the confidence keeps on growing. 

Feeling confident is a sense or understanding that you trust your own judgment and abilities, and that you value yourself and feel worthy, regardless of any imperfections or of what you believe others might think about you. 

So to the perfectionists out there, most likely anyone listening to this podcast, lack of confidence and perfectionism really do feed off each other. As perfectionists we tend to overthink and doubt ourselves, the more we fill our minds with self-doubt, the more our confidence takes a hit. 

We think that if we just learn more, read more, listen more, wait for the right time, do A,B & C before we do X, Y and Z that confidence will just arrive one morning, like if we tick off everything on the list and accomplish all of these things we have on this imaginary list of ours, we’ll be able to step out and show up with the confidence we long for. 

Perfectionists also tend to be highly critical of themselves, so there is also the very strong possibility that you are in fact really quite good at something however we just believe that we’re not, or maybe you’re not that good at something and rather than jumping in and allowing yourself to be a beginning, maybe to kind of suck just a little, maybe you don’t want to be seen as a beginning or you don’t want people to know you haven’t mastered something, the highly self-critical perfectionist would rather hide and not do the thing, than to allow themselves to be seen to be doing and no mastering it, to be seen trying and not living up to the high expectations they set for themselves. 

Another thing to remember, in most instances our brain is just trying to keep us safe, so if we’re doing something big and scary, putting ourselves out there, taking a risk, doing something we haven’t really done before - we may begin to look for reasons not to do, we’ll begin to doubt ourselves and naturally, the confidence or courage that you first need to do the thing, just won’t be there. 

I think it’s Brene Brown that says this…. Perfectionists aren’t perfect people, they’re people that feel shameful because they are not perfect. 

Imagine what those thoughts will do to your confidence...

Or maybe you’re comparing yourself to someone who’s been doing what you do far longer than you, so you’re comparing your position 1 to their position 17 - or you’re whipping up something on Canva with little design experience yet expecting it to turn out like something produced by someone with 5 years design experience, or maybe you’re onto take 59 of a 1 minute video because you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not good at video after failing to live up to your high expectations and now your confidence has taken a hit there too and now nothing is good enough - and that one is actually a personal experience of mine from only about 2 years ago. It literally took me around 4 hours to film a 1 minute video, I was so deflated by the end of it I did nothing else afterwards except wallow and convince myself I would never make it. Why was everyone else so good at video, yet I was so bad…

The truth is, looking back, it really wasn’t that bad! Sure, I can tell I wasn’t 100% comfortable however it was actually fine, if it were someone else, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. 

We have all been there, and being brutally honest, lacking confidence just feels like crap. 

And so here is the first thing I will say about Confidence...

Confidence is a state, it’s like happiness or anger, and the most amazing thing about a state, is we can get ourselves into any state we want and almost any time we want or choose to! And the better we become at the inner work, the easier so many of these things become. 

I know that may not resonate with some people but I want to stress this and I do truly believe this, at any moment of any day, we have the ability to choose our own thoughts, we determine how we feel, no one else should have the power to determine your mood, that is up to you.

Now this is something I will dive into more on a later episode, however Neuro Linguistic Programing really works from the model of our thoughts determine your emotions, your emotions determine your state, your state will determine your actions, and therefore, your actions determine your results. 

So therefore, if you’re not feeling confident and you’re not taking the steps you need to to change that, it is going to become very difficult for you to take the action that you need to take to grow your business, to become a leader, to be seen as an expert, to grow your brand, to show up on video, to become that bold successful person you dream of becoming. 

Think about it…. How do you feel when you’re not feeling confident. Like I said before it really kind of feels like crap, you might feel anxious, you might feel a bit depressed or sad, you feel flat, unworthy, you don’t want to speak up, you don’t want to be seen - you absolutely, 100% do not believe in yourself or your own ability to do what you need to do. 

Confidence is not something any of us are just born with, it is something we must all create. 

I am willing to bet if I asked you to right now, you could identify something that you now feel confident in that you once didn’t. 

For example, this is a real life one for me… Being a parent, I remember driving home from the hospital after having my first son and I was overcome with this feeling, really, kind of like a strong fear or panic. All of a sudden I was responsible for this tiny human, I had no idea what to do, I remember speaking to my husband and was almost in disbelief that they let me leave the hospital with this child, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing - come child number 2, no worries, I got this - I’ve done it once and relatively successfully I like to think, I can do this again. 

Now the thing with this example I guess is there was no other option, I just had to do it, and because I had to do it, I got to learn, I got the experience, and the longer I did it for the more and more confident I became. 

And that’s one of the key takeaways here, you won’t build confidence by reading about it, or listening to it, you have to do the thing, take the action and the steps to build confidence within yourself, no one else can do it for you, there is no permission slip, it all comes down to you and you are capable, you can do anything you put your mind to - if you want it badly enough, you will just have to find a way to get it. 

And so now, with that, lets jump into the good stuff, how do you gain confidence, what are some of the steps you can take, some of the things you can do to change that state and to make yourself feel confident so you can show up for yourself every single day. 

The first thing I’d really love you to do is to take a moment and to think of an area you don’t feel confident in. So this could be anything, from speaking in front of a crowd of people, to sharing your opinion with someone, filming video and speaking to camera, booking in a photoshoot.. Anything. 

And now I’d love for you to just take a second to think about how things would be different if you did feel confident. How would things be better for you? What would change? 

How do you feel specifically? What is that feeling that’s shooting right through your body that you can feel from the top to the bottom. Is it excitement, happiness, joy, elation, accomplishment?

What are you doing? How is it different to what you’re doing now? Are you just hitting record and going for it, maybe even just going live? Are you making more content than you even have time to publish? Are you reaching out to that dream collaboration partner, are you booking in a job with your ideal client? Speaking in front of the class with ease? What are you doing? 

What do you see? Who do you see? Is there anyone there with you? Are you looking down your computer camera to an audience of 100, speaking at an incredible conference, looking at your work published in your favourite magazine? What do you see?

What do you hear? Is it just the sound of your own voice? Are people cheering for you? Do you hear your email notifications going crazy with people lining up to work with you? Do you hear the sound of the ocean while you work from the comfort of your beach chair? 

How will you know when you are confident? 

It’s so important to get crystal clear on what you want, and to really understand what things would or might look like if you were confident. 

And so, lets jump into some things you can begin to do immediately that will help grow your confidence. 

The first one is to build yourself a confidence runway. 

This one is actually a pretty easy and kind of fun one to do, and what’s great about it is you don’t just have to jump straight in and do the big and scary thing, it’s about a series of small steps that lead you to the big goal. 

So, lets say the goal is to speak in front of 100 people at an event, what are all of the logical steps you can take before this that will help lead you to feeling more confident. 

So lets start from the top and work our way backwards, if speaking in front of 100 people at an event is the goal, lets say the next step down is speaking to 30 people at an event. 

One step down from that, delivering a webinar or a live workshop to 50 people via zoom. 

Another step down, going live in social media for 10 days straight. 

Next one down, speaking to camera for 10 days straight. 

All the way down to where you are right now, working out what is the first step you can take, no matter how small it might seem right now, that is going to move you from where you are today, to where you ultimately want to be. 

Visualise yourself daily, doing the things you don’t yet feel confident in doing.

Science has proven, time and time again, that our brains do not know the difference between what is real and what we imagine or what we believe and tell it. 

Meaning, we can use mental rehearsal to convince our brains that we have already done something so it believes we are proficient and confident in doing it. 

So going back to that first exercise we went through, imagine how you will feel when you are confident, what will you be doing, what do you see, hear and feel, make it as realistic and detailed as you possibly can, take yourself into that moment, imagine the sounds, the smells, the feeling and practice that over and over again.

Next, is journal. 

And no, this is now a dear diary type exercise, I will admit I was not a journaller AT ALL a year ago, I didn’t get it and I absolutely thought it was a dear diary exercise, now, I freaking love it. 

There are all sorts of different journalling practices and prompts you can get, depending on how I am feeling I might use journal prompts, you can fine so many online also if you’re struggling, my coach sends them to us from time-to-time to get us thinking about different things and I also journal on my intentions and what I want to achieve, which is awesome for working out a to-do list also because it really makes me focus on what my big picture is and what I ultimately want to achieve which I then break down into my daily actionable tasks. I also future pace, so I will write like it’s December 31, 2021 and I will write about all I have achieved and the impact I have made which also really helps me get clear on the type of people I need to become, I need to embody to reach those goals. 

Become the type of person that follows though

I know we’re probably all guilty of saying we’ll do something and then not following through, but the more you promise yourself you’ll do something and the more times you don’t, the more you begin to let yourself down, the more you then begin to believe you are not the type of person that keeps their word and that does what they say they will.

Continually failing to follow through on the promises we make to ourselves only builds that lack of confidence, the more we don’t do the things we know we need to, the more excuses we make the more it begins to impact our self belief, if not on a conscious level but an unconscious level.

Failing to follow through once of twice or here and there is fine, we’re human, things pop up, things go wrong, some things slip down the priority list for a moment, what’s more important is that we just pick up and keep going again, we don’t wait for monday, we don’t wait for motivation to strike - you just need to pick up and follow through as you promised yourself you would.

Do not concern yourself with what others might think of you

I am currently reading Jay Shetty’s new book, Think like a Monk, and the opening paragraph to the first chapter couldn’t be more true, it’s actually by sociologist Charles Horton Cooley and was written in 1902 - it reads:

I am not what I think I am, I am not what you think I am, I am what I think you think I am.

Yes, it’s a bit of a tongue twister and a bit to get your head around but it’s so freaking true! 

We spend far too much time worrying about what we think others will think of us, past and current colleagues, friends, partners, family, random strangers online but here’s the crazy thing…. Unless someone has explicitly told you what they think about you, you’re really just projecting. 

What specifically is it that makes you think any of these people are thinking these things of you? How do you know they are?

And also, if they really are, how does it affect you? And I mean REALLY affect you? How does someone elses thoughts of you affect the way you live your life and run your business? Why are you letting a thought you don’t even know is true stop you from living your life? Building your business? 

And the last two, I’ll be quick….

First up, try new things - 

And I don’t always mean in business! Do things you’ve never done before, learn how wildly capable you are, see what you can achieve when you’re having fun and allowing yourself to really jump into that growth mindset, allow yourself to suck at things and have some fun along the way. If you can translate that into other areas of your life to, maybe your business, you’ll be so thankful you just jumped in and gave it a shot, no matter the outcome. 

And lastly, take action daily, no matter how small. 

Just do one thing almost daily that brings you closer to your goals, that pushes you outside of your comfort zone, that expands you - pay attention to what you achieve, celebrate your wins, learn from the failures and just keep going, every single day!

And look guys I am going to leave it there today, gosh we could go on and on forever, this is another topic I love to speak about because it’s something I see so many perfectionists struggle with and I just want to give everyone a big hug and tell them it is going to be alright and it does get easier - there are still so many things I struggle with confidence in, I am not going to pretend I have nailed it in every area but honestly I have gained so much confidence even in the last few months alone just by taking action - for example this podcast, I was so so nervous to launch it and was filled with self doubt and now it just feels so fun and I’m really embracing the journey and the process. 

So thank you so much again for joining me, I really hope this helped and you really got something valuable from it.

If you did like this episode please do take a screenshot and share it across your socials, be sure to tag me so I can see it and give you a share also, and of course, if there is anything you would like me to cover in upcoming episodes please do shoot me a DM, you can find me on Instagram, it’s just @kristypask, or head to my website kristypask.com and shoot me an email from there.

Once again thank you, and I hope to chat with you again next week! Speak to you soon.

Links and resources:

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