Most of us including likely you, are on a mission to ensure that you are ‘safe’.
It is vitally important that we are safe. However, if every action we take is driven by this objective, we are simply going to be surviving and forcing outcomes to make sure that we play small, never experience failure again and fundamentally stay safe.
If ‘being safe’ is running us as we walk into a room full of people we’ll be nervously hoping to ‘fit in’ and make them ‘like us’.
PUMPING UP MY CHEST
I certainly remember walking into rooms at networking events full of other coaches and entrepreneurs standing around, talking in groups and I’d be thinking: “Will they like me? Will I fit in? Will I say the right thing?”
Before long I'd be thinking: “Let me get a drink and I'll stand by the bar for a little while. Then, if nobody would speak to me I'll just leave”. I was doing everything I thought would have me ‘look confident’ such as pumping my chest up, walking in like I don’t have problems and trying to evoke a ‘look at me’ positivity. But truthfully, underneath I was thinking: “I'm going to get it all wrong!” These where the kind of thoughts that were running me.
If this is the case for you then I assure you that these thoughts are likely to be colouring your confidence and that you are not coming across as actually confident. You're probably walking in slightly hunched or tense and you’re probably slightly nervous. These thoughts and sensations cause us to display mannerisms that though could be so minor that you couldn't even notice them in yourself, other people still ‘sense’ them and the accompanying inner conflict we are experiencing.
As a result, other people don't quite know why they're just not saying ‘yes’ to you and your services but they are not, they are left unclear about you and your commitments, so simply settle for not responding to you at all or simply say ‘no’ to you and what you have to offer.
So check in with yourself, if this is your experience of trying to meet new people and promote yourself and it’s likely these kinds of thoughts are running you, and so you're probably operating from a false kind of confidence.
ALLOWING OURSELVES TO FEEL THE FEAR
So what is true confidence? True confidence is thinking. “I get I'm worried about what other people think. I get that I'm worried whether people are going to like me or not. I get I'm worried whether people are going to want to buy my services or not.” And then it's simply a practice of noticing yourself thinking these things, acknowledging them, and then allowing yourself to feel the associated feelings that arise in you without placing yourself under pressure to ‘fix’ such thoughts and feelings.
So, when we are ‘unconfident’ we fight these thoughts and feelings, we try hard to make sure we don't show to others what we’re thinking and feeling and as a result, we operate in a way that is nervous and constrained.
Confidence is actually recognizing that we have these mechanisms, that we have these ‘disempowering thoughts’ and associated feelings, that they are always there, then allowing ourselves to feel the fear, to feel the discomfort. If you do this instead of trying to hide all this, you will soon realise that many other people in that room are also feeling and thinking the same! Try then speaking out this experience to others and tell them “I'm feeling so nervous! I can feel and think these things but I don’t need to be run by them any longer.” Doing so will set you free.
I have now got to the point where I will not let these thoughts and feelings run me. I’ll acknowledge them, speak them out to my coach or a friend if I need to and then act anyway. It’s taken me years to get to this but the rewards are indescribable.
What I do now when I attend a networking event is march in through the entrance door, register, find a coat hook and hang my jacket up. I then don't care whether it's a group with two, five or ten standing together talking. I walk straight up these people, interrupt their conversation and I'll say. “Hi! I'm Dan Warburton! How are you?” Then just start shaking people’s hands! People are left thinking: “Who the hell is that?” Yet the funny thing is these people are so taken back by my confidence (which is purely made up) that they begin asking me questions and showing interest in me and what I have to offer! This is how I’ve created many of my current clients.
At the time, in my head, there are all sorts of fearful thoughts running through it but I choose not to be run by any of them. Instead, I move and I take action before they have any chance to!
So today take this on. Practice recognizing that you've got these thoughts in your head, that they are simply thoughts that you're allowing yourself to believe in, that they are not true, that you can simply acknowledge them and that regardless of circumstances, you can choose to be however you want to be in the given moment and take actions that are a reflection of that which you choose to create in the world.
What friend or colleague can you inspire by sharing this with them?
Or maybe you’d like to apply for one of my complimentary coaching sessions from the contact page here on my website?
Remember, dare to dream the dream, dare to choose the dream, dare to live the dream.