For most of my life I thought confidence was something I needed, I saw other people who had so much of it and knew that if I had it everything would be different; I wouldn’t be scared, I wouldn’t feel small; I could be somebody. I thought confidence was something I needed to do the things that scared me: “when I get a bit more confident, then I can do that”, but I was looking at it from the wrong angle.

When I trained in NLP I learned to use my posture and breathing to change my state; I was able to feel more confident and do more things. I made great progress and it felt like I was able to control it; to create that confidence at will; when I was on it, I was on fire!

It worked well: I learned to anchor (which means to link one thing to another) that confident feeling to a certain type of breathing and so all I needed to do was breath in this way and I would feel great!

Where it fell down for me was that no matter how good I got at it, I still had to do something to create that feeling, but there were times when I felt so low that I couldn’t even be bothered to do that simple thing. It meant that I entered a slump and couldn’t get myself out of it. It felt like all the hard work I had done had been wasted, that I wasn’t good enough and that I had been fooling myself. I beat myself up and it got worse.

As effective as it was to create that feeling of confidence and though it enabled me to do so much more than I could before, it was reliant on me wanting to do something. I used to think I was lazy: How could I not do it? What was wrong with me?

I now know that I was just scared and low on energy; there was a lot going on with my family; my dad was very ill and I wasn’t coping with that very well and so of course creating confidence wasn’t as simple; looking back it wasn’t even what I needed to do at that time. (Or ever!)

It is a strange mechanism that allows us to feel like we are failing because things get hard and we are not just bouncing back. Why the hell should we bounce back when people we care about are suffering? I would have done much better to acknowledge what was happening and then I could have made a better choice that would have made a real difference. Anyway, I am digressing……

There is a dark secret to confidence that not many people talk about and most probably don’t realise; the secret is that there is no secret; You cannot create real confidence until you have done something enough times that you can do it well. At first it will be scary, it will be challenging; you won’t know if you will screw up or not and that is how it is supposed to be.

There is a myth that people who are really good at something start off with more confidence than other people, that there is something different about them; their natural ability means that they don’t feel what the rest of us feel; but that is false. No matter who it is, no matter how much natural ability they have, when they do something for the first time it will be scary and they won’t know how well they will do. The difference between them and other people is simply that they don’t allow that to hold them back; they keep going back for more.

So, what is confidence really?

It is an acquired feeling that you get by doing something again and again. It is that simple.

Where do you want more confidence in your life?

Here I have talked about the theory, if you want to explore the real world application in your life, come to our all day event which is happening on 10th September 2016 in London. Click this link to find out more:

All Day Event:Building Social Confidence To Overcome Your Fear Of Being Rejected