Something I read a few years ago that really hit home to me is that confidence isn’t necessarily a feeling that we get and then we take action to do a thing we feel uncertain or insecure about. That actually it’s the other way around. That by taking action and doing the thing is how we begin to build confidence.
So often I hear about how someone feels they lack confidence or if only they felt confident about doing something, or wearing something, or trying something then they could do the thing. From a body image perspective it comes up often. It usually sounds something like “I feel so insecure and unconfident so I’m not going to…”
Have you ever thought about something like that before? I know I have because. It’s very normal to have this thought because usually when we feel insecure or uncertain we also have some fear. It’s ok to have some fear about doing something outside of your comfort zone which is really what we are talking about. Lacking confidence is all about feeling uncomfortable.
I find it empowering to flip the script on a very normal thought experience like” I will take action once I feel confident” but instead use “ I will take action which will help me feel more confident”. When you avoid doing something it will only beget more anxiety and avoidance which will continue you in that cycle of not feeling confident.
Being able to root yourself in the knowledge that to build confidence you have to take action and probably get a little scared. Challenging these beliefs and behaviors can help you build the confidence you desire.
You might be reading this nodding your head or going huh that sounds easier said than done. To be honest with you, this is hard stuff and you may even have clocked that this is a very CBT process. As a somatic therapist I will agree this is definitely CBT but I do like to pull the body into the process. Which is my approach to taking something that feels really hard and being able to put it into action.
When you can identify and interpret the signals your body is sending you when you find yourself avoiding doing something then you can begin to meet your body where it is and figure out how to get yourself what you need. At the end of the day your body is always communicating with you trying to get its needs met; sometimes we just aren’t so great and interpreting those signals.
So go ahead give it a go because it’s in the action which is where confidence lies .That action is really just practice.