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In my workshops people often tell me that they’d like to feel more confident about something they do or need to do. Me too!

One way to get past the lack-of-confidence hurdle is to practice whatever you feel under-confident about. But before you do that just check your thinking to make sure that you are not accidentally putting yourself off with these common pitfalls:

Comparing

Comparing your imagined efforts with those of somebody else and deciding you’ll not measure up, before you have even started

Predicting

Allowing the (natural) mindset of uncertainty before you do something  to predict the outcome and creating imagined failure

Judging

If you don’t feel confident (yet) it’s normal to feel uncomfortable about whatever you have to do. Explaining this to yourself with harsh judgements like “I’m useless” or “I’m lazy” is a form of distorted thinking. Don’t trust it!

Criticising

Self-criticism, see above.

Complaining

If you don’t want to do it, that’s too bad. Either don’t do it, or get on and do it, but don’t use the excuse of not feeling confident to support your complaint. Confidence comes with practice, so get on and do it or… you know!

Blaming

If somebody or something is to blame for your lack of confidence, poor you! It’s not easy being a victim, I know, I’ve been there. Blame may justified if life has tipped the scales against you, but it won’t help you grow your confidence.

It may not be a lack of confidence that’s stopping you, but lack of competence. Competence can be developed with practice. Start small and safe – don’t tackle the big challenge until you’ve practiced a bit – and don’t expect to get it right or be perfect.

In short, lighten up and have fun. Find mundane opportunities to practice where mistakes won’t be noticed and can won’t cause a problem. Notice what works for you, notice when you get it right even a little bit. I’m confident you can do it.

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