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Developing Confidence 

I saw something on Facebook the other day that went something like:  I look as if I'm confident on the outside but inside my shoe my sock if slipping down.  Apologies for not knowing who said that but the statement is telling.  How many of us have been in that same situation, putting on a strong front but this is not congruent with what we are feeling inside?  I certainly have in the past, until I learnt not to listen to the negative messages I received during my early development.  Messages about not being good enough, not coming from the “right side of the tracks”, not being intelligent enough; not being pretty enough; being too noisy; too bigheaded to listen.  The last one being a quote from a teacher because I got the wrong gym mat!  All of these messages were either about being too much or not enough of something.  I know from my work as a Transactional Analyst that I am not alone in having these messages.  The difficulty is that over time we come to believe them and don’t even recognise that we are listening to them.  They become parts of us and how we are.


However, I have news for you.  You don’t have to listen. You can develop new messages, turn down - or even off - the negative ones.  In this instance suffering is optional.  How does believing you are no good help!  It doesn't.  Nor of course, does believing you are better than others because this will also have its own repercussions.  Instead consider people you have known in the past or who you know now who would give you encouraging messages.  You can even choose people you don’t actually know but who you think would make good role models, for example, Gandhi, Maya Angelou, or perhaps an athlete or even a journalist or someone you have seen in a film.  You can take anything you like as long as it is positive and make it your own.  Imagine what they would say to you about a situation, a decision, about who you are etc.  See how much better you feel when you replace the previous negative messages with these positive ones.  Then keep practising these messages.  As the First Nation saying goes: 


First of all find the principle

Then believe the principle

Then practice the principle,

Then become it.

How will you develop your confidence in 2016?  Who will you choose to support you? How will you know when you are doing things differently?  What will you be thinking, saying, doing, feeling? Notice and celebrate your changes, however small.


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