Self-Confidence is the Essence of Growth.

Self-Confidence is a hugely powerful feeling. It truly opens our world up to us.

Self-Confidence is defined in the Oxford Dic as  “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.”  This makes it internal and it can be future based.

Confidence is defined as, “the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.”This makes it external and reliant upon the past and evidence we can find to support it.

We can be self-confident in one area of our lives and lacking it in another.We are not born with  Self-Confidence, we have to build it. That my friend, is just the best news!  We can choose, if we wish, to develop Self-Confidence.

I believe that Self-Confidence is the Emotion required for growth.

Self-Confidence is mastered by us being willing to feel any emotion. Marianne what the hell are you on about?

 “Why would I want to feel any emotion for crying out loud?

I have spent my life avoiding emotions.

That is what everyone has always taught me.”

The very British part of me is still recoiling at such a notion!
“Show your emotions in public?  Dear God girl, that is not acceptable!”
Us Brits eh? I wonder if that is why most of the population drinks so much? To avoid their emotions? Who knows and that’s another story altogether!!

Let me reign myself in and share a story about my  Self-Confidence.
Previously when I wanted to do something for which I had zero Self-Confidence, so something new, this was my past pattern. Which I was utterly superb at repeating and I would say, achieved a level of mastery in.

I want to do X

It scares me, I can’t possibly do that. Why would I even think I can achieve that?

I create abject terror throughout my body

I create a myriad of reasons why I can’t possibly do it, including, I might well die and I’d best just stay here in this nice safe cave!! I make myself extremely busy and don’t do X. I master that art of procrastination!

X doesn’t get done!

Nowadays, I have a word with myself and ask, if I want to do X, why the chuffing hell am I finding a whole load of quite frankly, ridiculous, reasons not to do it? Then, I gently reason with myself about my feelings… this is the big one!

Take a deep breath and think if something that scares the crap out of you?(That after all is why they invented bicycle clips!)

I am thinking of a fairly dramatic one- a parachute jump I did years ago. So, here I am sitting here today, writing to you and my heart is racing, the nest of serpents in my tummy are definitely on the move and my palms feel clammy.  Said jump was about 30 years ago and when I think about it now, it still has this effect on me. Crazy isn’t it?

Just to establish one thing. Anything in our past is past. 
It is over.
 It is done.
It is finished!

 What is creating this internal havoc, are my thoughts about said, past event. That is empowering to know, but bloody Eric, who needs little excuse to jump on any bandwagon, is adding fuel to the flames alright! For those of you who haven’t met Eric yet, he is part of me. I guess he represents the extreme opposite of Self-Confidence!  His sole purpose seems to be, to screw me up and try and create as many hurdles in my mind management as possible!! Some people give huge power to what they call their  “monkey mind,” “inner critic”, “health and safety department” or what ever you choose to call ‘it’…

I don’t!

I treat him with humour. Like a naughty toddler who has gone on the rampage with a kitchen knife. He has the potential to hurt, but is just unknowingly scampering about having fun!

He needs direction! Boy, does he need direction!

Ok, so occasionally I might send a few choice expletives his way, to help him with his travel plans, but I never give him the power to run my brain.

I take responsibility for everything I do and everything I choose to think.

Its called being a grown up and its tough at times, and I am work in progress!

Back to the feelings of terror and that bloody parachute jump! I described the actual feelings above for you. They are uncomfortable. Crazy to think I can still summon them up for an event 30 years ago!

My thoughts today are creating my feelings today!

These feelings can not hurt me; they really can’t. I can allow them to freak me out, to feel sorry for myself and use them to find evidence why I must never attempt anything scary again! They can not hurt me. They will not kill me. 

Try and describe your feelings to someone who has no concept of a feeling. It’s a creative game and it allows feelings, which are just a vibration in our body, to be understood. We can feel terrible, sick, skin crawl, emptiness, racing heart, hot flushes ( hello hot flushes!) shivers and shakes…but they can’t hurt us. Really they can’t.

Feelings are supreme. They aren’t wishy washy, they power us to do, or not to do. They drive us forward to take massive action, or hurl us up against an impenetrable wall.  Feelings are always created by our thoughts. So when we grasp the measure of this, we become truly empowered. We get to choose our thoughts, hence feelings, actions and ultimately all of our results. 

I get to choose how I want to feel. So do you.

Yes it takes work, but we always get to choose. It’s either by default or design. I choose design, conscious thought, every time. Why wouldn’t I? Openly and honestly admitting here to being work in progress…no doubt  for the rest of my life! But growth is the essence of life. We are either growing or dying.

Back to that sodding parachute jump, which I must admit, I had a fair intention of chickening out from. It became non-negotiable. The friend who was organising it, was killed in a car crash all those years ago, God love him.

It’s interesting now as a coach, I can see that my thoughts were going to stop me.

Geoff died. 

That totally changed my thoughts. It went from, scary best the boys do this one, to 

“I Said to Geoff I would do this. I am doing this.”

This thought became the backbone of a feeling so powerful, so determined so utterly non-negotiable. I did the parachute jump, raised a load of money for MIND and sprained my ankle in a spectacular way. Who said there would be no drama?!

So looking back on it, my Self-Confidence was created by the thought

“I am doing this for Geoff.”

Thoughts are supremely powerful. The feeling of Self-Confidence is always created by a Thought. Life is such huge fun, when we start to get the measure of it.

I am curious to know…Which thoughts do you regularly use to stop you in your tracks or to take action and get stuff done?

Love. Self-Confidence is the Rocket Fuel for your future,  Marianne.x