Article Overcome Negative Self-Doubt Using the Four Pillars of Confidence 0 2017 Life coaching Confidence coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
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How to Use Strengths to Boost Confidence

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How to turn your anxieties into strengths

Confidence is about knowing how to turn your anxieties into strengths

Moments of anxiety

Imagine this scnario:

  • Your palms are sweating, but somehow also a little cold and clammy.
  • You really hope the organizer of the event doesn't come over and ask to shake your hand, you would be mortified.
  • You rub your palms on your thighs, vigorously for several minutes, just in case.
  • You know you put deodorant on this morning, but somehow today, you’re perspiring like an Olympic long distance runner on a hot summer day.
  • You gulp, to try to get your stomach to relocate from your throat to where it belongs.
  • You vaguely remember that you actually have a speech to give. Where are your notecards? Suddenly you get a hot flash and your head feels like it is going to burst open.
  • You frantically shuffle some papers around looking for your notecards because you are certain you have forgotten your speech in its entirety.
  • The organizer walks over to you and calmly says: “Ready?” You are thinking to yourself “Do I look ready? I am in sheer panic mode!” But you smile, even though your mouth is completely dry and you are sure your smile looks utterly fake, and you say “Let’s do this.” The organizer says, “Relax, you are going to be great.”
  • You have about 30 seconds in this situation to decide how this speech is going to go.
  • Are you going to continue on with sheer panic mode, or are you going to take the organizers advice and just relax?
  • Are you going to stumble and fumble and forget your speech or are you going to turn it around and create a successful presentation?
  • What you do in this moment in time, was actually decided weeks, maybe even months earlier.

Confidence isn’t just about being able to repeat behaviors that we are already good at, confidence is about practicing in advance our not so strong points in order to turn them into strengths.

Take our sweaty palms scenario, if this were you, chances are, this was not the first time you got this nervous before a presentation. In fact, I would bet that getting nervous before a presentation was something that you learned. But, here’s the truth:

If you can learn something, you can also unlearn it!


Four pillars of confidence

In fact unlearning happens just as fast as learning. My philosophy is that confidence has four components:

  1. Confidence: Knowing what you are good at.
  2. Knowledge: Understanding what you are not so good at.
  3. Courage: Being ok with the feeling of not being good yet and doing it anyway.
  4. Strengths Focus: Using the knowledge about what you are good at, not so good at and create a plan of action to incorporate your strengths in every challenging situation.

Let’s revisit our panicked presenter. Let’s say one of your strengths is curiosity. You can use the strength of curiosity to become curious about the people in the audience. You can be curious about what fascinating questions they will have once your presentation is over, you can be curious about each person’s story, what brings them here? Having an attitude of curiosity, which is a strength, puts you in the driver’s seat to redirect your focus from a weakness to a strength.

List your key strengths

So how can you use your strengths to help you build confidence in situations that are challenging? First, start off by creating a list of your top 5 strengths.

One of the first action steps I take with my clients is I find out what their strengths are.

Then I begin to help them bring into their conscious awareness when they are using their strengths. We get really good at being able to access a strength resource in any situation to overcome what would otherwise be a catastrophic situation.  

Action Step: Now it is time for you to take an action step.

What are your strengths? I use a Character Strengths Assessment with my clients in order to get to their top 24 strengths and which character strengths they identify with the most. But you can do this yourself easily. Here’s how.

  1. Think of a challenging situation that was very difficult for you.
  2. Now think of what you did in order to overcome this challenge.
  3. What strengths did you use in order to solve this challenge effectively?
  4. Repeat. Get a sample of 5 situations that you overcome a challenge and write out what strengths you used to overcome the challenge.
  5. Organize your list from 1-10 getting your top 10 strengths in order.
  6. Think about one of your strengths for a day and notice how you use that strength in an ongoing way every day in order to help you be resourceful.

That’s all there is to it. Now you are re-focused on your strengths, rather than focused on your not so strong points.

If you have found this article helpful and you think it is time to invest in yourself to gain confidence, clarity and focus in your life, I would be happy to have a dialog with you about how you could greatly benefit from my 12 Week Mindset Transformation to Build Unshakable Confidence. This is a one on one custom coaching program catered to your goals, needs and life challenges. If you are ready to take your life to the next level, then visit my LifeCoachHub profile to request a free consultation.

Yours in Confidence,

Nancy Georges
Confidence Coach


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