From time to time I ask my audience what it is that they’re struggling with the most and every single time they come back with the same answer.
Confidence, whether it’s confidence to start a business, confidence to go to the next level, confidence to ask for what they need in a relationship, confidence to succeed in a personal goal. It always comes back to confidence.
What is confidence?
I thought I would try and tackle what is actually a huge thing in this short blog. Confidence, for the purposes of this blog comes from a deep understanding of yourself, of ourselves. And I’m constantly amazed at how many of us have not had an opportunity to experience a real deep internal look at what’s most important to us as an individual and not part of a family unit or part of an organization or a part of some other group.
This is a process that I use with every single one of my clients. If you work with me then we go through this process, regardless of how self-aware you are or not. I’m going to walk you through it very quickly just to give you an idea of how you can tap into what’s really truly important and unique to you.
We are just a combination of lots of different experiences, lots of belief systems, lots of values and decisions and memories that we’ve made that have got us to the point that we are now and that can be difficult to unravel.
Just a moment in time
Before I walk you through this process I need to make you aware that this is just a snapshot in time. And what is most important to you right now maybe different to what was most important to you a few years ago and it may be different to what you find most important in the future. What I want you to be aware of is to get comfortable with maybe exploring this process regularly. Certainly if you have a big life-changing event then do it again but also just check in with it from time to time because things do evolve.
What is important to YOU?
I believe this is where our confidence starts from. It’s about knowing what’s most important to you, knowing those key core values that make you who you are. If I was to ask a roomful of people what their core values are they would tell me a whole load of really cool words. They would say things like security and love and compassion and contribution and health and wealth, education, knowledge.
They would give me a whole lot of different words. But as I work through this process things will start to become a little bit more granular and distilled because a lot of those words that come straight off the top of our heads are things that we have been told are important. We’ve got a lifetime of being told what we should believe and what we should value. This is about laying all of that aside and actually going to a place where you can understand exactly what’s most important to you.
What can you not live without?
Let’s get started. First and foremost what can you not live without? What physical things and people and places could you not live without? Because this is going to give us an insight into what’s most important to you. So have a think about that, what’s most important to you? What could you not live without? That’s a physical thing; a thing, a person or a place.
Then the next part is think about what does that thing, person or place give you? What does it do for you? What do you get from it? Maybe it’s your favorite place and it gives you peace or maybe it gives you a sense of adventure or maybe it gives you a challenge. Now we’re starting to look at those values type words, those words that elicit some sort of emotion or feeling and are not a physical thing. So not things like money – money gives you the ability to do things that you may find are connected to your core values.
First of all we’re looking at what can you not live without. Next we’re looking at what does that thing person or place give you? Usually that’s where we stop, we’ve got a list of values words and we’re like yeah okay so these are the things that are most important to me. And in that room full of people, (because I do this on a regular basis in a group) I will have a number of people who have the same words. Lots of times you get love, you get health, you get security, you get belonging. Lots of times people will share common values but the next step in the process is to write your definition for what that word means to you.
Time to define YOUR values
Now is where things start to get interesting because I might have four or five people in a room with the same values word but I will bet you that their definition of that word is different.
The meaning of the words are actually your vision of that value and once you’ve done that, when you’re sitting looking at your values words that came from things that you can’t live without and your definition of those words, then you should be looking at a piece of paper that’s staring back at you and you can look at it and go yeah, that feels like me.
Know what is important to YOU
And that is the first step towards cultivating confidence. It’s knowing what’s most important to you and what that means to you. From that place it becomes your guiding light or your moral compass in anything that you want to do going forward.
From that place you can look at the goals that you’re setting, personal, professional and say okay, does that really fit with what’s most important to me?
I hope that’s been useful. When I when I work with clients through this process it’s far more in-depth and we take it much much deeper and further but this is the first step towards cultivating more confidence for you.
Let me know how you get on with defining your value words and using them to set your goals.