Confidence is feeling good about yourself and believing in your abilities. Confidence is also a feeling that get’s generated when you believe that you can do the task at hand (or when you put on those killer heels that make your calf’s look amazing!)
If you believe that you are not capable, then you don’t feel confident and fear kicks. Your inner critic will go for it, telling you all the catastrophic events that are about to unfold and you usually believe every word! You could say then that fear is the opposite of confidence and confidence is really just a calm and clear state of mind.
Confidence is not some magical ingredient that some people are born with and some aren’t. There is confidence inside everybody and it’s mostly a case of controlling your inner critic and fight or flight response.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh
An acronym I use for describing confidence is I.L.A.C. – I am lovable and capable.
Self-esteem (which is the foundation of self-confidence) is one of the 12 branches of self love that I teach. You can find out more about the 12 branches of self love on this post here. If I’m coaching a client on self-love then we work on all these branches and confidence is a natural by-product of self-love.
Feeling capable is the other big part of the equation in confidence. We often make the mistake of waiting to feel capable before we try something new or step out of our comfort zone but confidence is really just feeling the fear and doing it anyway and building up evidence that you are capable. When you don’t feel confident, look back at all the times when you felt scared but did it anyway and remember how you handled it. Look back at the evidence.
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.” ~ William Jennings Bryan
A major pathway to confidence is through the body and that is where Yoga comes in. Yoga has really helped me to love and accept myself and my body. Through Yoga, I’ve come to know my true self. Not the self that has many different roles and masks in the world. Or the self that gets portrayed on social media. That deeper layer that is calm, unchanging and so much more than my thoughts or my body. I find that gives me strength and confidence. That is something we all have and can all tap into through Yoga and mediation.
I’ve mentioned already that confidence is also a calm and clear state of mind and there is nothing better than Yoga for this! The way you move your body affects how you feel and your whole biochemistry as outlined in the graphic below:
Basically, this graphic shows that your emotions have an affect on your whole physiology. Think racing heart, sweating and shallow breathing when you are anxious. This also works in the other direction. Move your body in a certain way, such as slow and mindfully in Yoga and it will slow down and calm the mind and the stimulate the para-sympathetic nervous system (the opposite of the flight or flight response, often called rest and digest).
Move your body in a confident way – shoulders back, head up, etc., and you will naturally feel more confident. Tony Robbins has been known to bounce up and down on a trampoline before one his big speaking events to get the energy and confidence beforehand! If he even needs to do that, then we all need to have our own confidence ritual or bag of tools that we can use. I will be sharing some of my tools for gaining more confidence in my upcoming event ‘Yoga for Confidence’ this Friday evening. You can find out more about it here. It’s a 2 hour mini workshop held at In the Moment in Glasgow at 6.00 pm.
“A confident person — knowing and believing in her identity — carries tools, not weapons.” ~ Amy Cuddy
Join me to expand your own toolbox in this area with some Yoga alongside that will bring out your inner confidence. I would love to see you there!