Why do some people burst with confidence and others do not?
Author: Carrie Wallis 26 Nov 2016
Why are some people so confident and assertive and others are not?
Why do some people quake at the thought of talking to strangers? Is this you?
Do you flounder at the thought of putting forward your ideas?
You are not alone...
Many people sabotage their chances of being heard, of appearing confident. Why is this?
Well for some it is their belief system that holds them back.
Thoughts and beliefs such as:
"no one would want to hear what I have to say"
"I have nothing to offer of any value"
"I'm dumb who would want to listen to me anyway?"
"He'll/She'll leave me if I say no to him/her"
Do any of these sound familiar?
These limiting beliefs are very common. Many of my clients when they first start working with me have such belief systems.
Take "Rita", who told me she felt worthless, every time someone asked her to do something, even though she knew she could do it herself and do it well, she would tell them that "person A" could do it better and they should go and ask "A" to do it.
After breaking down where her limiting beliefs had originated and changing them we worked on her belief in what she could do.
Rita said "The exercise to recognize her strengths was eye-opening - seeing it written in black and white really made an impact and I am starting to believe in myself far more"
"People with low self-esteem may feel inadequate and have a hard time finding their voice", Marter said.
Others might fear conflict, losing a relationship, criticism, or rejection, she said.
If you’re a woman, you might have been raised to set aside your needs and opinions and support and agree with others.
If you’re a man, you might have been raised to react aggressively with a “my way or the highway” view.
Or just the opposite, you might want to be completely different. “[These individuals may be] fearful of provoking aggression when they are present in relationships, or of being a jerk like my father was.’” Said Paterson.
The first step in the path to confidence is recognising the beliefs you have that may be holding you back. Once you are aware of what you think and believe you can examine your beliefs rationally and clearly and decide what you want to do.
Recognising that we can choose to believe whatever we want, that we are the ones in control of our own thoughts can be immensely powerful and relieving; and can be a surprise for some.
If you have been brought up to think in a certain way, perhaps it has never occurred to you to question those in authority then it can be a real eye-opener to realise that you can choose to think and believe what you want to. Thoughts that put yourself down or make you feel bad do not have to remain, you can choose to get rid of them.
Following a simple step-by-step process, it is possible to examine each negative and limiting belief we hold, understand where it comes from, and then choose what we want to do about it.
Some questions we can use to examine our beliefs are:
Does it serve what we want to achieve in our life?
Does it feel good to believe this about myself?
Does it make me feel confident when I think it?
Does it hold me back?
Once we understand where the beliefs we hold that limit us come from we can start to change them and replace them with more positive and empowering ones.
Another reason why some people are more confident than others is stress.
How do you handle stressful situations?
“The fight-or-flight response is an evolutionary adaptation that pulls us toward aggression or avoidance, and away from calm, relaxed assertiveness,” Paterson said.
When we are assertive, we feel more confident.
When we can calmly state what we want, whilst respecting the needs and wants of others, we feel confident.