Give Birth to Confidence by Changing Your Brain

open minded

Do you ever feel like you will never be good enough?

We sell ourselves short by thinking we will never be good enough. We stop trying new things, assuming “why bother.” We don’t see that we are making progress, even if we sometimes move backwards.

There is a place where hope lies in all of us. We can create new pathways in our brains. And, these new routes will give birth to a more confident you. Allow me to be your guide, while we destroy myths and unearth the truth that lives deep inside each of us.

Challenge Myths about Self-Confidence

Your assumptions about confidence may be holding you back from tapping into more sureness. Do you believe any of these myths about confidence?

Myth #1: Self-confidence is the same as self-esteem.

Self-esteem is easily confused with being confident in oneself. While self-esteem is feeling worthy and accepted, self-confidence is being certain of one’s skills, abilities, and self. You can have one without the other. Don’t let uncertainty interfere with embracing yourself.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~Oscar Wilde

Myth #2: Most people are very self-confident.

We all experience times where we lack confidence. Even successful people struggle with self-confidence, including popular authors and performers, (Lady Gaga, Elizabeth Gilbert, Stephenie Meyer). No one is an expert on everything – whew!

“Courage is the mean with regard to fear and confidence.” ~Aristotle

Myth #3: You get confidence before you try something new.

We don’t start with confidence. It grows as you move, fall, and learn. Don’t wait to work on your goals until you feel confident. Instead lean into your goal in spite of having fear at your side.

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” ~Henri Bergson

The Good News – We Can Change Our Brains

While confidence will wax and wane, how do we grow our overall self-confidence in our ability to handle life’s challenges and changes?

It can be hard to change, because memories and emotions are stored closely in our brains. For instance, each time you start planning your next trip, you remember panicking on your last business trip. Your worry is getting in the way of reaching your goals. You’ve been assuming history will repeat itself, because you have no other way to think about yourself or the situation.

Here’s the good news, we can all change our brains in 2 ways:

  • We can override our emotions/reactions. Emotions are automatic and react quicker than our thinking. It takes a thoughtful focus, but we can override our reactions once we recognize them. Self-observation helps interfere with your automatic reactions and move you to calmer thinking.
  • We can make new pathways in our brain. The more we practice a new way of thinking or acting, in spite of fear, the more solid this new pathway becomes. Repetition is our friend, and it’s how we all learn from birth through adulthood.

The Truth – Small Steps are Big Steps

My confidence is most challenged when I write. I worry that I won’t have anything interesting or new to say. I fret that no one will understand my message. Instead of giving into my fear, I keep writing and my confidence grows. While I may never be 100% confident in my writing, as a 11-month old blogger, I’m surprisingly happy with my progress.

Confidence is birthed. Your confidence will grow like a child learning to walk. You will stumble and fall, but each time you take a small step, you are growing. Repeat these small steps, and soon you will be walking.

You will no longer be sitting out of the race waiting for confidence to find you. You’ll be changing your brain, and birthing new pathways to a more confident you.

Please share how you grew to believe in yourself.

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Related Posts: 5 Ways to Raise More Confident Kids; Squash Perfectionism by Embracing All of You

Survey results: This post was inspired by several comments left on my recent survey. Thank you to all who participated in my recent survey. I’m excited to write on more topics of interest to you. And, it’s clear that you are ready for a book on “10 Ways to Manage Worry.” For now, you can purchase a collective e-book called “Love, Care, Donate” (and know that ALL donations go to the  Joplin tornado recovery.)

Photo Credit: “Open Minded” by H. Kopp Delaney

5 responses to “Give Birth to Confidence by Changing Your Brain

  1. Number 3 speaks to me – my personal example is public speaking. I had to give presentations, confidence or not. I had to do it for work and over time I felt better and better about myself giving these talks. If I waited until I had the confidence, I’d probably still be waiting. We have to step out and force ourselves to do even that which we feel scared of. Like you say, doing it over and over, baby steps, will yield growth and confidence. I now give presentations on my own and love it – love the interaction; it’s a real high.

    • That’s an awesome story of starting something even though not fully confident. Who knew it would turn into something you love doing too! Thanks for getting the conversation started. :)

  2. “Don’t wait to work on your goals until you feel confident. Instead lean into your goal in spite of having fear at your side.”

    Wow! When I was 8 years old I decided I was going to be a writer. I am a writer, and a damn good one too, but it has taken almost 50 years for me to have the confidence to step out and say that.

    About 16 months ago I finally quit a job I had been doing–and hating–for almost 15 years, took a year and a bit off to “find myself,” and among other things, joined a like-minded writing group that had enough confidence/belief in me to include me in their readings and to publish me. They have also encouraged me to submit, submit, submit!

    I am now working at a part-time job for much less pay, but making enough to cover my expenses and allow me to put a little bit away. The best thing is that, most of all, it doesn’t leave me so drained by the end of the day that I can’t think, let alone write. Scary–especially at my age? You betcha! But I have never felt more alive and confident in my life!

    And, by the way, I don’t/didn’t have a ton of money/savings in the bank when I decided to do this–we are working class, pay cheque to pay cheque (for the most part) people. My spouse and I actually budgeted on the assumption that we both made minimum wage for 2 years prior to my quitting my job (yes, he really is this supportive!) and shoved everything else in the bank so I could take this time off. Thankfully, we have always lived a very frugal lifestyle and don’t believe in having consumer debt, but at 50+ these were not small decisions to make.

    The coolest thing? When my 3 grown daughters tell people, “My Mom’s a writer.”

    • Mela, What an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. A dream come true at any age is a beautiful thing. You took a risk, and found you were there all along. Congratulations on stepping out when you didn’t know where you’d land. Uncertainty, courage, and now confidence!

  3. You’ve got great insights about Self esteem, self confidence, keep up the good work!