Thoughtful Thursday: Episode 3
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday’s, a weekly series where we explore our brains, one thought at a time.
Hi Everyone: Welcome to Thoughtful Thursdays. Not the kind of thoughtful like “oh you brought me flowers just because it’s Tuesday, how thoughtful '' No, this is where we will explore our thoughts and how they move us forward or hold us back.
Today’s topic is confidence vs self-confidence.
Do you know the difference between confidence vs self confidence? I didn’t either. I actually thought they were the same just used differently by people. But confidence comes from something you’ve done before that provides evidence that you can do it again like pouring a cup of coffee. On a scale of 1-10 how confident are you that you can pour a cup of coffee? Probably a 10 right? Self-confidence is believing in yourself to be able to do something you have never done before. There is no evidence that you can or cannot do it. For me it was signing up for a half marathon. I had never done one before, I didn’t even like running so there was no evidence that I could actually complete a half marathon, in fact, with my lack of love for running there was more evidence that I couldn’t complete a half marathon but I signed up anyway and I not only completed one, but two!! That is self confidence. That is believing you can do something even when there is no evidence you can.
On a scale of 1-10 how much self confidence do you have?
The other thing that self confidence teaches us is to have our own back when we start to question ourselves because you will question yourself. When I was training for the half marathon I would often tell myself stories about why I shouldn’t train that day. “Oh, I feel like I’m coming down with a cold I should stay in bed”, or “Ouch, something hurts I better rest and make sure I don’t injure myself more”. I wasn’t getting a cold and nothing really hurt. My brain was just doing what our brains do, keeping us safe and warm and in the cave. I look back at it now and it’s funny, but at the time those thoughts made going out to train more difficult because I was always fighting with myself. My mind would always give up way before my body did. In fact, I would spend the first 30 minutes of the run (well really more like a run/walk) negotiating with myself “OK, just run up to that sign and then you can go back. OK, you made it to the sign, just make it to that light and you can go back”. Sometimes I did this for the entire time just to get my brain to calm down.
What would you do if you had more self confidence? It’s an interesting question because as soon as you think of something that you would like to try your brain will start to weigh in on why you shouldn’t, can’t, won’t, all the things. It will also bring up things you’ve attempted in the past that you didn’t accomplish as evidence that you shouldn’t even think of trying the new thing. It will say things like “remember when you tried to (fill in the blank) and you didn’t make it? Well that is what will happen again so just grab the remote and chill, you’ll thank me later”. But if you are prepared for this brain chatter and you have your own back, when your brain starts it’s chatter you can stop it immediately and say “I know what you think and I respect your opinion but shut up and calm down because I’m going to do it”.
And our brains are not the only ones that want to keep us safe and warm and in the cave. Our family and friends will want to weigh in too. They have the best intention (mostly) but they don’t want to see you “fail” or “get hurt”. My husband, who is my biggest supporter, looked at me like I was crazy when I told him I signed up for a half marathon. He said “but you hate to run and 13 miles is a long way what makes you think you can do that?” He also thought it would be helpful to bring up things I didn’t complete in the past as examples of why I shouldn’t “set myself up for disappointment”. I know he had good intentions but his thoughts were not helpful.
So here is your challenge. Commit to something you have no evidence you can do and do it. Build self confidence one thought at a time. And be prepared for your brain, your friends and family to weigh in and tell them all, brain included, that you appreciate their concerns but you’re going to do it anyway. Each time you accomplish something you’ve never done before you prove to yourself, and your brain, that you are unstoppable.
Until we meet again, choose your thoughts, they are all yours.
Kim Jolicoeur is a Certified Life and Stop Overdrinking Coach helping people regain control of their lives, one thought at a time. For a free consultation go to kimjolicoeurcoaching.com.