As a coach & personal trainer I have the opportunity of working with people from multiple domains from high level lawyers to ambitious millennials.
By working with them, I have come to see patterns amongst those who are experiencing a continual stream of challenges and those whose pursuit to success almost appears like magic.
My primary focus is confidence and performance. Whether you realise it or not, you are all performing; in the workplace and in life. When confidence is low, performance suffers, when confidence is high, performance flows.
Central to confidence & performance is belief. This is what we perceive as being true. Neuroscientist and author of ‘Born to Believe‘ Andrew Newberg describes belief as: “ like a map, a neural representation of an experience that seems meaningful, real, or true”
Beliefs operate under the surface, meaning they influence outside your awareness. The way I describe it to my clients is, if confidence is the cake then belief is one of the ingredients.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’d like to share with you 3 common belief categories that shape confidence, both low and high:
1. Belief about self
Compare these two statements; “I am a highly confident and creative individual” and “I am a very shy and anxious individual”. Which one do you think is going to experience confidence naturally without trying (which is what confident people do, they don’t ‘try’ to be confident).
When I say beliefs operate outside of your awareness, the residue of that belief comes through in your language and how you act. When you say “I am a highly confident and a creative individual” and saying it feels as comfortable as a well worn pair of shoes, it will show in how you carry yourself and, as importantly, how other people will perceive you.
Belief about self question: “You are being filmed for a documentary. The viewers won’t see who you are but they will hear your voice. You have 10 seconds to describe who you are, GO!”
2. Belief about world
Compare these two statements; “The world is my oyster, there are so many opportunities around” and “Success is only for the elites, the rest of us get screwed over”. A day never goes by without a new conspiracy theory developing. The general idea is, we are being lied to and our lives are being run by a couple of people in a room somewhere over cigars.
There is a concept in NLP (Neuro Linguistic programming) that states whether you are ‘at effect‘ meaning your circumstances are the result of something external to you, or “at cause‘ meaning you are the main driver of your reality.
Your beliefs will reflect whether you are in the ‘at effect’ camp, or the ‘at cause’ camp . Problems can arise when you are ‘at effect’ and believe that if anything is to change in your life, something external (money, other people, politics) has to change first.
Belief about world question: “Think back to your last set back, failure, disappointment. How did you explain it to yourself? Notice whether your answer focuses on what YOU did, or what the OTHER factors were”
3. Belief about ability
Compare these two statements; “I hope I do well here” and “I have done all I can to do my best in this” Belief about ability can determine the level of self-consciousness you apply in your endeavor. The person who says “I hope I do well here” is only likely to say that if they are also concerned that they won’t’ do well. Yet the person who say “I have done all I can to do my best in this”, they’ve done all they need to do and they believe they’ve set the conditions for them to do their best.
Belief about ability doesn’t have to mean that you believe you ARE the best, it only has to mean you have the ability to do your best. In fact, an inflated belief that you are the best can be detrimental if the reality doesn’t match up with that belief!
Belief about ability question: “Choose an aspect of your life (health, business, relationships etc.) where you strive to be better, what thoughts come up for you when anticipating progress?”