I was recently talking to a musician friend of mine about whether he still got nervous before a performance. To be honest, he was always laughing and joking before going on stage and came on with such a swagger that I really expected him to say ‘no’ but instead he said “of course I do! I spend the hour before a performance running backwards and forwards to the gents!”

Our conversation also reminded me of the time when I became a new manager and went to my HR Director and asked him for some assertiveness training and he literally burst out laughing and said “but you’re one of the most assertive young women I know!”

But for me that wasn’t true. OK I was pretty confident when I was in my comfort zone but my new promotion meant that I was moving completely outside of it. I was now entering a competitive  environment where internal politics came into play, ego’s were competing and where it was often ‘they that debated longest or loudest’ who won. But I couldn’t show that I wasn’t in control could I?

Does this ring any bells for you?

Do people see you as calm and confident yet inside you feel anxious or nervous or that little voice of self doubt just won’t be quiet?

Do people often tell you “gosh you are always so in control!” yet your brain feels like it is running on overload and you are paddling like mad just to keep your head above water?

Are you often seen as the bubbly character in the office and the life and soul of the party and yet sometimes you just want to close the door and shut the world out?

It’s strange isn’t it how people only see what we show them or maybe it’s easier for them to just see what they want to see?

The key really is how you feel and think about yourself. That’s right self-confidence isn’t just a feeling it’s a thought. It’s having trust in your own abilities and judgement and being open to constant learning. Actually that’s one of the real keys isn’t it? If you just open to learning and developing yourself then you can look at making mistakes completely differently. There’s no need to beat yourself up and nail your self-confidence to the floor as the mistake means you can learn and do something different next time.

2 of my favourite quotes are :

“I have not failed I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work” – Thomas Edison

“How can you have regrets when you have learnt from what happened” – my friend Martin!

Looking forward to seeing you on the 20/21st February 2016 at our confidence acceleration event!

Take care and remember,  it’s less strain on your muscles to focus ahead than to look back!