Have you ever thought "I wish I was more confident! I wish I could just relax, be myself, and be ok with that!"
I have definitely had my struggles with confidence and have thought there must be some secret to it all!
Some code that I needed to crack and then unlimited confidence would flow to me from...well, from where ever confidence flows from!
(Is it a pot at the end of a rainbow? A magic bottle? A troll under a bridge? I don't know lol!)
Now if you walk into any book store or use the almighty google you will find so many tangible resources on confidence...everything from 'fake it til you make it' to 'stand like superman' or in some of our cases superwomen!
And honestly all of these are helpful to a certain extent, but I have found one overarching belief that makes confidence something that you can access at any time.
Wanna know what it is?
It's the belief in a growth mindset!
A growth mindset is the magic, the secret, the code, the whatever you want to call it.
A growth mindset is the only thing you need to access the unlimited confidence in you!
Yikes, that was a big promise, wasn't it!
So what exactly is a growth mindset?
It's an underlying fundamental belief that you have the ability to learn and grow in all area of your life.
That is where you find ourself right now is not where you have to stay!
That's it! simple right?
So what does this look like in the real world?
If you are nervous in a new relationship, you believe you have the ability to LEARN how to meet the need of or understand your partner.
If you are starting a new job, you believe you have the ability to LEARN the skills required to do the job well!
If you are a first-time parent, you believe you have the ability to LEARN what it takes to take care of your child's physical and emotional needs.
If you are meeting new friends, you believe you have the ability to LEARN what it means to find common ground with them, to show them love, and to show them your authentic self.
Growth mindset has nothing to do with what you can already do...instead, it has everything to do with believing that you are capable of progress in every area of your life.
And when you believe that you can learn, grow, try again, find understanding, that you always have the potential for progress, you begin to have a strong feeling of confidence.
There is also a beautiful humility in the growth mindset. You don't have to know it all or be good at it all or fit in right away.
So often we think confidence comes from being great at something or better at it then everyone else, but that's not confidence, that is ego!
The opposite of a growth mindset is, of course, a fixed mindset.
Which is the basic, fear based belief that where you are now and how you are today is how you'll stay.
That how your relationship is today is how it will stay!
That what your life circumstances are right now are how things will always be!
Sounds like a tough mindset to have if you want to be confident!
Now it's totally possible to have a growth mindset in some areas and a fixed mindset in other areas.
For myself I have an unshakeable growth mindset when it comes to what I can contribute to others, I am always learning and growing in ways I can walk with someone through their life's journey, but I have a total fixed mindset when it comes to what I am capable of with technology!
In fact, I need my 14 year old son to help me figure out how to set the heat in our house, how to PVR something on our Tv, how to access Netflix, and how to change my voicemail on my phone!
(Maybe some of you can relate?)
So how do you access a growth mindset?
Easy, with that thing you listen to all day long!
That voice in your head!
The voice in our head is always talking, asking us questions, giving up ideas, forming our opinions, and in this way shaping our beliefs!
So it is the perfect too to use to give us a growth mindset!
Let's see how this works:
Take a moment now to think about some area you would have a growth mindset in.
Maybe it's your relationship, your work, or your ability to be an amazing parent!
As you think about this area what does the voice in your head say?
Nice things right?
And when you do run into a problem?
Your mind goes right into giving you ideas for a solution!
Why? Because you have the confidence that you can progress in this area!
You believe you can learn, you can get better!
Now on the flip side of this think of an area that you have a fixed mindset in.
Maybe it's a skill you don't have or a problem you can't solve.
As you listen to your inner voice now what does it say?
Not so nice right?
It makes you feel a total lack of confidence mainly because it convinces you it will always be this way and there is nothing you can do to change it!
AKA a total lack of growth!
So as you take this out into the world, the first step is to recognize these two voices and acknowledge which one is in control of the different areas in your life.
The second step is to realize that you are choosing to allow this to be true.
You have both voices in your head, which one you allow to reign in which area is your choice!
The third step is to choose to listen to the growth mindset in the areas of life that you haven't been up until now!
Want a real-life example?
Let's say you are meeting a new group of people and you're a little nervous!
You want to fit in and you want people to like you!
What is the voice in your head saying?
If it's a fixed mindset, it's probably saying something like: "These people are so fancy and I'm not", or "They're so smart and I'm not", or "They really have it all together, and I don't"
Total fixed mindset thoughts! Total confidence Killer!
Now take a moment to change those thoughts:
"These people are so fancy, this environment is going to be so different then I am used to, it is going to be so neat to be part of it and see how the other side lives!" LOL
"These people are so smart, I'm going to learn so much tonight!"
"These people have it all together, I'm so inspired!"
When you think of walking into a situation with these thoughts doesn't it make you feel different?
Maybe even excited?
Dare I say confident?
Confident that you are going to learn and grow - and because of that have a great time!
See many of us want confidence in ourselves because we want to impress, outdo, or outshine, but friend that is not confidence, that is ego!
And you could use this same technique for a new career.
Your first day at the office could be filled with your fixed mindset voice, "This is so overwhelming, I'm never going to understand how to do this!" Or with your growth mindset voice, "Whoa this is a lot of new information, I'm going to break it down so it's easier to understand!"
Which is going to make you feel like you can be a success?
As you go about your day, listen to your inner voice and learn (eek - growth mindset) which one controls which area of your life!