I have had two interesting conversation recently with Life Coaching clients about confidence. Both people claimed to lack confidence in certain areas of their life and needed me to give them some more.
Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately the extreme weather has shut down the confidence factory and my shipments are on back order.
I scratched my head in desperation unsure of what to do, when all of a sudden a thought came to me out of the blue. What if both clients already had lots of confidence, but had merely misplaced it?
I used to go rock climbing when I was in my twenties. I was never any good at it, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. On the occasions I foolishly agreed to follow my friend, Shep, up a route that was way over my head I would invariably end up being dragged up the final few feet.
When I got to the top humiliated and exhausted I would flop to the floor to try and regain my breath and composure as he laughed his ass off at the quivering wreck lying at his feet.
As I recovered I would become aware how solid my normally flabby arms were. The muscles that normally resembled Monty Burns after a severe bout of flu were actually rock hard.
In climbing vernacular, I was pumped dude!
The reason being, my body had concluded I was out of my rock climbing depth and was doing everything in its power to help me out. Thus, it was hurling as much blood to my muscles as it could spare in a vain attempt to make up the huge deficit in my strength and ability.
It was usually in vain (pun intended) because I simply wasn’t strong enough and no amount of oxygen enriched blood or adrenaline would alter that fact.
A few weeks ago when I announced I was looking to work with another Life Coach and exchange services I had a number of responses. One of them came from Karl Staib and this is part of the e-mail he sent me:
“I would like to offer you a coaching swap. I’m not certified and I know this is a pet peeve of yours, but I’m good at what I do. I’ve worked with many coaches and have been coaching people for over a year.”
He’s right, uncertified Life Coaches are a pet peeve of mine.
The industry is struggling for credibility and I have spoken and worked with too many people that had previously hired Life Coaches that were incompetent, sometimes dangerously so.
So you may be confused to hear I chose Karl to work with and he was the only person who contacted me who hadn’t undergone formal training.
How hypercritical is that, eh?
Well not really, because unlike a lot of people that hire a Life Coach, I knew what I was looking for and Karl fitted my bill.
When we were going through our first session I was asking him what he most wanted to get out of the process and he responded, and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember the exact words:
“I want more confidence in what I do”
“Holy shit are you kidding me? Seriously? You e-mailed a Life Coach who regularly rants about unqualified Life Coaches to tell him you could coach him. And then you try and tell me you need more confidence. Seriously?”
He got the message.
Karl doesn’t need any more confidence, he’s jam packed with it. It’s standing room only on the confidence train running through Karl’s head. He, like most of us, just sometimes forgets that.
I wish I could tell you in detail about the other person, but unfortunately client confidentiality means I can’t, but I’ll say this. He or she holds a world record at a dangerous endurance sport and the conversation was eerily similar.
We all have confidence at our disposal, it’s just that sometimes we can tap into it more easily than others. Our skill set, mood, belief system, physical well-being and all sorts of external factors can influence our confidence levels either positively or negatively.
Confidence isn’t a mechanical cause and effect process.
When I was rock climbing I didn’t have to tell my body I needed some extra blood because it sensed what was going on and did the job for me.
Confidence is a bit more complex than that. You may need a bit of manual intervention to kick things off from time to time when. Especially when you are venturing out your cosy comfort zone for the first time and Mr Flight and Mrs Fight are waiting to greet you.
So the answer to the original question is you can’t get more confidence, you have all you need.
That may seem like a bit of a cop out, but it really isn’t.
The starting point with tapping into your confidence is the belief that it’s in there to begin with, and trust me, it is.
Admittedly it’s great at hiding on occasions when we attempt new things, but it never leaves us, it just refuses to come out to play.
And the fact that some think it’s not even there means they don’t look for it and thus it remains hidden.