Boost Your Confidence

How can you become more confident? And can anyone be confident? In this help episode we will help you get ahead.

27-06-2016 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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How can you become more confident? And can anyone be confident? In this help Healthlab TV episode we will help you get ahead. 


Hi Steven, welcome to our studio today. Topic is confidence. But what is it exactly? 


Well, confidence is a state of mind, is the way you feel about yourself, no matter how the situation is. And someone with a lot of confidence will say ‘I’m okay, I feel good’, no matter other people who are around you. While people who lack a lot of confidence they will more like ’Okay, am I good for that person?’ regarding that situation. You can compare it with somebody who’s saying ‘I hope I will pass for the test tomorrow’ regarding to ‘I’m sure I’m going to pass for that test tomorrow’. So, the same situations, but different way of looking at it. And it’s a totally other energy. 


And how come we lose that confidence? 


Well, there are many ways in losing confidence. Actually it starts also with education. The way your parents are maybe overprotective. And also a lot has to do with your inner dialogue. If you talk negative to yourself then you’ll also perceive those negative aspects in your environment. It’s the same, for example, when you’re on the highway if there’s an open space and there’s one tree, most of the accidents will happen: they will hit the tree. Because the thing you don’t want to end up, the thing that you’re focused on, you will hit the tree in the end. 


But if we make it a little bit more concrete, let’s say for example I have to give a presentation tomorrow. That’s a real life example. Many people are a little bit scared of that. 




It all starts then by thinking ‘Okay, it will not go good, what might people think of me?’ and thoughts like that.  


Yes, for some people it’s a very big fear, you know? Because when you’re doing a presentation, you’re really showing yourself to a lot of people most of the time. And it depends on how big that challenge is. Is it like, if you want to practice for a TED talk for example, okay, then it’s best to downsize and not just practice and then do your TED talk. But to shrink actually the big challenge into small challenges. For example, there is an organization called Toastmasters and they guide you. It’s like an informal group of people who all want to improve their presentation skills. And so that’s divided into small chunks. And by going through the process step by step your confidence level will grow up normally. 


And you can actually grow your confidence? 


Yes, absolutely. It’s not something that some people are born with. No, it’s something that you can develop. It’s like a skill, like swimming or learning how to drive your car or bicycle. Although some people have better genes, have another education people who are educated over-protectively, you know? That’s not going to help. So it depends- 


But you can overcome? 


Yes, absolutely, yes. And how we do it with the School of Confidence? Is by teaching people in the first place some relaxation practices. 


It’s like meditation or breath exercises? 


Yes, breath exercises, like the body scan for example. There are lots of variations on that. When people are out of control, you know, they have lost their connection with themselves. And by using breath techniques they’re getting connected again. It’s like connected with you inner nature. Secondly we use some self-knowledge theories - it sounds very heavy. Like eneagram or in the core quadrants for example. And this gives you more insight. Because if you’re in a car and you don’t know where to hit the clutch or the acceleration, then you’re not going to move, right? So this is also necessary. And then we’re going to ask the people ‘What is your dream challenge?' 'What is really something you would like to undertake in your life?’ It could be like changing jobs, which is often reflected. Making a world trip for example, a couple of months. I don’t know, but something… And maybe they will not end up there. But it gives a direction, towards people can go. And along the way maybe other signs and other directions will show up. When people are getting started, they’re moving, they get confidence. And with changing small habits people change, and also the perception of themselves, they change. 


Earlier you mentioned the word ‘fear’ is the lack of confidence… Is that fear? 


Well people who lack a lot of confidence experience a lot of fear, also stress discomfort. But fear is often seen as something that can block you, right? And in that way, okay, then there’s more help and more coaching needed. But you can also see fear as something else. As something, okay, what is the fear telling me? Most of the time we’re running away. But why not confront the fear and say ‘Okay, I have this feeling, I’m very nervous’, but like making contact with that and saying ‘Okay, I know it’s there and it’s okay’. It’s also a positive sign because thanks to the fear it’s telling me that I want to do it very good. Perfectionists work like that. 


Being confident and being assertive, is that the same? 


Well actually, you can be assertive in a good way when you don’t have enough confidence. Confidence is getting in touch with yourself, the feeling, the state of mind, we talked about And assertiveness is a way of coping with other people, relations. Dealing with other people, they push on every button, it’s very challenging. But it’s not something that you can see isolated from confidence. If you’re in a customer service department, a lot of people will teach you ‘Okay, it’s important that you have that skill, assertiveness’ but it needs to be connected with your inner nature. Otherwise it’s like yes, fake. 


Thank you Steven for this advice.


Thank you, you’re welcome.


And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next time.