Confidence is NOT a goal

James Hackney
Written by James Hackney

We all would love to feel more confident in some areas of our life, work, family, personal, health, career, to name a few.

We set out to get that confidence. We look externally for materialist things, sharpening up our appearance or even hitting the gym to get the body image that we think will give us the confidence. Then, when we are faced with challenges, things going wrong or drops in motivation, we give up, we lose the momentum and are back to where we started with our pride dented.

At least you tired, right?

Here is the first mistake people make when setting a goal to have more confidence. Setting it as a goal.
Having confidence is NOT a goal.

Let me explain:
Back in 2017 I wanted to be a confident person. I knew I didn’t want my confidence continuing to be as low as it was. I shied away from social events, worked from home and locked myself away, blinds drawn, doors locked and for company? My unconfident self.

I was comfortably unconfident, but being comfortable doesn’t mean being happy.

I lacked motivation to become more confident, becoming more confident just didn’t excite me and if I didn’t get this confidence, well I would just stay as I was and I was close to accepting that. That was until I started to look past the goal of being more confident.

I started asking myself better questions.

What would being more confident allow me to do?

Then the killer question – When I have the confidence, what next?

6 months later I was jumping on a one-way flight to Australia for 5 months of solo travelling. During that 6-month period, I had run 2 half marathons, travelled around 5 countries in Europe for 2 weeks, sold my house, raised £3,750 for charity and travelled to Peru to climb Machu Picchu along the Inca trail.

Confidence wasn’t a goal, it was a steppingstone towards greater and better things.

I discovered that deep down, the real goal was to travel solo to experience life outside my comfort zone. Confidence was a steppingstone to getting there. I am sure you will agree that that is much more motivating than just ‘wanting more confidence’.

When you look past the goal of confidence, into the reason WHY, you tap into deeper motivation and your deepest desires. So, when adversity and challenges crop up in your life that could deviate you from the path you are focused on, you can investigate your WHY to tap into that motivation allowing you to push through and continue towards what you desire. Thus building your resilience, confidence, and motivation for life.

A clients story

A recent client came to me due to a lack of confidence. It was affecting his day-to-day life, from walking along the street with his head down avoiding eye contact, to not moving forward in his career. His confidence sat around 2 out of 10. He was comfortable living in this pain and now he wanted to change but he felt a lack of motivation.

The first thing to do was to make it not about confidence and look past what being confident would give him.

To ask:
When you have this confidence, what will it allow you to do?
Who else will it benefit?

Suddenly, a smile spread across his face and his eyes twinkled as he began to describe how his life would be different and what he would be able to do.

His motivation had just been injected with a natural dose of his dreams and desires. What a wonderful feeling, a feeling and energy that I could feel on the other side of the laptop.

Neuro Linguistic Programming and coaching provided wonderful techniques that allowed him to leave the session with his confidence sitting at a 9 out of 10 and the ability to apply a simple technique to have confidence in any situation.

What about you?

I want to ask you now, to look past having more confidence and dive into what really matters to you. Ask yourself the following…

What will having more confidence allow me to do?
Who will it allow me to be?
What will it allow me to have?
And my favourite question, when I have the confidence…What is next?

The challenge is that people don’t know what the confident them looks like. They have no idea how they will know when they are the confident person they want to become. This lack of clarity is overwhelming and daunting.

I truly believe that everyone is greater than where they are now and in order to discover who they want to be, what they want to do and what they want to have…they just need better questions to guide them along.

That’s where coaching steps in.

Remember – Confidence isn’t a goal, it’s a steppingstone to much greater things.

Listen to The Impact Coaching Podcast on iTunes and Spotify.

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Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

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