Self-belief can be defined as confidence in oneself and one’s ability, while Confidence when referring to oneself is feeling sure about your abilities, qualities and ideas (according to the Collin’s Dictionary).
What strikes me about these two definitions is the focus on self. Whilst there is undoubtedly a role to be played by others in building confidence in our abilities, qualities and ideas, how we view ourselves plays such a key role in how confident we feel.
I also think you can have high self-belief based on the challenges you have already tackled, but every new challenge probably comes with its own confidence trajectory, until you tackle it.
One of the earliest experiences many of us remember regarding self-belief and confidence is learning to ride a bike.
Typically, it goes through several stages:
What happens in this process is a great example of how we build confidence by taking on new challenges in life and, in doing so, develop our self-belief.
This process includes the following steps:
Some of the issues that hold us back in learning to ride a bike (developing our self-belief and confidence) are also present in other hot coaching topics:
It’s interesting to see the interplay between these topics and how they demonstrate the way we view and manage ourselves can play such a key role in how confident we feel. The confidential space that coaching offers is great for encouraging a client to explore how they view themselves, how that may be helping or hindering them, and what they may choose to do about it.
Classic coaching techniques to help with building confidence include:
Sticking with the bike analogy a little longer, “it’s like riding a bike” means once you learn how to do something you never forget it. However, your confidence in getting back on a bike after not riding one for 10 years may not be where it was 10 years before, but it is worth remembering that “it’s like riding a bike”.
You have done it before, and you can do it again.
In a work environment, there are many situations, in which your confidence may need some time to get back to where it was before (i.e. starting a new job or returning from maternity), but it is worth remembering that you have been here before, were fine then and will be fine this time too.
As always if you have any questions on this topic or other coaching questions, please get in touch.
From the author:
As coaching is not an advice-giving service, these blogs are not written with the intention of proposing solutions to common leadership challenges. Instead, they are thought pieces with the aim of prompting the reader to think more deeply about the topic and reflect on whether it warrants further exploration, with or without a coach.
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