If you are a certain age you will remember the advert “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”. Weebles are still around today, the egg shaped toys with the wide bases which means that no matter how much they were pushed they may move around but they will always bounce back up! I can’t think of a more perfect analogy for wobbly confidence and why we shouldn’t worry when it does. Confidence is our foundation, as long as we have it we can wobble but like a weeble we wont fall down!
Why confidence wobbles
Confidence is a state of certainty that we have in ourselves and our abilities. When I talk to my friends about wobbly confidence I hear things like:
- “It depends on the situation as to how confident I feel”
- “The people involved make a big difference”
- “I feel confident if I have time to prepare”
- “It depends whether I am in control or not”
All of the responses point to the fact that learning to be confident isn’t like learning how to ride a bike. Confidence isn’t an objective skill that we learn once and that’s it. Instead it is a subjective internal feeling that can wobble whenever situations cause our certainty to feel undermined.
So how do we stop the wobbling?
We need a strong foundation of confidence, like the wide base of the weeble, to make sure wobbly confidence doesn’t affect us too much. Luckily there are many things we can do to create this feeling of certainty.
1. Where are you looking?
Focus your attention on what you can do rather than what isn’t working. Remember what you have achieved in the past and use it as a marker for what you can do in the future.
2. What are you listening to?
If its self talk that makes you wobble, challenge what you are saying to yourself. It is said that up to 80% of self talk is negative, thereby undermining confidence. Be kind to yourself, in fact be your own inner cheerleader
3. Expand your comfort zone
Your comfort zone has a purpose, it is an anxiety free place to be, but it can also limit what we do. If you really want to know what you are capable of you need to push those boundaries on a regular basis.
4. Add to your toolkit
Finally explore what is available to you in the world of Personal Development in areas such as NLP. Simple techniques such as reframing and anchoring can help you to understand how confidence wobbles and give you the tools to bounce back.