One of the things I realised quite recently made me understand fully a transformation that has happened in my life over the last few years and how it has impacted me. This realisation explains just how there are two levels of confidence and the fact that most personal development techniques out there focus on just one of them. In this post I want to explain what these two levels are and what you need to do in order to master both of them.
The first level of confidence is the feeling of confidence. This refers to the state of mind you are in when you feel confident about a situation. Situationally, you either have a trigger or anchor that brings you into that mode or you create the feeling yourself through various techniques. Whenever you do relaxation exercises or meditation, certain NLP techniques or visualisations… this allows you to feel confident at that moment which helps you perform more effectively as a result. If you don’t do the work, you won’t get the result. It is that simple.
Here is the problem though. This feeling does not last that long. It can get you out of difficult situations and can help you nail that interview, but there are times that it doesn’t seem to work well enough. There are times when you find yourself lacking and in an unfamiliar situation and nothing seems to help.
This is where the second level of confidence comes in. I call it deep confidence. It sometimes comes from maturity but always originates out of a change in beliefs that you have about yourself. It is a sense of knowing how capable or strong you are, of understanding your brilliance and of believing in yourself.
Recently, I was attending a class and found myself feeling nervous for the first time in a long, long time. Initially, I started berating myself for even letting myself feel nervous but, since I knew that wouldn’t help, I let myself experience it as I was curious as to what the emotion was teaching me. I had to do a presentation to the class and camera and, though I felt this unfamiliar feeling, I went and did it. When I looked back at the video and saw myself I saw no traces of nervousness whatsoever. I looked completely calm. I had everything under control. Despite what I was feeling.
Deep confidence I believe is what made the difference. Having worked on my own self-understanding and self-belief over many years, that gives me a sense of presence, charisma and strength that people notice and ensures that I can handle anything even when it comes out of the blue. That is what makes improv classes so useful for public speakers. When you learn that no matter what comes up, you can handle it then you have this deep sense that ‘everything is going to be alright’.
So, my point here is as well as mastering the great techniques that will give you level one confidence, take some time to make sure that you challenge your own limiting beliefs and help yourself to see just how much of a wonderful legend you really are. Remind yourself of your success more often and know that, whatever happens, you got this.