[5 Simple Steps to Unshakeable Self-Confidence Series] Article #6 ~ Step One: Identify the Thoughts That Keep You Stuck
When you were a child, the adults around you either nurtured the self-confidence you were born with — or they tore it down.
Unfortunately, as I’ve said, most people’s natural self-confidence was torn down.
Again, this wasn’t malicious in most cases. Your guardians were trying to keep you safe, and, in the process, taught you to fear.
Luckily, rebuilding your self-confidence is not as difficult as you might imagine. It follows a simple procedure of only a few steps.
I Can’t Because…
The first step to rebuilding your natural self-confidence is to identify the thoughts, stories or beliefs that are running through your subconscious, reinforcing the fear messages you received as a child, and keeping you stuck.
One of the best ways to recognize those thoughts is to find the I can’t because messages that are operative for you.
Let me explain.
Most of us have some variation of this statement running through our minds: “I would like to do this, but I can’t because ____.”
Whatever comes after “because” reveals two things:
1. The circumstances or environment that you are experiencing.
2. And the story that you have about those circumstances or environment.
I would like to go to the conference but I can’t because:
…I’m not ready.
…I don’t have the money.
…I’ll just waste the opportunity.
…I’m spending too much time away from my kids as it is.
…I’m not smart enough (or accomplished enough) to play at that level.
Each of those clauses reflect a different limiting belief about why that person can’t go to the conference.
Before we go any further, I want you to apply this for yourself. Recognize what I can’t because messages are controlling you.
I would like to ________, but I can’t because _________.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time digging this out. You don’t have to go to a psychiatrist.
Whatever follows “because” tells you exactly why you believe that you can’t do, be or have the thing you want.
Now, chances are you have several I can’t because messages swimming around your subconscious.
So, do the exercise again with a different situation. And then again.
Take this opportunity to ferret out these toxic messages, once and for all.
What to Do Next
You now have a list of 2, 3, 5, 7 harmful messages that you believe. So what do you do now?
First, let me acknowledge that your belief system is your reality and perception of what you’re experiencing. And whatever you’re perceiving is very real to you. I understand that.
The problem is, as long as you’re coming from that kind of thinking, you are allowing the fear messages you learned as a child to undermine your self-confidence, and limit your life.
So Step One is to identify those limiting beliefs, thoughts, or stories that you tell yourself about why you can’t do, be or have what you want.
And Step Two is to replace those thoughts.
I’ll show you how to do that next time.