I’m acutely aware of people or situations which encourage me to ‘stay positive’ – I could even say that sometimes I’m ‘triggered’. That’s because it simply doesn’t feel right for me to STAY positive and yet it seems to be what society encourages us to do!
Whilst I consider myself to be quite a positive and confident sort of a person I know that it’s impossible to ‘stay’ positive and I have experienced my fair share of shame over the years, when I felt everything else except confident and was brave enough to say!
We are often encouraged to ‘stay calm’ and ‘be positive’ and of course it’s really important to our wellbeing for us to be calm and positive – the problem is when we try and STAY calm and positive. It’s not possible!
In fact, we now know that it’s even detrimental to our health to bottle our true feelings. If, for example, we suppress fear and vulnerability it can intensify into anxiety and panic.
Throughout the day we will naturally flow through a range of feelings and emotions, the trick is to know how to get back to being calm and confident if we find ourselves being knocked off balance with feelings of fear, vulnerability, anger, grief or even over excitement!
When asked at one of her lectures if she was connected to her power presence all the time Gabby Bernstein said: – “Heck no! I get taken out all the time. But I know how to come back quickly.”
Coming back to centre – a horse-riding metaphor!
I remember, many years ago, teaching a lady how to do sitting trot on a horse. However, instead of sitting with the movement of the horse her body was stiff and tense and she was bouncing all over the saddle. After trying various ways to help her soften and move more fluently with the horse I said: “Jen, what are you trying to do”. She replied: “Sit still”
“Oh” I said, “you think you can sit STILL when the horse is moving underneath you.”
I could then understand her challenge. I demonstrated with my hands how impossible it is to sit still on a moving horse and why her stiffened body was actually preventing her from moving in harmony with the horse. Our body moves forward and backward from the upright position and in between, returns to centre. When we go with the movement of the horse we keep coming back to centre quite naturally.
It’s the same in life! If we try to STAY calm and positive (when we are actually feeling anything but!) and resist our true feelings, when life throws us challenges, our body tightens and we become more stressed, frustrated and anxious.
What TRULY calm, positive and confident people have mastered is not being able to STAY calm but being able to GET BACK on track when they’ve been knocked off!
“When we allow ourselves to flow with our feelings and emotions we are guided to come back to our natural state of calm, confidence and self esteem.”
However, we often feel vulnerability and shame about sharing our true feelings and so although it’s a simple concept, it’s often not easy when we’ve been condition to ‘put on a brave face’.
Finding help to ‘get back on track’
What I’ve learned is that I need to CHOOSE carefully WHO I talk with when I’m lacking confidence and self-esteem!
I now choose someone who will: –
- Listen (without interrupting me),
- Have empathy and compassion (and not try to fix me)
- Support me to ‘get back on track’ (help me connect with my inner wisdom so that I can identify what I want)
- Encourage me to accomplish my aims (and help me to identify who else I might need to support me).
REMEMBER, when you lose connection to your natural confidence the real question is NOT ‘How can I stay positive’, but ‘How do I get back on track’.
3 ways to help you the next time you lose confidence:
- Accept your true feelings
- Listen to the messages of your emotions
- Take appropriate action and come back to your natural state of calm and positivity
Here are some other suggestions:
- Talk with someone who will listen, show empathy and compassion
- Be mindful – notice what you see, feel, hear as you go throughout your day.
- Go for a walk – especially powerful if you take a different route to your usual one
- Spend time in nature – amongst trees, near water, in different landscapes
- Be with your animals
- Notice what you are grateful for NOW – focus on what makes you feel good
Can coaching help me regain my confidence?
One of the reasons I trained to be a coach was because of the personal benefit I had experienced of finding someone to talk with who would listen with empathy and compassion, help me access my own answers and achieve the aims which were important to me. Yes, coaching can help you regain confidence!