Building Confidence as a Life Coach
Confidence: coaches grapple with it; our clients struggle with it. Learn the science behind how we cultivate it, along with coaching tips to build that muscle!
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Confidence Boosting Strategies for Coaches
Confidence. Life coaches grapple with it. Our clients struggle with it. Managers want their employees to have more of it. Everywhere we turn, we’re encouraged to “have self-confidence!”
But what does it mean to be self-confident?
According to the standard of flourishing held by applied positive psychology, self-confidence is widely considered to be a personality trait of a “happy” person. Simply put, to have self-confidence means you like and trust yourself.
Self-confidence consists of a specific set of psychological ingredients. It’s also influenced by the conditions around us. The core components of self-confidence include:
As a life coach, it’s vital to feel confident in yourself and your abilities. It’s equally valuable to know how to help your coaching clients develop self-confidence in themselves.
“When we work to build self-confidence, what we’re actually doing is giving ourselves the gift of self-love. Healthy self-confidence results in seeing yourself as kinder, more generous, ethical, intelligent, and whole.” - Noelle Cordeaux
Now here’s the great news: confidence and its associated traits are a muscle we can build! Self-confidence has been researched and quantified. Let’s take a look at the factors that build or enhance it, along with some self-confidence building exercises.
Conditions for Building Self-Confidence
This is step one in building self-confidence as a life coach. Optimism itself is one of the core building blocks of resiliency. Here’s why it works:
- Optimists believe they will experience good outcomes.
- Optimists pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
- When experiencing setbacks, optimists are less likely to personalize issues or see them as persistent problems that are likely to recur.
You can induce feelings of optimism and happiness with intention. Developing optimism starts with simply being aware of those times when you are dipping into a more negative outlook.
One simple coaching intervention that works well when you or your client is stuck in a pessimistic state of mind is to perform a reframe. Brain research shows that it takes just 10-20 seconds of sustained focus on a positive thought to begin shifting mindset!
When you’re struggling with your self-confidence as a coach, cultivate positive thoughts about your work by considering this question: What are some outcomes of coaching that brought optimism when you were first starting out?
Extroversion is the positive energy that is created by interacting with others, joining groups and helping other people feel at ease.
Extrovertism fun fact: You can fake it till you make it!
With intention, natural introverts can play with extroversion to experience the same positive benefits as their more extroverted counterparts. Even if it feels uncomfortable, challenging yourself to portray extroverted traits will garner positive results.
This is known as “optimism training” and is quite well known and very effective. It’s believed that the benefits of extroversion come in part from being distracted from our own problems when we interact with others, as well as the powerful impact of creating bonds and experiences with other people.
To expand your self-confidence through cultivating the qualities of extroversion, consider what traits or behaviors you can “try on”. A few to consider include:
- Hiring a public speaking coach to work on your online/video presence
- Pitching and talking to anyone about what you do as a coach
Self-efficacy is the cornerstone for building a foundation of lasting and valid self-confidence. Why? Because the experience of self-efficacy builds unshakable self esteem.
Self-efficacy is the belief that you already have what it takes to get something done, or that you can learn how to do it. It’s built and maintained based not on what we “think”, but from our real-world experiences.
The two-step coaching process of experimentation and reflection is what ultimately leads to self trust. We practice this for ourselves as coaches, and also help our clients develop it for themselves as well.
Why it works:
- In giving yourself positive experiences, it takes you out of your head and into the embodied experience of success.
- Building self-efficacy is a commitment to proving to yourself that even if you don’t know something, you are capable of learning and finding the tools to do the things that you want to do.
- Once you have proven to yourself in many different capacities that you can figure out and learn new things, you begin to take this fact for granted. This in turn builds a layer of natural self-confidence when approaching new situations or tasks.
Sound at all familar? This is what life coaches do for our clients! We just have to remember to also apply it to ourselves.
Like optimism and extrovertism, self-efficacy is a muscle that you can build. To do so, there are four ingredients you’ll want to employ.
1) Role Models
Identify role models in your everyday life who demonstrate what you need to do to accomplish your goals. These can be people you know personally, or people who have already achieved what you want to learn or do.
Pro-tip: one great way to gain direct insight into “how they do it” is to offer to pay an expert or colleague that you admire for an hour of their time. You can also take a course, read a book, attend a lecture, and ask questions in the coaching communities you are a part of.
By having a supportive friend or accountability buddy in your corner, you will increase your belief in your own skills. This often leads to taking the healthy risks to grow or enhance your coaching practice that you might not otherwise try.
Your cheerleader must:
- Be someone in your life who wholeheartedly believes in you.
- Have earned your trust because their feedback is on-target and helpful. This cannot be someone who gives you gratuitous “yes” answers, or only tells you what you want to hear.
3) Stress Management
Nothing zaps our self-confidence faster than being stuck in a state of chronic stress. Cultivating tools to navigate the stressors in your life can help you sidestep the inclination to allow self-doubt, bad moods or physical pain to keep you from doing your best.
When it comes to stress management, it’s important to remember that it’s not only events and difficult situations that hijack us, but other people as well. Toxic relationships damage the heart and your mind. Find ways to protect yourself from social stress and unhealthy relationships if you wish to flourish.
For more resources on this topic, check out The Real Impact of Burnout and Stress.
4) Mastery Experiences
This is the most powerful way any of us can reduce self-doubt and build self-efficacy. Accumulating “wins” allows us to re-define who we are. To maximize its benefits, break a goal into small pieces that allow you to master several action steps along your way toward the larger accomplishment.
Want to Be a Coach?
One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our life coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and self-self-confidence as a coach, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.