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Image / Editorial

Is fear holding you back? Top tricks for living a more confident life


By IMAGE
04th Oct 2019
Is fear holding you back? Top tricks for living a more confident life

Business coach, James Sweetman will be hosting an exclusive IMAGE Masterclass about taking ownership of your career on October 17. Here, he shares four confidence tricks to unlocking your inner power.


We are all more similar than we might think. We seek the same things – happiness and fulfillment, as we reach for our potential and the truest expression of ourselves. We also tend to have the same blocks, those habits of thought that inhibit us.

  1. An ANT (Automatic Negative Thoughts) Infestation

I’ve yet to encounter someone who doesn’t run default negative thoughts – off-shoots of lack of worthiness (imposter syndrome) and a fear that others will judge them negatively. The term ‘automatic negative thoughts’ was coined in the 1960s by psychologist Aaron Beck. Unlike a real life ant infestation we cannot eradicate them, as these thoughts are part of our defense mechanism. We simply have to acknowledge them for what they are and learn to make our peace with them.

The first step is to observe yourself running a negative thought pattern (procrastination, excessive worry, talking yourself down…). When we witness our thoughts we are now in the space where we have the possibility to choose an alternative approach. With that feeling of choice comes an enhanced sense of control.

Book now: Taking Control of Your Career Masterclass, Oct 17

  1. Slipping into victimhood

We can all drift into the habit of talking about our problems. It’s easy to dwell on the unfair circumstances, our bad luck, other people’s irrationality, etc. Whilst it’s good to offload, long-term, this focus is unhelpful. We always have the freedom to choose the meaning we place on life’s events.

  1. Invalid Comparisons

Most of the time we will compare what we see others doing (or posting on social media) and compare it with how we are feeling on the inside. Not only is this erroneous juxtaposition the birth of the modern phenomena of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out,) it diminishes our self-confidence. The only comparison that is ever valid is between where you are now and your sense of your potential.

  1. Waiting for permission

Unconsciously we tend to wait for permission, a power outside ourselves to tell us we’re ok, or that it is ok to take a course of action. It’s how we were raised. First we sought permission from our parents, then teachers, then our employers, but ultimately no one will ever give you permission to live your dreams.

As adults we learn to take ownership of our behaviours, we might even realise that we are also responsible for our attitudes. Sometimes we forget that we are also the owners of our dreams. When it comes to life you are never pre-qualified. You qualify yourself by showing up, harnessing your passion and putting in the work. The permission you seek is really a courageous decision waiting to be made.

Read more about tapping into a high performance mindset.