“But Sherry, how exactly do you coach women to have more confidence?”
This was the question that came up not once, not twice but three times last week!
For me, confidence coaching is a bit like driving a car. When somebody asks “How do you do it?”, I have to really stop and think. Think through the steps. What is it that I do? What do I ask? What do I say?
Likewise, when you have been driving for a while, you just get in the car and drive. It’s difficult, maybe impossible, to explain to somebody else how to do it. How to change gear. Get to the biting point. You do it without thinking. Like breathing. Like walking. Like coaching.
For me, confidence comes when you have clarity and knowledge. Clarity about what you really want (not what you ‘should’ want). Clarity about who you really are. And clarity about the beliefs that you hold (beliefs about yourself or others). Whether those beliefs are based on facts and evidence. Or beliefs based on fear and misunderstanding.
It’s about getting clear on what you have, what you want and what you believe. Identify the gaps between what you have and what you want so that you can start to explore how to fill those gaps. Whether that’s knowledge, skills, or beliefs.
Many of the women that I work with are confident. You wouldn’t think “oh she’s a scaredy puss, she’s really lacking in confidence“. These are women who are perhaps at 6, 7, 8 or even 9 out of 10 for confidence. Maybe 10 out of 10 in some or most aspects of their career.
Confidence ebbs and flows. For all of us. For years, I cycled to/from work in the City, up the Old Kent Road and round the Elephant & Castle roundabout. I felt incredibly confident doing that because of years of experience. Yet if you asked me to do that today, I’d feel nervous. Scared. A bit wobbly. Because I’ve not done it for a while. I’d worry about the traffic. The route. My fitness. However with a guide or mentor, somebody who knows the way, I’d soon get my confidence back.
How I coach women who want more clarity and more confidence is as simple as that.
It’s me asking questions. The trick is to ask the right questions. Exploring the evidence. Listening to your answers. Not only the answers you give me, but also the answers you don’t give me. It’s not just what you say, it’s what you don’t say too. It’s about holding a safe space – a space where you can what what you really think; what you really feel; without worrying whether I might get angry or upset or confused (which is what happens sometimes if you say what you really want to work colleagues, friends and family).
That’s confidence coaching in a nutshell. Designed to help you get clear on what you really want. Understand what you already have. Identify the gaps. Decide how to fill the gaps. And go for it!
What about you? What are your gaps? What’s missing? And how are you going to fix it? Post a comment below and let me know.