Self-confidence is how confident coachees are about the resources that they possess to achieve objectives. It is linked to motivation, so when self-confidence is high, motivation is also high; when it is low, motivation is also low. Do Not Confuse Self-Confidence with Positive Thoughts
Self-confidence often gets confused with positive thoughts (affirmations like “I am sure I will manage it”, “I can do it” and “I will achieve it”, for example). Nevertheless, self-confidence as part of the coaching process is “to get to know one’s true capacities when it comes to reaching an objective and managing the resources available in order to perform as well as possible”.
How to Boost Self-Confidence
Boosting your self-confidence must therefore begin with truly knowing your own potential; with knowing yourself. In order to do this we must consider the following:
- A joint analysis of the situation and the resources available.
- Establish realistic, attainable objectives.
- Analyse the difficulties that may arise and how to face them.
By way of example, below are some different exercises (mainly based on group therapy and group dynamics). They aim to prompt a personal analysis which helps to achieve self-knowledge and can be useful in coaching when working on improving self-confidence:
The Music Box
One of the foundations of coaching is the importance of internal dialogue (self-talk) and the need to reflect upon it in order to reach a level of self-knowledge that is effective. Words generate emotions.
Self-talk generates emotions that affect our experience of the world around us (what we see, what we hear…) and these emotions depend heavily on the way they are evaluated; in other words, on our thoughts. Therefore, when we are happy everything seems much better, but when we are sad it feels like everything is going wrong.
Thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and behaviours are four different categories that should not be confused with one another, but that are interrelated. When something happens, what we think has an influence on how we feel and vice versa. What we feel then affects how we behave, and these actions also influence how we feel. Then we have different bodily sensations according to what we think and feel.
Knowing how to differentiate between these four categories (thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and behaviours) is a basic step towards self-knowledge. In order to learn how to do this, we can take different pieces of music as stimuli and try to identify the thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations that each piece produces. We can think of the situations in which we usually have these thoughts, feelings and sensations and how we normally react.
A possible structure to follow when training self-knowledge using music:
- What would you name the piece of music?
- What do you think of when listening to it?
- What emotions does it make you feel?
- What bodily sensations are you experiencing?
- In which other situations do you feel this way?
- How do you usually behave in those situations?
Then, through questions, we look at which strategies we use in different situations. When we feel sad, for example, which thoughts come to mind? What might happen in the same situation if we no longer feel sad?
Each Person’s History
This involves writing your personal history. It is based on confidentiality, since the coach will not read it, and it will only be used as a stimulus during the initial sessions in order to gain self-knowledge, and therefore self-confidence. It should be in writing and should answer a variety of questions:
- Who are you and what do you do?
- What is a good memory you have?
- What is one of your dreams?
- What is something you enjoy doing?
- What is an experience that had an effect on you?
- What is something you are not afraid of?
- If you had a group of people in front of you and you had a microphone and could tell them whatever you liked, what would you say?
- What do you expect from life?
Motivation and self-confidence are two fundamental tools in the process of Coaching that help the coachee reach the objectives of the intervention. Nonetheless, in practice, there are other tools and abilities that a coachee should possess. For this reason, please feel free to let us know your opinions about the matter and tell us about your personal experiences. This way we can all learn from one another.