As both coach and client, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some truly amazing and inspiring people. I am eternally grateful to be “sandwiched” somewhere in the middle of what I perceive as some of the most accomplished and the most aspiring people on this planet. I am always fascinated by the exchange of ideas and perspectives that are shared. I have come to believe we are all both teacher and student, giver and receiver and ultimately here together on one journey committed to, and on some level, obligated to, carry each other along the way.
I have witnessed success in people’s lives that are beyond my wildest dreams.
Unfortunately, I have also witnessed what, at best, are living in mediocrity. Why do intelligent, hardworking, and competent people seem to underperform or just accept less? I have researched this and tried to analyze it deeply. I have discussed this with some of the most successful people I know at length. There is only one answer that comes up consistently. At the core of every theory is one common denominator: lack of confidence.
When we think of people who struggle with self-assurance, many blatant images come to mind but seldom do we consider the subtle and insidious costs and consequences.
What are the costs of lacking confidence?
- Lacking confidence is costing you thousands of dollars:
Studies show that blue-collar workers who test higher in self-confidence scales earn an average of $7,000 more than their lower-scoring peers. That same study reveals that professionals earn an average of $28,000 more (Neil Burton, M.D.).
When managers seek to promote, often the person who exudes fearlessness will be chosen over someone who may be more capable but lacks esteem. People with confidence are often perceived as more skilled, even when they are not. They’re not afraid to ask questions or even make mistakes; they are seen as the “go-getters”. Unfortunately, bosses, clients, and customers make negative assumptions about people who exhibit behaviors of low self-confidence, believing they are incompetent or apathetic. That stinks, but it’s a reality of life.
Less secure people are often timid about asking for raises or promotions. I have yet to meet a career or business coach who doesn’t swear that self-doubting clients stay stuck in comfort zones significantly longer than their confident peers. They have a greater need to feel safe, even if that safety is costing them endless opportunities, including living their passion. To step out of one’s comfort zone for necessary growth translates risk and possible rejection. Maybe they’re secretly waiting to be recognized and approached but, in most cases, it is those who are big and bold and speak up for higher positions and salaries are who receive them (Ashley Staht).
2. Your most precious resource is time. Lack of confidence is stealing it from you:
Think perfectionism is a virtue? Not always true! In many cases, perfectionist doesn’t believe anything is ever good enough, including themselves. They will spend hours longer on projects trying to perfect every detail, simply because anything less than perfect is sub-par. While attention to detail is important and held in high regard, for them, this approach is very inefficient and leads to more frustration than satisfaction. Studies show that the delta between the work produced by competent people vs. that of the perfectionist is marginal and typically not valued as high as the extra resources utilized. Perfection simply does not exist. On top of wasting valuable time, the perfectionist will lose-out on joy because they are never truly satisfied with what they’ve accomplished.
On the other side of the coin is the procrastinator. Not all procrastination is linked to self-confidence issues, sometimes it’s simply a matter of motivation. However, for those who are self-doubters, there is a vicious cycle of putting things off and then feeling bad about it. This, of course, leaves one even less motivated to do anything, therefore, putting the next thing off even longer, and then naturally they end up feeling even worse…and so on. Fear and worry are the culprits. There are hundreds of possible fears, but the fear of rejection, failure, or even success are the biggies. Worry is linked to the fears behind the fears, such as the approval of others or appearances.
3. How can you get the guy/girl if you shy away?
Low confidence will dramatically affect your love life. It will dramatically impact all of your relationships. According to relationship coaches, this is why:
- They second-guess their choices in friends/partners/bosses. Even worse, they are often skeptical of those who choose them.
- They are constantly trying to analyze what the other person is thinking. They are in constant need of reassurance, which can be an energy suck for the other person.
- They often sabotage good relationships or stay in bad ones too long.
- They often lose themselves in the relationship because they can’t set healthy boundaries.
- Also, because they are trying to win approval from others, they try to morph into being someone they aren’t. This is dishonest and unsustainable so there is seldom a happy ending.
- People who lack confidence usually a) take responsibility/fault for everything or b) take responsibility/fault for nothing. Neither are good.
4. Opportunities that you never even knew existed will be lost:
Having confidence allows us to see opportunities that we would not usually see. Because confident people are generally more positive, they recognize potential that others would readily dismiss. Someone lacking confidence will view the situation as a problem, while the confident person sees it as an opportunity to succeed.
Have you ever heard a motivational speaker that did not mention the power of the mind and positive thinking? Almost all agree that positive thinking creates more positive activity. Conversely, negative thinking creates more negative activity. Is there any question which one is which?
What has it cost you?
In short, if you see yourself in any of these scenarios or if you lack confidence it is costing you the happiness of leading the fulfilled life that you rightly deserve to live! What is the price tag of that?
Are you ready to move on?
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way! You cannot change your past but you can take control of your future. You have a choice to take action and overcome any obstacle that gets in the way.
At the core of the matter are limiting beliefs. These are the negative thoughts that we form, subconsciously that undermine our success. They result in self-doubt and questioning our judgment. They prevent us from taking strategic risks, setting ambitious goals, and acting boldly on them.
Luckily, by being aware of what your limiting beliefs are, you can change them into positive and empowering ones. When you change your thinking, you change your story. Once you do that, you see everything through a new filter and the world becomes a different place. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to be honest with yourself, you can gain the esteem you desire.
It takes courage. It takes persistence. But you can do it if you are willing to decide that your life is worth it.
Feel like you need a life coach to help you overcome your limiting beliefs? Find a life coach today and open your life up to endless possibilities!