Confident people are easy to recognise. They are self-assured and have a way of holding their heads high, whilst radiating a sense of ease that is noticeable to everyone who crosses their path. They leave many of us wishing that a little of that confidence would rub off on us, and that we could glide through our lives in a similar state of poised buoyancy. The good news is that according to Confidence and Life Coach Lisa Phillips, confidence is like a muscle which grows with use, and it is also a skill that can be learned.

Motivational Speaker and Sydney Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips was recently interviewed by Amanda Sheenan for an article on confidence for the  South City Bulletin.    See below for the article which originally featured here 

What is confidence?

In her book, The Confidence Coach, Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips explains that confidence means something different for everyone. For example, being confident for one person might mean being capable of effectively speaking in public, while for someone else it might mean being able to enter a crowded room without feeling nervous and self-conscious. For many people, simply being able to get through the day with a feeling of purpose and empowerment would be a dream come true.
She defines confidence as a form of self-acceptance. “Confidence means standing strong in who you are. It’s about releasing the need to seek happiness and approval through others and having a knowing that you are not broken, in fact you are OK just as you are – warts and all!” 

She adds that confidence also means taking the time and effort to care for ourselves, rather than prioritising the feelings of others.
Being confident could be interpreted as a way of life, in which you are the central character, rather than simply existing for the purpose of meeting the needs of others. “Confidence is about honouring your own judgements, preferences and needs. We stuff down all the things we want in life. We become people pleasers, just doing what other people want us to do, and chameleons in that we change who we are just to keep other people happy”, Lisa explains. She adds that we can be our own worst enemies in this regard. “Focus on yourself. Focus on approving of yourself. We don’t do it enough, but it really feels good”.

Why is confidence important?
Most of us agree that being more confident would have a direct impact on our well-being. We realise that it is our lack of confidence that is usually the main factor which holds us back from making a career change, taking up a new hobby, or ending a dysfunctional relationship.

In over a decade in the industry, Confidence Coach Lisa asserts that the most common problem she assists clients with is the lack of confidence, and agrees that a lack of confidence essentially prevents people from living the life they want to live. Despite its commonality, it is certainly a problem that is worth addressing, because the rewards of even a slight increase in personal confidence can bring about major life improvements. These benefits can include experiencing less anxiety, and having more resilience and compassion for yourself.

How can we become more confident?
Tips to build confidence:
Acknowledge the fact that everyone suffers from a lack of confidence at some time in their life.
See increasing your confidence as a step-by-step challenge.
Let go of old beliefs and stories. Focus on how good you are going to feel with increased confidence. Write a confidence goal if you wish. Imagine how your life will be different when you have inner confidence and you feel good about yourself!
Let go of worrying what other people think about you.
Write a list of things you need to do in order to increase your confidence.
Give up the need to criticise yourself. Every critical thought knocks your confidence. Every positive thought about yourself increases your confidence. Why not start by writing down five nice things about yourself every day, or even praise yourself every time you look in the mirror?
Give up the need to be perfect. You are human, so perfection is never going to happen.
Face a small fear. Start small and build yourself up.
Accept that it is OK for you to shine and feel good about yourself. When you shine, you also give other people the incentive to shine!

Regardless of your age, your circumstances, or your past experiences, it appears that it is never too late to begin to practice a confident outlook. Lisa explains that accepting responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings, rather than giving others the permission to dictate these to you is key. “Don’t give away your power to situations or people who may have crushed your confidence in the past. Take responsibility for your own life. You are so worth it”.

To find out more about Confidence Coach Lisa Phillips, please see her coaching website at www.amazingcoaching.com.au