"What is a Confidence Coach?"
"What does a Confidence Coach do?"
"In what way can a Confidence Coach help me?"
These are great questions I often get asked.
I have been coaching people around the topic of confidence for many years. Having also designed corporate workshops which I've been delivering to hundreds of people around the world, I feel I've naturally grown into a Confidence Coach.
I've found that in order to truly understand what a Confidence Coach is and what they can do, we have to first wrap our heads around the definition of Confidence.
In 2000, the first counsellor I'd ever worked with left Singapore for Bangkok. Before she left, she gave me a card entitled. "Confidence". Inside the card was a poem written by an author I'd not heard of before and it was a poem about confidence. I imagine, as my therapist and someone who knew me very well, Marilyn had given me that card because she'd noticed confidence was one of the things I lacked most. Or rather, I was least in touch with.
By 2005, I'd become a communication trainer and facilitator. I'd designed several workshops in which participants were invited to learn more about Confidence. I had gained confidence in myself... at least more than I'd had back when I'd first started working with Marilyn in 1997. That card she'd given me went on to be the foundation of my work as a trainer.
What Most People Believe Confidence Means
Interestingly enough, when I would ask workshop attendees what Confidence meant to them, they'd all come forward with similar answers:
Confidence is believing in yourself
Confidence is having the courage to believe
Confidence means being motivated
Confidence is not having fear
Confidence is believing in your convictions
The Unexplored Side of Confidence
When I'd then go on to disclose the slide with the poem, almost everyone would be left dumbfounded. There were several things that the poem highlighted that nobody would have connected to Confidence before.
The 4 major points that surprised the audience were as follows:
Confidence is living life driven with a positive attitude
Confidence is being patient
Confidence is having a dream
Confidence is knowing your talents and using them
If you think about it, how many of us would connect confidence with patience? I'd often hear, "Does a person need to be patient to be confident or confident to be patient?" In reality, the two are interwoven and cannot exist without the other. How many of us would relate confidence to having and maintaining a positive attitude to drive us through life. Would we naturally see the link between knowing our own talents and using them as a service to society as a byproduct of confidence? We'd normally think that confidence comes first, followed by the positive attitude, right?
One of the responses I got to the point raised about positive attitude was, "But when bad things happen in life, not even a confident person can always remain positive". In truth, a confident person will always look at things with an optimistic nature, regardless of how negative the situation may be.
One of the most shocking things I noticed after years of delivering these talks and workshops was how many people don't actually dream at all. I always enjoy investigating my clients' dreams and aspirations with them, but often times am faced with a strong emotional or physical reaction to the question, "What is your dream?" being raised. There are many reasons for why people stop dreaming or never dreamt to begin with, and they vary quite a lot. The most common reason we lose sight of our dreams is lost hope. After many tries, or failures, or too much fear getting the the way, people stop believing that their dreams could ever come true. "It's better to be realistic and stop wasting time on something that most likely won't come to fruition", I'd often hear.
As far as 'talents' are concerned, the reaction seemed even more hopeless. When I would ask the room whether they were familiar with their strengths, I was usually met with confusion and blank faces. Alternatively, I'd meet clients who were very aware of their strengths but not very privy to their 'blind spots', or are familiar with their innate gifts but unable to see the dark side of those gifts. These are people, who you might also know, who only see or know of their light (the good) and are completely unaware of or ignore the shadow that needs to be integrated for them to become whole (because they judge or reject it in themselves and project it onto others).
Characteristics of True Confidence
Alongside the points raised in the poem, I also believe that true confidence is only possible when:
We know how to recognise 'fear' as the hidden motivation for our actions and we deal with that realisation in a loving and mature way
We nurture an empathetic, open, curious heart and mind
We know our needs and wants in life, work and relationships
We can assert ourselves and our needs firmly when a situation calls for it (rather than compromising or subsiding to avoid conflict)
We recognise where our responsibility begins and ends
We know and practice setting boundaries with ourselves and in our relationships (with our partner, children, friends, colleagues, boss and even parents)
We can say 'yes' when we really mean 'yes' and 'no' when it is indeed a 'no'
We practice selective listening
We enhance our Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
We trust that situations are unfolding for a positive purpose, even the most negative ones
We choose to build resilience day by day, with little steps each time
We deliberately choose self-discipline and focus and do what is necessary to develop it
We laugh and enjoy healthy pleasures life; knowing when to have fun and find a necessary balance
We have built a strong sense of self and therefore our life, work and relationships are built on foundations of authentic self esteem (We can recognise this when we see that our actions are following our words and intentions or when we 'walk our talk').
Since a really strong and healthy self-esteem is based on authentic self-love, I would conclude by saying that a truly confident person must first and foremost come to know what authentic love for himself and others means and how to put it into daily practice.
The Foundations of Our Self-Confidence
We start building confidence when we are very young, in our early teens. Many of us build our sense of confidence on a sense of lack or an awareness of what isn't good enough about us, rather than a healthy and grounded sense of the beautiful and worthy individuals we are innately. People from less developed countries or less privileged upbringings often face major challenges when building confidence. They struggle to trust and live in fear. People from more affluent backgrounds might be supported more in this area because they don't have to struggle for the right to be educated and they're very likely to attend great universities and find job opportunities thanks to their network. A more privileged child feels secure from a young age that no matter what, he will be financially stable. However, this is not to say that wealthier individuals go on to have more confidence. In my profession as a coach, I've encountered many young adults and leaders with wealthy backgrounds that struggle with confidence and self-esteem issues. Being wealthy doesn't equip you with will power or self-discipline, both characteristics which form some of the most important foundations for becoming truly confident. It doesn't mean knowing yourself, learning to set boundaries or a natural affinity for understanding EQ. In this way, there's no correlation between your financial status and your self-confidence.
Our background doesn't really matter. Anyone can build true, authentic confidence if they really want to.
The Next Steps
Confidence however, is not a quick fix and many of us ignore the fact that to achieve it, we must gain a solid sense of self and learn to love ourselves authentically.
Confidence is a journey, one which can take a lifetime. It all depends on when you start your search by recognising there's something to do and asking for help to build it.
As a life and confidence coach, my passion and expertise lies in igniting 'awareness' on the topic of confidence. This involves the self first and then expands and ripples into situations and relationships that we engage with in life. I love to guide clients towards the different steps they can take to achieve physical, intellectual, emotional and relational confidence in their life, work and relationships. Mastering these dimensions leads the way for a joyful and confident sense of self. I love to believe in having this dream and the reality that with enough willingness and patience, it can in fact come true.
As Dr. Bob Johnson said in his foreword for my book, Stella's Mum Gets Her Groove Back, "If Elisabetta blossomed, so can you".
header image by Miguel Bruna
The following blog posts go into more detail on some of the topics and themes touched on above:
The Connection Between Unconditional Love & Self-Confidence
How a Vision Board Can Boost Your Confidence in 2019
If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.
► Elisabetta Franzoso is a multi continental Life and Wellness Coach practicing between Barcelona, London, Milan and Singapore where she has many loyal clients.
► Elisabetta empowers men and women to master their mind, body and personal relationships through renewing their confidence and building a sense of wellness. She does this through her unique Coaching In 4 Dimensions framework which takes into account the physical, emotional, intellectual and relational aspects of humanity.
► Elisabetta will inspire you to live the life you want to live, maximise your potential and achieve self mastery. Aside from coaching, Elisabetta is a passionate social activist and spokesperson against abuse.
► Elisabetta has been featured extensively across international and UK press including Thrive Global, Grazia Magazine, Breathe Magazine and Health & Wellbeing Magazine. Stay up to date with Elisabetta at instagram.com/elisabettafranzoso and www.elisabettafranzoso.com