Confidence, or rather a lack of, is something that can affect a lot of us as we start businesses and begin coaching people. I’ve certainly experienced a lack of confidence and the accompanying feelings of self doubt and impostor syndrome.
In this post I’m going to be sharing tips on really practical things you can do to be a more confident coach.
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The ways we might feel unconfident
There’s a few different areas in our coaching businesses where we might feel unconfident – for example, we might feel a lack of confidence in our skills as a coach. You might feel a bit unconfident in your ability to get the client results or in your coaching skills in general. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence when it comes to putting yourself out there and marketing what you do. Or perhaps it’s the managing of the business itself that feels hard.
There’s so many different areas where this lack of confidence can show up and it can be really quite debilitating.
A lack of confidence can lead to us not taking action, to procrast-learning where you just keep signing up for more courses because we keep feeling like we need more and more knowledge to be good enough.
We can push away clients and push away opportunities and not put ourselves forward which can obviously affect our business.
When it came to writing this post I was reminded of something I spoke about in my show with Sandra Van Der Lee about coach Sara Dann who will often say ‘you’re fucking welcome’ when someone buys her stuff in terms of her whole vibe.
Having that level of confidence in what you offer sounds fun, but how do we get there?
My experiences with lack of confidence
I’ve struggled with a lack of confidence for quite a long time. It’s pretty much been constantly there since I started my business but I have been able to put some practices into place that have made a big difference.
When I was a health coach the main way it showed up was impostor syndrome and not feeling qualified enough. Lately it’s been more connected to comparison with others.
However, doing some mindset work and taking practical steps has made a huge difference for me.
I think when we start coaching businesses, some of us don’t realize that it’s going to be one of the deepest, most profound personal development experiences we will ever go through in our lives because it brings up all of your shit!
In some ways that’s not a bad thing, it really helps us evolve and move on. Part of this is also about walking our talk as coaches and to do the work because it’s going to impact how we show up in our businesses and how we can show up for our clients and things as well.
Having a reflective practice
So the first thing I think you can do to support yourself to be a more confident coach is to just have some kind of reflective practice. Perhaps it’s journaling so you can process your thoughts, or maybe it’s talking things through with someone for example, having a supervisor or coach or mentor.
Having a supervisor, often a more experienced coach, or a professional in a linked area of work can be a great person to talk to about your coaching ‘case load’. You should be able to bring specific questions or situations into the conversation with them and get feedback.
This can be helpful for your confidence because you’ll have the opportunity to review what you did and look at what you could have done differently but very often it will be the case that your supervisor affirms that you handled a situation correctly.
Having this kind of reflective practice doesn’t just have to be with a supervisor, it can be with a coach or mentor as well where appropriate, it’s really just having someone you can talk to about these things.
Collect positive feedback
Another thing that I found really helpful is to collect positive feedback. Many of us have a lack of confidence around getting our clients results so collecting that feedback that is literal evidence of us doing a good job can be super helpful.
Collect emails, testimonials and reviews to reinforce your confidence that you’re good at what you do.
Limiting consumption of unhelpful content
A lot of us get triggered by stuff we see online. It can make us feel ‘less than’ and get us stuck in comparison.
If you’re consuming stuff on a regular basis that is highlighting to you your lack of confidence, and self doubt then it’s time to limit it.
However, when you’re ready, looking at what triggers you in this way can actually be an amazing opportunity to go deeper in what might be holding you back, what limiting beliefs you have, what is missing from your life and business.
But to be able to do this you often need to have the bandwidth available for it, so in the meantime muting or unfollowing people is absolutely ok.
Be kind to yourself
Let’s face it, we can be really hard on ourselves! The expectations that we have on ourselves in terms of how we show up, how we perform, all of this stuff is just too much. We really have such high expectations and sometimes we just need to be a bit kinder to ourselves and have more realistic expectations of what we can do.
Traditionally women have had to work harder than men to get similar opportunities and results. Even more so this is the case for People of Colour, LGBTQ+ people and people with a disability.
Feeling a lack of confidence can sometimes stem from being a non dominant identity in this society and I think it’s important to recognise that and how this aspect of our identities can come into our confidence.
As the saying goes, try channeling the confidence of a mediocre white man!
Stretch your comfort zone
If your lack of confidence is linked to trying new things or putting yourself out there, think about how you can stretch that comfort zone.
It doesn’t have to be a big leap out of that comfort zone which can actually be very stressful, but taking baby steps and doing something new can be so helpful.
If you’re not sure where to start, just look at the situations or areas of your work were you contract or play small, and then think of ways you can put those baby steps into practice.
For example, a lot of my clients aren’t that confident with video when we start working together, but when they give it a try, usually starting with sharing a video in a private group, their confidence grows because they can see that actually, yes they can do it!
Look for tools that help you reflect on who you are
This is a little bit woo, but I’ve found modalities like astrology and human design useful tools when it comes to confidence.
My example is around the need for validation which I labeled as a very negative trait in myself and this affected my confidence. But through exploring astrology I’ve started to see this as something that is normal and actually something I can use to support feeling more confident in myself.
So exploring these kind of things or even personality tests like 16 personalities can be a useful tool even just to help you reflect on who you are and how you show up.
Having a plan of action
Finally, I think one of the biggest things you can do to support your confidence as a coach is to have a plan of action.
It’s really easy to flit between different things, to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing and to feel unsupported if you don’t have some kind of plan. It doesn’t have to be a complex plan and it’s not that you have to stick with it come rain or shine, but it can be useful to have something that is a guide for where you want your business to go.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and that you have some ideas of things you can go away and put into practice to help you feel more confident as a coach.
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