Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

"You give me confidence" - issues in coaching

So I'm sitting in a workshop and one of my delegates leans over and says "You give me confidence!" My first reaction is to blush  and my second is puzzlement - how on earth could I do that? I understand that positive encouragement and support from others bolsters people but does it build self-confidence? What happens when nobody is around to encourage us or affirm our actions -- what do we draw on then? Surely self-confidence is exactly that - our positive belief in our own efficacy -- and not someone else's good opinion.
We only grow our confidence by taking risks in life - having a go at the things we find a tad scary or uncomfortable. "Feel the fear and do it anyway" as Susan Jeffers used to say. That's why great coaches include an element of experimentation and graduated risk taking in their work with clients. Only by doing more do we learn to become more.

Self-confidence by definition is a positive belief we form about ourselves. While we expect others to 'give us confidence' we are going to have to wait a long time to feel good about ourselves. Dependency on outside sources, including well meaning coaches, does us no good in the long run.


  1. I like how you have presented your perspective. Excellent.

    1. Thanks - is great to know people find this stuff interesting !