The Confidence Factor: What Holds You Back and How to Break Free

#LeadandLift | Episode 95 | Chabidaye Jaglal Ramnath

One of the most common things that clients talk to me about in our first meeting is their lack of confidence in themselves. When you don’t have confidence, you don’t take action, and when you don’t take action, you don’t get what you deserve.

In this episode of Lead and Lift, I will share with you what confidence means, and what factors make you lose confidence. Then I’ll provide practical tips and action items you can take to improve your confidence.

What is confidence?

Confidence isn’t a trait that you are born with. It is defined as a belief in your own abilities. Therefore, it’s not a fixed trait but a dynamic skill that can be cultivated and honed. Brendon Burchard believes too that confidence is a skill, and when I heard him say that a lightbulb lit up in my head.

If confidence is a skill, that means it can be learned, it can be practiced, it can be improved, and it can be mastered.

“Confidence is a skill that you can develop with time, with effort, and with self-awareness.” - Chabidaye Jaglal Ramnath

Just like any other skill, learning to be more confident will take a lot of time and practice in order to grow. The best time to start training your confidence is today, don’t wait for your self-doubt to disappear or decrease because you’ll never truly be free of self-doubt. Courage is the willingness to step up and take action despite fear and doubt. Practicing courageousness will build confidence.

Top 5 Confidence-Draining Things

There are five things that make people lack confidence:

  • The first one is comparison. Have you ever scrolled through social media and felt good after it? With every swipe you make, you unconsciously make a judgment. Even if you don’t want to, your brain starts comparing. Consider your tendency to make comparisons with yourself and others, be aware of it, and deviate from that habit. Stop wasting your time making yourself feel bad.

  • Second, we fear rejection and judgment. In the influencer space, we are told that we need to go live on social media and a lot of people don’t do it because when you put yourself out there, there’s this fear that they will judge you or say mean things about you. The fear of judgment and rejection can make your confidence go down.

  • Third is a lack of skill or preparation. Going back to the example of going live on social media, some people don’t do it not merely because of a fear of judgment or rejection, but also because they are not equipped with the knowledge of how to do so. When you feel like you are lacking in skill or preparation, your confidence will be affected.

  • The fourth reason why one may lack confidence is if they are in an unsupportive environment. How do the people around you respond to your actions? Whenever you try something new, improve on something, or learn something, do people around you support you or discourage you from continuing? For some unfortunately, their reality is that whenever they try to read, or listen, or train, their family and friends are either unsupportive, apathetic, or downright discouraging. This works both ways. If you are surrounded by an environment of people that are supportive of your positive actions, then you will be motivated to continue on ever forward to your goals. You are not stuck with the people that you have, you can have that supportive environment if you try to find that kind of community.

  • The fifth reason is negative self talk. For people who can’t help but think of negative things about themselves, I suggest this exercise: whenever a negative thought comes up, get it out of your head and write it down. Once you get it out of your head, ask yourself, “would you say that to anybody out loud?” The things that we tell ourselves, we wouldn’t want to repeat it in public because it’s awful, hurtful, and demeaning and if you know it’s wrong to tell that to others, then stop saying it to yourself. You are just a person too, like everybody else.

Practical tips for gaining confidence

Confidence is a muscle and in order for that muscle to grow stronger, it has to be used and exercised. Here are some things you can practice in order to increase your confidence:

Cultivate competence. Create a foundation for your confidence built out of knowledge and skills. There is what is called a competence-confidence loop, it’s rooted in psychology and human development. The idea is that gaining competence can lead to increased confidence and vice-versa. Brendon Burchard says that the more competence you have, the more confidence you feel in trying new things and taking on new and bigger challenges. Then you develop mastery, become more competent, and feel more confident.

Get yourself a supportive network. Surround yourself with individuals who encourage your growth and have a similar or same goal. For example, if your goal is to be a speaker, then find friends in your network who are speaking because in them you will find people that will encourage you to get on stage, cheer you on, and keep you on track. You can also trust these people to share feedback on how you can get better at what you do.

“If you don't have a supportive network right now, reach out to a friend or a mentor, and let them know what goal you're trying to accomplish so that they can support you in that. It's important that you find yourself around those people who will encourage you and not criticize you, as you try new things.” Chabidaye Jaglal Ramnath

Practice positive self-talk. Previously, I mentioned something we can try in order to lessen the negative self-talk. While we get rid of toxic thoughts, let’s introduce positive ones. Find affirmations that uplift you. Put those as a reminder on your phone or any other place where you’ll most likely be able to see it and be reminded of it. A good place to start when it comes to affirmations is to try and know what your strengths are. Continuously remind yourself of these things and try to find beauty in what’s around you. Fill yourself with positivity.

Take action. By taking action, you can gain mastery. That’s why this is the most important step to take. Before you can have confidence, you need to have the courage to take the first step. Your confidence grows when you confront your fears. Courage is a high-performance habit, and a coach can help you in that aspect. Ask yourself this question: “If you had more courage, what would you do?” or “If you had courage, what would you stop doing?” Having a coach to help you through those conversations, knowing that somebody's on your side, that somebody believes in you even when you don't yet believe in your confidence or in yourself is extremely helpful in taking that first step.

Take a little pride in yourself. Go get your hair cut and colored. Wear something that makes you feel good, something that makes you feel that you look good. Don’t slouch, hold yourself up wherever you are even if you are on a Zoom call. Put on some make-up and wear amazing jewelry that makes you feel like a million bucks. Do all that and look at yourself in the mirror, take pride in yourself, take action, and say good things to yourself.

Lastly, I want to emphasize avoiding comparison. Recognize that everything you see in people’s social media is just a snapshot of their life, you can never truly know what’s going on in their life. They are just people too, and they want to show the best parts of their story - you only see the tip of the iceberg.

Instead of wasting time looking at others, invest in yourself. Invest in your own growth, in your own success, and in your own journey. The first step is always in your power, all you’ve got to do is ask for help from a coach so that they can help you use these ideas and you can shine in confidence.

Confidence is a skill. You can learn it. Choose one idea that I shared with you to improve your confidence and start doing the work.

Gift For YOU!

Do you feel you’re being as productive, influential, successful or confident as you want to?

Are you struggling to stay focused, to get ahead, or to better influence your team or customers?

Have you reached a plateau in your progress and struggled to breakthrough to the next level of joy, power and achievement? I can help!

Sign up now for a gift of 60 minutes of High Performance Coaching where we cover the six principles of high performance you can use to better master your body, mind and ability to be more productive and persuasive.

Yes!  I want the High Performance Coaching

Links mentioned in this episode:


Stay connected with the latest episodes via email

Expert interviews, actionable takeaways and behind-the-scenes Leadership, Communication and Confidence secrets from experts and so much more, delivered to your inbox weekly.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.