Rob Duffy is a Personal & Business Coach, Regional Director, and board member of two organizations. He is also a startup entrepreneur.
He completed his undergraduate degree in 2013 in Social Sciences (with Psychology) and became accredited with the Irish Lifecoach Institute in early 2015. Rob also graduated from the Innovation Academy in University College Dublin in 2015 having studied Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Enterprise. Rob is also a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner having completed his accreditation at the Institute for Health Sciences in Dublin.
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Close your eyes…… What would it mean to you to have more self-confidence? How would your life change and what would you be able to do if you had more self-confidence? What the hell is self-confidence and who is anyone to write about it and speak from experience about the topic? Am I self-confident? I suppose I am in many realms. Is self-confidence something which others can judge if someone has or does the ‘doer’ of the self-confident act have to feel it internally? I suppose it’s a bit of both. I want to describe a little bit of my own journey with this concept and how it has played out in my own life and what I have learned about it so that someone might be inspired to take some confident actions to improve their own lot.
Self-confidence is defined as ‘‘a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment’. The trust part of that definition is what grabbed me. I recall clearly not trusting in my own ability and not even having trust in my ability to gain the ability to be self-confident. Then one day, I said, ‘to hell with this, I am going to try to change something’ and trusted that I could overcome my fear if I stepped outside my comfort zone of relative safety. The truth is, up until that point, I hadn’t really tried all that I could have to see what was possible for me.
I was working for the State ever since I left secondary school. I had received the first-hand experience within the public sector, that the expression of our worth and true capabilities is not truly reflected within that domain. After a few years, I began to get curious about my own potential. Having not attended third level education, I wanted to apply the horsepower that I knew I had in terms of natural aptitude..The degree I enrolled in was a topic which I had always been curious about; Psychology – a confident expression of my belief in my ability. I wasn’t the greatest academic and have to say that getting my 2:1 mark for my degree was difficult, as I worked full time and struggled to fit everything together.
My self-confidence began to grow as I started to get interested in the world around me and specifically politics and political philosophy. In many of the topics on my degree curriculum, the edges of these topics were touched upon. Unfortunately, because I was studying through correspondence and not actually attending bricks and mortar university, the journey was restricted to online discussion and a part of me craved companionship to discuss my new learnings. I was curious, and with some courage, I began to look around me for others who were on a similar path.
A great challenge for me was overcoming my doubts and fears which required me to lean a lot on my courage. Stepping into the unknown, I trusted that I would find people in my city who were interested in these concepts. With a leap of faith into some online forums, I discovered many like-minded people. We were all exploring the same ideas together. Meeting this group of people in my city, it began to really awaken something inside of me. It wasn’t long before I set up a meeting point and began to run events for people interested in these ideas. Before long, a community began to flourish. It was as if I was circling a purpose, something of value to me, and I knew I had to pursue it. The ideas of liberty, personal responsibility, and human potential were beginning to occupy my mental landscape. I began to read more widely and found a whole political philosophy/ideology called libertarianism which fit my values like a glove. I was confident that I was orbiting the correct ideas and people. All of these new experiences were building my armour. I was becoming aware that I was in control of my own destiny. As long as I was alive and could use my skills and knowledge, I began to see that I could guide my life towards any outcome I designed.
From my cloudy goal to leave the public sector, I had stumbled across my most important values in life. I began to take actions in the world which were bringing me the results I wanted. A confident continuation of this effort has led me to run my own life coaching business. I am also a leader of several liberty focused organisations in my region. I believe that self-confidence is something which will feel alien until we get clear on what our values are and set goals that are outside of our comfort zone. Self-confidence requires an acceptance of the potential, that along the road we may fail. Giving ourselves the permission to accept failure and believing that the next time doesn’t have to be the same outcome, is the foundation of what grows our self-confidence and allows us to step into our courage to become the people we all want to be.
People ask, what can I do now to gain my self-confidence and powerfully move towards where I want to be. My answer used to be to do X , Y and then Z. But now I ask people to put their own mind and heart together to find what that is for themselves. Ask yourself what is self-confidence to you and what would you be doing if you had more of it? What I mean by ‘mind and heart’ is that the mind is the place where the thoughts originate from but the heart is what gives flavor to the thoughts. When people can attune their beliefs to be in-line with the outcome that they want to achieve in life, they become unstoppable. For many years, I had a core belief that academic life was not for ‘people like me’. Until I challenged that belief, and eventually changed that belief, I was not permitting myself a level of success that I now enjoy. Mind and heart working together in tandem are what allow someone solve all their problems. Self-knowledge and curiosity for what is alive inside us are great ways to map our current reality and envision the journey to where we want to go. We just have to have the courage to jump.
I recommend that if you wish to improve the circumstances that you begin to get curious about your own beliefs. Trust that you can acquire all that is needed to become the self-confident, able and successful person you want to be. You can become the master of your destiny, as all successful people do, by courageously following through with their goals and taking appropriate actions. Self-confidence is an accumulation of experiences and actions that have become routine to a confident person. This is why both the perception and perceiver of self-confidence is both external and internal. How are you going to work on your internal game and make the external exude with self-confidence? I would love to hear about your own experiences and challenges with self-confidence so please let me know below or write to me at email@example.com.