What Are Confidence Blocks? How To Know If You Have Them and How To Fix It
By Rachael Taylor
There's a reason why I wrote an entire book about the importance of confidence and the blocks that get in the way - it is incredibly impactful on how well your business does and how quickly you reach your goals.
Any time you find that things get in your way when working on accomplishing a goal or task, that's a block. A block can come from many different sources but always comes back to one thing - a deep seated, personalized fear within your mind that is actively working to stop you from moving forward.
We all have various fears, intimidations and anxieties when it comes to running our business, but you can grow beyond all of them when you work on your confidence.
Our confidence and self-esteem defines how we feel about ourselves, the value of the work we do in our business and the way we interact with obstacles, setbacks and objections.
There are several different confidence blocks we could have and while many people find that they are affected in some way by each one, it's not unusual to have one specific fear that outweighs the rest.
The 7 most common confidence blocks are
The fear of failure
The fear of not liking what you get
The fear of judgment or exclusion
The fear of being visible
The fear of taking away from someone else
The fear of not feeling good enough
The fear of feeling like a fraud
It's perfectly natural to feel fear and to be honest, it will always strive to be a part of your life and decision making. Your goal, as a big hearted business owner with an expansive vision, is to identify which fears are currently showing up and stopping you from taking action on whatever it is you're working on.
The key to fixing your confidence blocks is awareness - to be aware of your behavior gives you the opportunity to choose to act differently. I'm going to briefly outline each confidence block and how it may be affecting you and your business.
1. The fear of failure
The fear of failure is a big problem for many people. After all, no one wants to feel like their efforts were for nothing or didn’t produce the results they wanted. This fear is something that I see often in perfectionists, and it is something that I personally struggled with as well.
For some, it could stem from an actual life experience where things did not turn out the way they expected and it hurt, possibly badly. In this instance, if you still want to reach the dream and vision you have for your business, you have to try again. This can also show up as worrying about not doing something correctly or having a fear of not getting the desired result, so getting started never happens or a personal project stays nearly finished. My question is this, what is the “perfect” way to do something?
Where does that standard and execution come from? Is it something you have absorbed or created for yourself as the benchmark for success? As someone who is a recovering perfectionist, this pattern of not trying for fear of the potential “failed” outcome, got in my way every time I moved forward emotionally, physically and in my business.
We have the opportunity to observe why we do certain things and how a fear of failure could be negatively influencing our progress towards a goal we have. Interestingly enough, the times that I have “failed” - which only means to say that something did not turn out the way I wanted - have been some of the most transformative and instructive moments in my life.
There is no such thing as failure. When something doesn’t turn out the way you expected or hoped, even though you worked your butt off for it, you have a chance to learn how to do something better. You have the opportunity to try again with more knowledge, confidence and understanding. Trying and “failing” the first time might be the secret sauce you’ve been missing on doing it “correctly” the second time.
2. The fear of not liking what you get
The fear that you may not like the result or outcome of what you get can stem from memories of family members or personal experiences around receiving what they wanted and then not finding happiness from it. You know the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for?” I believe this expression originates from this fear.
It’s this idea that we will get what we want, realize that it doesn’t make us happy and then where do we go from there? Our mind will suddenly scream out, “Wait, I didn’t have another plan, what do I do next?” All these questions and more will flood through your mind when this fear is on the loose.
The other way this shows up, is a fear that you will reach a goal and then be unable to maintain it - maybe you’re worried that you’ll lose it. It is a fear of not being able to invest enough time, energy and resources to keep the accomplishment alive and well. I’ve seen it show up as physical burnout, financial debt, weight fluctuation and relationship sabotage.
Sometimes we expect that things will get easier once we have the thing that we want, but more often than not that is not the case. There will always be ways to work smarter, not harder, but in some cases you will be required to put in a minimum amount of work to keep what you have.
3. The fear of judgment or exclusion
One of the biggest fears we have insecurities around is the fear of judgment and exclusion. We all want to belong and feel like we fit in to a group or pocket of people where we can be ourselves and be loved. Often we are faced with rejection and judgment, many times it is for something that is out of our control to change and that makes it hurt more.
On the surface, the simple experience of being judged or rejected by another person’s actions or words can reinforce this idea of staying within the mold and not growing beyond where someone wants you to stay. There may be people in your life right now that are intimidated by you transforming your mindset and choosing to grow beyond what they’re willing to do.
However, the bedrock of confidence is being yourself without apology, fear or drive to fit inside someone else’s box. There will always be people who won’t like you, many times they won’t have a valid reason or evidence to back up their opinion. Knowing this, you might as well enjoy who you are, build up your confidence and do what you need to create the best version of your life.
4. The fear of being visible
Visibility is something that the Internet and social media platforms have drastically increased. We are more connected than ever and while that is great because it expands our ability to do good in the world, being unapologetically yourself can create some backlash. This fear is like judgment in the sense that there is a worry of what other people will think, but it differs in context.
A fear of being visible comes from memories around being shamed for being yourself, standing up for what you believe and doing what you want without apology. Being shamed is when someone puts you down for expressing yourself - often it shows up as someone giving an opinion that you never asked for that explicitly tells you why you’re wrong, with or without concrete evidence and research to back up their claim.
You can be yourself. In fact, I highly encourage it! You make the world a more interesting place and being visible just as you are will help lead others to do the same. We are all here to make a difference and leave our mark, don’t let the past or any shame keep you from your dreams.
5. The fear of taking away from someone else
There is not a finite amount of love, success or confidence in the world - it doesn’t have a cap - and yet the fear of taking away from someone else is a very real stopper in many people feeling confident and able. There can be this theory in our minds that because there is only so much of something, you have a limit on how much you can have.
Our minds can turn around the fact that you work hard, show up and deserve what you’ve earned, into a fear that you have somehow hurt someone else’s chances of success. This story usually comes from something that we’ve been taught or a natural peacemaking personality that doesn’t want to make waves.
Did that trigger anything in your mind? I know it does for me, I don’t want to make anyone feel bad or hurt someone’s chances for happiness. You being confident and making your dreams a reality does not mean that anyone else is lesser for it. In fact, the exact opposite is true! The world, and the people around you, will be enriched and blessed by you becoming all that you can be.
6. The fear of not feeling good enough
This specific fear is the single biggest culprit behind us not feeling confident in our abilities and not loving or accepting who we are. It is the reason so many of us stop or never get started building a life we really love and enjoying each day we get to be alive.
The fear of not feeling good enough causes all those questions to swirl in our minds whenever we worry about doing something new or pursuing what we want “Can I do this? Do I have what it takes? Am I good enough to make it happen?” You’re not alone if you’ve had those thoughts, we have all been there and I’m no exception.
The dream you have in your heart will require you to do something different to get it, otherwise if that was not the case you would already have it. It will take courage and confidence to do new things, learn what you need to and build the necessary habits required to make it a reality. That is why I focus on building a confident mindset. We are hardwired to want to grow, but we are going to face fears and sabotage every step of the way.
Wouldn’t it be nice to try something new with peace and excitement instead of overwhelm and nausea? That’s the difference in doing something with confidence in who you are and without it. We are all works in progress and we all have milestones we’re working towards. Your best effort is more than good enough, so get out there and start honing your talents. It is time to stop being so hard on yourself, to find inner acceptance, get rid of the guilt and thank yourself for already coming as far as you have.
7. The fear of feeling like a fraud
This is a common fear when you are trying something new and putting it out there before you have all the information or have practiced enough that you are comfortable. The fear of feeling like a fraud can show up as a fear that people will see your own set of flaws, insecurities or think that you have a lack of authority and ultimately write you off.
Unfortunately, it takes practice and a “learn by doing” approach to become an authority or comfortable in anything you do. No one shows up as an expert, we all have an origin story to tell - everyone has a beginning, middle and end.
When you think about it, our favorite superhero or legend stories are the ones where people beat the odds and went forth despite opposition. We always want to know the behind-the-scenes of heroes, musical legends and historical giants - how did they get from there to here and accomplish what they did? They started exactly as they were, filled with fear and took courageous action anyway.
Only you can tell yourself that you aren’t a fraud and that your story is worth living. No one is perfect, and no one can be an authority without first showing up, messing up and forging ahead. Trust that your natural abilities and smart brain will get you through the hard times and into a place with more experience.
Which fears did you find yourself connecting with? Which ones did you feel cause a reaction in your heart, stomach or throat? The body will respond to our emotions, especially when we are looking at something that is potentially uncomfortable or brings up a sharp response.
Fear can be a bit bossy and refuses to be ignored - the good news is you have the tools to start stripping away its power.
To fix your confidence blocks you have two options:
1. If you enjoy writing, write out your fears on paper or in your journal (paper and pencil, please).
2. If the idea of writing or journaling makes you cringe, physically say out loud what you have been afraid of happening.
Once you've done that, ask yourself - if those things happened, would I not want to continue on in my business? Do I want to allow this to permanently block the vision I have for my business?
Your awareness to confidence blocks is how you fix them, I personally use out loud affirmations and journaling to work through these blocks and get back on track. Other people invest in 1:1 coaching or do a combination of fear-battling activities that work for them.
Remember, being an entrepreneur is a big adventure with limitless possibilities and potential but it requires you to grow, be bold and pull on courage to stand up to what’s in your way. Growing to a new level may not be comfortable, but it’s always worth it.
You have this dream for a reason and it’s the perfect time for you to chase it! Enjoy the journey and trust the process.
From one entrepreneur to another…