Have you ever noticed that some of the most relentless setbacks to self-confidence come not from the external world, but right from our own minds and behaviors?

Fact: right now, even as you’re reading this article, there are four things you are probably doing that will reduce your confidence bit by bit, over time.

These behaviors and thought patterns aren’t our fault—they’re simply a result of subconscious habits that we’re not even aware of.

But there’s good news! You can consciously work to change them.

Over the course of the next four discussions, I’ll be covering the “Sneaky Confidence Killers” that are holding us back from facing challenges, growing, and going after what we really want in life. By learning to recognize these self-worth saboteurs, we’ll be better equipped to rewire old habits and change the trajectory of our confidence journey for the better!

For today, we’ll be discussing Sneaky Confidence Killer #1: “Yes, But.

Most of us have at least some sense of what we want to accomplish with our lives . . . and we KNOW that if we had unlimited, unstoppable confidence, we would go after those goals in a heartbeat.

The problem is that, even with a clear vision of what we want our lives to become, we create extended lists of reasons why we can’t do it, what’s standing in our ways, and why our ideas will never work.

I’ve been in the business of confidence building for so long that I’ve even seen people passionately fight in favor of the legitimacy of the obstacles to their happiness. Earlier today, in fact, I was speaking with a woman who had a big vision for the new direction of her company. Since the emergence of Covid has changed everything, she’s been brainstorming ways to pivot her business so that she can remain solvent (and even grow) despite the downturn in the economy. Yet with every idea she mentioned—and every possible solution I offered—she coupled it with a, “Yeah, BUT . . . .”

This tendency is so persistent that it almost seems like we’re trying to help the idea to fail before we’ve even given it a chance.

Why do we do this? Fear.

Where there is a will, there is a way. Every other complicated rationale that is keeping you from moving forward is just an excuse.

If you really want to create something, you will get resourceful and get it done. The physical, financial, mental, and even emotional reasons you come up with to make it harder are just manifestations of your fear that your “big idea” might fail if you give it a chance.

Think about it: if you didn’t say, “Yes, but,” you’d actually have to go and do the thing that scares you! You’d have to make the phone calls; you’d have to knock on the doors; you’d have to have the difficult conversations; you’d have to connect with more people; you’d have to put yourself on the line and possibly face rejection and failure.

For some people, that’s terrifying.

Nobody ever said that developing confidence was going to be easy.

This is hard work, and engaging in it means that you’re going to have to face disappointment and rejection at some point in your transformation. But that transformation is going to bring with it a newfound outlook on life; it’s going to open doors toward a better future; it’s going to include all the opportunities you’ve been missing up to this point.

But you’re never going to get there if you stay safe, quiet, and subdued in your comfortable bubble of, “Yes, but.”

In fact, “Yes, but,” is probably the sneakiest of all the confidence killers because it seems so harmless:

  • Well, I’m simply stating a fact—this idea is not possible because of XYZ! I’m just being realistic.

That mindset, however, is not going to change your life. If you want to escape the endless cycle of self-sabotage that keeps you safe and comfortable (yet miserable), then you must start catching yourself when those “Yes, buts” pop up in your mind. You must identify them and start to probe deeper into the fears that are inspiring them.

What is the fear underneath this “Yes, but”? What am I really afraid of? What ridiculous story am I telling myself about my idea and its potential? How can I confront my fear?

Get courageous: seek out those glitches in your ideal mindset and work diligently to form new patterns of thought.

If you need guidance in finding the courage to face those fears, don’t worry—it’s coming up in this series of discussions . . . so stay tuned! Also, you can always check out my website, SocialConfidenceCenter.com or DrAziz.com, to receive my free eBook and access several resources to help you jumpstart your confidence journey, including virtual sessions, masterminds, and more!

With hard work and dedication, we can move toward our ultimate confidence and feel the freedom we deserve as we discover our most authentic selves. After all, the more you share yourself with the world, the more everyone benefits!

As I mentioned above, this is a four-part series on Sneaky Confidence Killers, so make sure you check out each installment. In the meantime, please leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below. What is the bid idea you’ve been avoiding? What stories are you making up about why it won’t work? What is one step you could take to make that dream a reality, starting today? Let’s share our experiences with each other, strengthen our community, and learn from one another!

Until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome.