Top tips for building your confidence as an introvert


In this conversation with confidence coach Sarah Giles, we explore the topic of introversion and its impact on confidence.

I share my own experience and realisation of my introverted nature and we discuss the importance of understanding and respecting the need for quiet time and self-recharge.

Throughout our discussion, we delve into strategies for managing social situations and setting boundaries, as well as the value of preparation and gradually expanding comfort zones.

We also touch upon the fear of public speaking and the benefits of practice and seeking support.

Together, we share personal experiences and insights while exploring the journey of building confidence as an introverted individual.


[00:00:01.130] – Speaker 1
Good morning, everyone. We’re here this morning, me and Sarah, Sarah Giles. And Sarah is a confidence coach, aren’t you, Sarah?

[00:00:11.790] – Speaker 2
I am, yeah. Supporting quietly ambitious women to help them discover their true potential.

[00:00:19.730] – Speaker 1
Oh, I like that. Quietly ambitious. I think I would count myself as quiet, lean.

[00:00:27.130] – Speaker 2
It’s more introverted, but I never like to say introverted. I’m like, I need a different name. But that’s okay.

[00:00:33.960] – Speaker 1
Actually, this is really great because this has been on my mind loads. I’ve got loads to talk about with you. If you’re joining us, it’d be great if you could say hi. We can’t see who you are unless you kind of comment. And if you’ve got any questions as we’re chatting, Sarah’s here for you and for your questions about confidence and confidence building. But, yeah, I mean, this idea of helping introverted women especially is super interesting to me because I have realized, I think I’ve properly realized at the beginning of Lockdown that I am a proper introvert. I didn’t quite realize how much I was. And actually it’s really helped me to recognize and understand my reactions to things and so understanding my bodily, like, why I get so like, you know, get that physiological response to certain situations. And I found it useful because I can go to myself. Okay, this is because you find this challenging. This is really challenging for you. This is really outside of your comfort zone. And if I can say that to myself and recognize it, then I’m able to perhaps sit with that and go, okay. And then also being really understanding and not pushing myself too much.

[00:02:07.230] – Speaker 2
That’s such a big thing because I think as more introverted women, well, men as well, but you need that quiet time. And so it’s a noisy world out there, isn’t it? Especially to be honest, the online space in the last through COVID has been a challenge. And I think it’s knowing that it’s okay to have that time to yourself and replenish your energy, because otherwise you become overwhelmed and exhausted with everything else around you.

[00:02:42.450] – Speaker 1
Yeah, I definitely feel that sense of if I have to talk for a long time, I find it I get very tired. It’s really weird. It really wears me out. Whereas I’ve noticed, and this is stuff that I’ve noticed more and more as I’ve become more aware of my own introverted nature. Some people don’t get tired. Some people love talking and they talk and talk and talk, and I’m just fascinated. I’m like, wow, God, I’m so in awe just talking on the phone. Some people can talk for hours, and that for me, that exhausts me.

[00:03:25.250] – Speaker 2
And I’m the same. So if I’m around, I like being around people that have that high energy.

[00:03:30.870] – Speaker 1
Yeah, me too.

[00:03:32.100] – Speaker 2
But I need my time then away, because otherwise I’m like, wow, that’s exhausting me now. So it’s all about that self awareness and understanding yourself, and isn’t it useful.

[00:03:45.660] – Speaker 1
To know that so that you can go, okay. It’s okay for me to now retreat. And it’s okay that I like to be by myself and have quiet. Like I love quiet. And that those things realizing that those things are actually a resource for me. They’re the way that I sort of charge myself up. I do love talking to people. I love meeting new people. I love people in general. This is what I’ve kind of realized in the past, I thought I was scared of people, but actually, it’s not that. It’s just understanding how to manage my interactions. Yeah, it’s really funny and really interesting. It’s just a real eye opener.

[00:04:32.310] – Speaker 2
And sometimes it’s a really interesting thing, confidence in social situations, because sometimes when we’re lacking confidence, we’re the person that will go to the back of the room in a meeting. Or if you’re at a party, you just want to sit in the corner because you feel like you’re not the same as everyone else. You feel like, Why can’t I be jumping?

[00:05:00.170] – Speaker 1
Around and happy, but it’s just being aware of how you are. But also I always talk about preparation being key. So if you know those things are going to be a struggle for you, look at how you can work through that, what can you do to help yourself? So there it is. You don’t need to go to that party for the whole length of how long it is. You can turn up for an hour if that’s what you want.

[00:05:26.880] – Speaker 2
I love that. I love realizing that that’s revolutionary for me. You don’t have to stay for the whole time.

[00:05:34.860] – Speaker 1
No, but it gets into the people pleasing again because we think, oh, I don’t want to upset that person. It’s knowing ourselves better so that we’re confident with our own boundaries that we set ourselves and we’re not afraid then to say no to other people.

[00:05:56.210] – Speaker 2
Absolutely. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. So it’s kind of, number one, being aware of your needs and two, having the boundaries to respect those needs with confidence.

[00:06:15.330] – Speaker 1
Sometimes we don’t even realize what areas we’re lacking confidence. We don’t necessarily feel it’s a confidence thing. We might not know that. So often I say to people, if there’s something that, say, you’re preparing or you’re worried about, I don’t know, it could be talking on a Facebook Live and you’re really anxious about it. And then the thing that we tend to do is avoid doing it because we think, oh, I just can’t do it. We get into that fixed mindset of I just can’t, it’s not going to work. But actually it’s the practice that helps us build the skills to become more competent, to then become more confident.

[00:06:57.410] – Speaker 2

[00:06:58.790] – Speaker 1
But we tend to try and avoid it at times, don’t we?

[00:07:02.860] – Speaker 2
I read something really useful this week, actually, that said that you only need to go 4% out of your comfort zone to get into the flow state, that flow meditative flow state where you’re kind of using your creative mind. And it is that kind of realization that you can go out of your comfort zone, but you don’t have to push too far. You can kind of manage that gentle pushing of your comfort zone for me as well. It’s been really useful to recognize the physiological feelings that I get, which make me feel like I’m going to be chased by bear or I am being chased by a bear because I get a pure. Like I feel sick, and it’s like my body is going, don’t do this. And I’ve realized now that I don’t have to listen to I’m not being chased by a bear, I am not in danger. And recognizing that, that is the feeling that I get when I am hitting my comfort zone and then pushing beyond. And generally when I feel that feeling now I know it’s something good that I’m going to do something that’s going to get me because I used to get it when I first started teaching.

[00:08:27.660] – Speaker 2
I used to get it every time I taught a class. Every time I taught a class, I felt like I was going to be sick.

[00:08:33.410] – Speaker 1
You’ve done it so many times. Practice. I think you’ve just said an interesting point there about the comfort zone, because it’s good to come out of our comfort zone, because that’s how we learn and grow. But it’s having that awareness again, of sometimes we look at things in terms of taking that huge leap, and we miss those strategies in between to help us get there. So then that leads to us not taking the action again. And I always say it’s about that. I did a post about this earlier, actually, about being realistic with yourself. Actually, it’s okay that if you need some help to facilitate that doing phase of something, if you need to reach out to somebody, if you need to read a book, do a course, that’s okay because that’s part of your steps to get to that bigger goal.

[00:09:28.310] – Speaker 2
That’s really useful. Yeah, that’s a really point, because reaching out for support. Yeah, that doesn’t occur to me. A lot of people don’t think to themselves. It’s hard, isn’t it? We don’t reach out very often.

[00:09:41.530] – Speaker 1
No. So, for example, you wouldn’t necessarily want to admit to somebody, say, for example, I’ll just use a Facebook Live as an example because it’s we wouldn’t necessarily want to reach out and say, can you help me? Give me some tips, can you prepare? Because we don’t want to look like we’re not competent in doing it. Actually, if we had a quick chat with somebody and then just practiced with somebody, we’d feel better about doing it.

[00:10:10.450] – Speaker 2
Yeah, 100%. Or even just ask, could you just be there so it feels like I’m talking to you? Little strategies that could help because I’m sure people that are listening to this right now are probably thinking, well, you two do Facebook lives, so you must be super confident. And it’s just not the case, is it? It’s just we do it and we.

[00:10:31.840] – Speaker 1
I don’t and I don’t even do I don’t do many I don’t do many lives now on my business page at all. It’s something when I first came into the online space, I can’t do that. I can’t do that even though I’d done presentations before. But because it was me sharing stuff, it just felt really uncomfortable. But again, the more you do it, the more you feel comfortable or you find your own way of doing it. So if you don’t want to do it in a certain place, don’t do it. You can do it in a way that works for you.

[00:11:05.610] – Speaker 2
Absolutely, yeah, 100%. This leads quite nicely onto my current experience, which I’ll share with you and with you guys in the group, which I’ve been talking about quite a lot recently, because I just find it fascinating I kind of notice my own reactions to things. And because I’ve become more comfortable doing Facebook lives, and I become more comfortable doing Zoom presentations, and I’ve become more comfortable teaching and speaking and talking about stuff that I’m passionate about. And that doesn’t give me the same sort of physiological response I used to get. So it’s like you kind of get into that flow state with the stuff. But I’ve just started and I mentioned this to you earlier, I’ve just started going on Clubhouse, which is the app, which is if you haven’t come across it before, it’s audio. So you go on and there’s rooms and people are speaking and you can listen, or sometimes you get invited to speak, and some of the rooms are really social and chatty, and some rooms are kind of more professional. So I’ve just kind of dipped into it. And it was so interesting how scary I found that I was right back at the beginning again.

[00:12:25.870] – Speaker 2
Even just talking about it, my heart started to go.

[00:12:28.820] – Speaker 1
Because it’s new.

[00:12:30.180] – Speaker 2
Because it’s new people. That’s the other thing. Because in this environment, I know in the group and I know most people, yeah, I guess it’s about feeling safe, isn’t it? And so you’re in this whole new environment. I’m practicing, really pushing. Not really pushing, because I don’t do too much, but I go on every day and do this daily affirmations room. So you go in, it’s a very friendly space, and you just say your affirmations for the day. But it’s funny because the guys that are in that room, they stay on for hours, and I sort of stay on for about an hour. And then I said, my exhaustion kicks in and I’m like, I just can’t do this anymore. It’s really interesting. So I would love some top tips from you on how to deal with that kind of deal with when you’re.

[00:13:29.500] – Speaker 1
Doing something new.

[00:13:32.530] – Speaker 2
Or even just for anyone listening. When we get that response, that real response, we’re stepping outside of our comfort zone. But we know that potentially, if we do this thing, it’s going to get easier. How do we manage those first stages?

[00:13:52.250] – Speaker 1
So I would say so often we overthink things. I still do this. So I’m not saying here, by the way, I’m perfect. I have to do all of this stuff all the time. I’m just more aware of it myself. Now. Sometimes I would say act before you have a chance to even think about it, to act when you wouldn’t normally, because we then start talking ourselves out of it, and then we just don’t end up doing it again. So when we’re doing something new or speaking, whatever it is, just keep or visualize yourself, like at the end of it. How good will you feel when you’ve done it? What does that feel like? Really get into that feeling, but also practicing. So you’ve started in a good way because you said you’re going into a room every day. And so you’re taking those steps to keep practicing it in, little steps. And you might then set up your own room, if you haven’t already, and run a room.

[00:15:00.530] – Speaker 2
But it’s taken. That’s going to be down the line because I know I recognize I have to go slowly because at first I was like, oh, this is so exciting. I could do this and this and this. I started getting really overwhelmed and I was like, Actually, just turn up every day. Just turn up every day for now. Don’t worry about the rest of it.

[00:15:22.710] – Speaker 1
It’s practice, practice. Because that’s how we learn and that’s how we build our skills. So all I would say is, and also a big thing, don’t forget what everyone else is doing because there’ll be people in there that are all different stages doing all sorts of things. And I think we get into this habit, slippery slope of looking at everyone else and then thinking, I can’t do it like they do it. So I’m just going to sit back, go back into my shell and not make an appearance again. So I think just try and stay focused on what you want to get out of it, what you want to do, so that otherwise you just get caught in that vicious circle of thinking, where am I going? You’re trying to do it in a way that somebody else is doing it, but it’s not going to work for you.

[00:16:14.120] – Speaker 2
Yeah, comparing is comparing ourselves to others is such a unhelpful habit, isn’t it?

[00:16:24.010] – Speaker 1
We do it naturally. We all do it naturally at times. And that’s why confidence is about knowing truly who you are, like trusting in your abilities, what are your values, what are your strengths, because when you believe all of that, everything else becomes so much easier and you become less self absorbed in all the other things that are going on.

[00:16:48.530] – Speaker 2
Yeah, totally. Yeah, that’s really good advice. So coming back to your own kind of valuing yourself and recognizing your strengths and coming from that place of being almost grounded in who you are, especially.

[00:17:06.680] – Speaker 1
I think if you are more introverted and you’re comparing yourself to extroverts out there, you’re just going to get overwhelmed. It’s not going to work.

[00:17:15.530] – Speaker 2

[00:17:18.090] – Speaker 1
And I’ve done it, especially when I first started in business, and then I felt really stuck because I was like, I can’t be like them. It’s not me.

[00:17:29.230] – Speaker 2
It’s funny when you’re in a room I’ve sort of like, observed this when you’re in a room with people who are loud. And it really took me back, actually to school or to being younger. And obviously I was obviously, I guess, introverted when I was young as well, just not realizing it. And that sensation of being really overwhelmed by banter and loudness and kind of like feeling like you should be chipping in and being really hilarious that’s just not the way I am. I’m a slow burner. There’s nothing wrong with that.

[00:18:11.630] – Speaker 1
And I’m like that too. And I think there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just I think looking at who you surround yourself with as well, just being mindful of that. Because not everyone notices this stuff. They don’t know that they’re not connected with their true self. So then it’s hard that they just think that they don’t fit in.

[00:18:33.650] – Speaker 2
Yeah. Like recognizing that it’s okay to be different and it’s okay to be quiet and it takes longer perhaps for you to feel comfortable, to use your voice in situations. I think it helps me to not force myself to be something that I’m not. To not try and step into this kind of extroverted persona.

[00:19:07.070] – Speaker 1
Yeah, that’s so true.

[00:19:08.820] – Speaker 2
That’s where the discomfort comes. That’s when I really like, oh my God, what am I doing?

[00:19:13.970] – Speaker 1
And there’s this thing, this conflict because you’re trying to push for something that it’s not going to happen for you because you’re not that way.

[00:19:22.530] – Speaker 2
It’s not aligned.

[00:19:23.950] – Speaker 1
No. So you’re just going to always have this conflict and stay stuck and then wonder how to get out of it.

[00:19:31.510] – Speaker 2
Yeah. And you can’t maintain that persona either over any kind of period of time.

[00:19:36.460] – Speaker 1
No. We often put a label on ourselves, don’t we? I think there can be some confusion around confidence because people that are very confident sometimes can be confused with being arrogant. And some people are overconfident and that can really knock them later down the process because we talked about those leaps earlier in the baby steps. But those people that are more overconfident can take that huge leap but then get knocked down when it just goes to pot because they’ve jumped to maybe.

[00:20:15.570] – Speaker 2
They haven’t self kind of war belief in the behavior that they’re so maybe it’s about getting that alignment with kind of and truly believing in yourself first and preparing everything.

[00:20:33.930] – Speaker 1
We can become confident in anything. We just need to practice and prepare for it. We can all learn new skills, can’t we? It’s just we have to just keep practicing. Some of us need longer to practice.

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