How to begin?
I’m a home baker and I love to make cookies. They’re really easy for me because I’ve been baking cookies since I was 8 years old. I realised a few years ago that I hadn’t bothered stretching myself and trying new ones. Just the same old ones. People loved them, I could make them easily so why bother.
I was extremely competent.
When I actually focused my attention on the fact that they were something I could do I began to wonder what it might be like if I could do something more tricky. Truthfully I had never been pushed to do more. The stories in my head were from my childhood and were connect to lack. Lack of access to the right tools, the right ingredients, or lack of access to spend the weekly shop on things like, pecans, macadamia nuts, oodles of cooking chocolate, the good cocoa, essentially any of the extra ingredients my pantry needed to experiment and truthfully, play.
So I didn’t. I carried over those limiting beliefs throughout my adulthood.
I allowed basic pantry ingredients. The story in my head allowed them as I wasn’t much for clubbing, was by nature frugal, so that amount in baking supplies was allowed. The other fancier ingredients weren’t even thought of because, ‘I never did before’, I had no habit and my unconscious mind was used to doing things a certain way. Without getting conscious about it, it was never going to change. And of course there were the stories in my head.
Stories I tell myself
I ran stories like:
- They were ‘too expensive’
- What if the recipe goes wrong – it’s wasteful!
- It’s just for me, what’s the point!
- What if they taste horrible?
- I never eat my stuff anyway so it’ll look like I’m trying too hard if I give them away.
- It’s not worth it.
I’m not worth it seemed to be the underlying factor.
In stark contrast, if someone had asked me to bake them something, I would’ve jumped to the moon and back to accommodate them. I had a habit of outward approval before inward (another piece of work I had to bring conscious and break, so don’t go asking ;))
A few years ago I began to think about what it would be like to try new recipes that I didn’t know. What would my Everest be? Macaroons maybe? Piped cookies? Cookies perfect for a cup of coffee or tea. Decadent, simple, crispy, chewy, delicate, hearty, beautiful, surprising. All of the above?
I granted myself permission to become confident in my baking. I accepted my competence, but in doing, in trying something new my confidence has the chance to grow.
That’s mostly where I’ve left it until now.
I’m really aware that when I try something new it has the chance to fail spectacularly.
I embrace this so that I can enjoy getting to the top of this Everest. I may fall, fail and ACTUALLY LEARN SOMETHING so that when I try again I’ll have more knowledge on what not to do. And if by some chance I don’t, I get to celebrate my success, gain confidence in my abilities and stretch my baking muscles. Maybe I could try something else, or see if I can repeat that success until it becomes unconscious. Maybe I didn’t set the bar high enough…. You see, I’ve working on my confidence within myself first over the last few years. I’ve developed a connection to my gut instinct, where my responsibility ends and another persons begins and the space needed in between for each of us to grow. It was more important to me at that time than macaroons.
Now might be a good time to expand and stretch my cookie confidence. Add in more of what I can do well.
Luckily for me, with cookies, I can share them and get the outer feedback that’s useful for me. But I do this knowing that I have secured my own inner worth and confidence first.
Developing confidence (or more of it) is a habit that anyone can practice.
Focusing on your competence and acknowledging where you are in this moment is a useful place to start.
And it’s extremely helpful to look out for your limiting beliefs.
- Step into your competence.
- Notice your strengths.
- Notice the stories you tell yourself (limiting beliefs).
- Set new goals based on the knowledge of what you’re already great a doing.
- Be brave!
All you have to do now is begin.
My YouTube channel has a short video outlining this very idea.