I’ve become known for my BIG PANTS approach to building and enriching confidence and often they are part of my coaching practice. In a similar way “Betty” has been a big part of my confidence journey too.
The tale of Betty & the Big Pants
Betty is my inner critic. Some might call it an inner voice, a mind monkey, mind monster, a chimp – the list goes on.
Usually, an inner critic is an attacking, criticising or judging voice inside your head. Most people have a version of Betty, for some it’s louder than for others. Its role is to protect us from harm or when there is perceived danger or vulnerability either physical or emotional.
Let me introduce you to Betty, when I hear her & how I manage her.
Who is Betty and Why?
First of all, Betty is that voice in my head and I hear her say things like ‘don’t do that’,‘that won’t work’, ‘that’s stupid’ & her all-time favourite ‘well, what if’. Betty will say things to me that you would never dream of saying out loud to a friend, she can be harsh and rude. I hear Betty when things are feeling a bit tough, when things haven’t worked out how I’d hoped or I’m worrying about how something might go.
Why do I call her Betty? Well Betty reminds me of a really lovely old friend, I know she has my best interests at heart and just wants to protect me. When she is being really loud, because she is lovely old Betty, I can’t be rude to her, but I can be firm with her and tell her to pipe down, because ‘it’s okay I’ve got this!’
I named her because I wanted to take away some of the power this inner voice can have over me. This way, by naming her I have given her a persona that isn’t a partof me, which enables me to distance myself from her, turning down her volume or blocking her out.
I know I’ll never be able to get rid of Betty, she’ll always be there, the good news is I don’t need to get rid of her, I just need to find ways to manage her loud voice. Over the years I’ve found techniques that work for me that keep Betty inline! Don’t get me wrong, I still hear her, sometimes she’s really loud – I have learnt that an imaginary mute button also does the trick!
Pull up your Big Pants
‘Pull up your big pants’ has become my mantra over the last couple of years or so and it’s really helped to enrich my own confidence levels and continues to do so.
When I was thinking about starting my business, I vividly remember going to my first ever networking event and walking down the street, feeling really nervous about it. I even considered not going and spending the hour shopping (no-one would know would they?). I managed to get a grip on myself and heard myself saying “Come on Gayle, pull up your big pants and do it”. It goes without saying that I’m glad I did it because the fear I had soon dissolved when I found myself sat amongst some friendly, welcoming business owners.
From that point on BIG PANTS were here to stay and they have been in our household vocabulary ever since. There’s nothing quite like having your own mantra quoted back at you out loud on any occasion to spur you into action!
It’s important to remember when we talk about confidence that it’s about what we think and believe we can & can’t do, and if you believe that you can do something by pulling up your big pants your confident feeling will most definitely be heightened, they help you to believe that you can, because YOU CAN.
Pull on your big pants and step out of your comfort zone
The power of the big pants is palpable
You see, when you pull up the big pants you get an instant feeling that it will be okay, you stand taller and suddenly you feel more confident. It’s a little bit like when a hero pulls on a cape, it comes with a built in superpower.
But big pants are BIGGER than simply just pulling them up. In that moment where you have decided to pull them up you have made a decision. Yes you still feel nervous, anxious or scared, you’ll take your concerns seriously –they are justifiable and real feelings. However you have made a decision to do something and this triggers a surge of confidence to flow through you giving you a little shot of courage to take action.
Big pants allow you to take control, choosing how you want to respond to events happening around you and how you want to interact with people.They let you assertively look fear in face and deal with it by making a decision to take action.
When I’ve talked about big pants with my clients, I’ve watched them change their whole physiology, even on Zoom they sit straighter, become taller and confidence shines through.
So, come on then, pull up your BIG PANTS and do it – because actually what’s the best that can happen?
The power of the BIG PANTS is palpable.