Are we born with all the confidence we’re going to have, or is this a learned skill?
Most experts will agree that while our personality does affect how we move through the world, confidence itself, is a learned skill and that the majority of our confidence comes from our mental attitude. The reason that so many people never reach their highest potential is not for lack of intelligence, opportunity or skill, but rather for lack of belief in themselves.
Confidence is not fixed, we’re not born with a certain predetermined amount of confidence. The amount of belief you have in yourself is a result of the thoughts you think and the actions you take. It’s not based on your actual ability to succeed, but rather, your belief in your ability to succeed.
So if confidence is a learned skill then that means we can learn to be more confident! Great news!
1 - Fake it
You’ve heard the saying, fake it til you make it! Well, there’s truth to that old adage. To put it in less scammy terms, modeling behaviors in advance will help you actually execute those behaviors more effectively. Walking into a meeting with senior executives as if you belong and know exactly what’s going on will help you look, and more importantly feel, more confident. Even if you have no clue what you’re doing!
2- Choose your companions wisely
Many experts agree that your outlook, negative or positive, will be the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Be careful who you hang out with! Spending time with people that lift you, and themselves, up instead of bring you down will be an important key to helping build your confidence.
3 - Prepare
Preparation takes away a large amount of the uncertainty you’re bound to face and can make you feel more confident in almost any situation. Want to have the upper hand in a negotiation, do your research. Want to feel good about running that marathon, train for it! Want to nail your next job interview, prepare, prepare, prepare. (Speaking of which, if you need some help preparing for your next interview, download this completely free guide. Can't wait for you to check it out :))
4 - Ask for help
When all else fails, admitting you need help is one of the fastest and easiest ways to feel more confident in any situation. Just think wisely on who you go to for help! Hiring a career coach is obviously going to boost your confidence at work. Confiding in a mentor that you trust can do the same, but going to your boss or your gossipy coworker might actually make you feel more worried about what that person may do with the info you’ve shared with them.
5 - Stop negative thoughts
You may be saying, that's easier said than done! But is it? Negative thoughts plague our minds daily, but we don’t have to let them stop us from doing the things we want. Come up with strategies you can use for when you’re feeling yourself spiraling into negative self talk. What can you do, what can you say in those moments to reframe the situation? How can you take the “fake it til you make it” mindset and apply it to thoughts that are trying to stop you in your tracks.
Next time you think, I’m not smart enough to do this, say to yourself, I can figure anything out.
It really is that simple. Negative thoughts don’t have to throw you off your game, you can overcome them with a little practice and faith in yourself!
6 - Mentally rehearse
Visualization is a highly effective tool for building confidence. Focusing on what you want, rather than what you don’t want to happen is one way to ensure that you’re moving closer to your desired outcome. Try imagining yourself doing or saying that thing you want to do or say with unshakable courage and confidence. As you practice this remember that what you envision is what you become. To learn more details about visualization, click here.
Listen - we all get scared and unsure of ourselves from time to time, we’re human after all. But we can teach ourselves techniques to overcome that fear and become more confident.
The only way to build self-confidence is to take risks and actions despite your fear of failure, messing up or embarrassment. If things work out, then you now know you can do more than you think. If things don’t work out, you now know that you can handle more than you think. Either way, you’re better off and have gained more confidence.
Now, I want to hear from you! What tips and tricks do you use to make you feel more confident? I'd love to know, leave a comment below.
Thanks for reading!
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