When’s the last time you felt 100% confident in what you were doing?
When’s the last time you had a clear mind, solid understanding, and certainty in your path forward?
Most of us would struggle with coming up with examples for those. But here’s a hint – *everyone* would struggle come up with examples. Some people may seem more confident than others. Some may act like they’re more confident than others, but everyone struggles with confidence from time to time.
The trick is that there are ways to build confidence within yourself. You don’t need to create a non-stop perception of true confidence – you just need to know how to become confident when you need it.
Here are 5 ways to build the confidence to take on anything:
Ask yourself “Why??
Before you start on a task or project that you are not confident in, the first thing to do is to take yourself why you are not confident…
- Is it because you never did this before?
- Is it because you failed the last time you did it?
- Is it because no one has taught you how to do it?
Questions like these help you understand where your lack of confidence is coming from, which will help you understand how to defeat it.
- If you never did this before: No worries – success is not guaranteed even if you have done 100 times already. Look at the situation as a learning experience.
- If you failed the last time you did it – Great! You were experimenting. In science experiments, there is no “pass” or “fail” – it is simply a result that you try to repeat or change.
- If no one has taught you how to do it – Great! You’ll be a great person to go through the process so you can teach someone else how to do it. Every great mentor in your life had made mistakes, and those mistakes help them know how to prevent others from making the same mistake.
Feeling a lack of confidence is usually based in our minds with thoughts that, upon reflection, don’t make sense.
Talk to Yourself
It is natural for our inner voices to jump to negative thoughts because thinking in worst-case scenarios helps you survive. However, if you only listen to yourself, you’ll hear a lot of negative talks and limiting language that prevents you from being confident.
Instead of listening to yourself – talk to yourself. Be in control of the words you use to form your thoughts. A quick way to start things right now is by talking to yourself with the word “You” instead of “I”, as in “You’ve got this.” Instead of “I’ve got this.”
When you use the word “you”, it allows you to become objective on the situation. It feels like there is someone else supporting you, which can build confidence in yourself.
Dress Up (but Not Overboard)
This one seems silly but think about it. How productive do you feel in your pajamas vs. a professional outfit?
It’s a minor change but dressing up can go a long way to building confidence in your image. When you wear clothes that you feel productive in, you’ll also feel confident. You don’t need to buy an expensive outfit – you only need to dress in clothes that feel good and make you look good. After one glance in the mirror, you’ll instantly feel more confident.
Learn Something New
The feeling of confidence is based on abilities. If you have been swimming for 25 years, you will naturally feel confident whenever you get into a pool. However, at some point, you were not confident in your ability to swim. Learning a new skill will build your confidence because you’ll gain new knowledge. Whenever you start learning something new, there’s an excitement that propels you to keep going, which creates more confidence as you learn more.
Even those who are “naturally good” at something still have to work on their craft. Whether it’s an athlete, musician, or salesperson, everyone who is confident in their abilities now did not start that way. They found something they were interested in and kept working at it. The reason why it looks so effortless to them is that they spent a lot of time practicing making it look effortless.
A great example of this is an astronaut. It takes two years to become a certified astronaut, and mission-specific training could take up to three years. A typical space shuttle flight is around 10 days.
If astronauts trained five days a week for five years, they would have trained for around 1,300 days.
- 10 days (typical space shuttle flight) divided by 1,300 training days = 0.7%.
This means astronauts spend less than 1% of their job working in space, with the other 99.3% spent practicing. Now, I’m not telling you to go practice for five years on a 10-minute presentation. When the astronauts are in space, they are 100% confident in themselves since they spent so much time practicing. If something goes wrong, there are no worries, because they have trained to handle it.
Use the same mindset by practicing a lot for your task/project/whatever. When the time comes, you’ll feel confident because you’ve already practiced it hundreds of times.
Confidence isn’t about looking good for other people – it is about you feeling better about yourself. Whether you dress nicer than usual, or practice consistently, or just tell yourself “You can do this.”, you can build confidence in yourself that will help you achieve your goals. You won’t always feel 100% confident in everything you are doing, but even if you just feel that way for one thing, then you’ve succeeded.