3 Keys to Gaining Confidence
The notion of being confident may not make sense independent of a specific thing you want to be confident about. For example, you might want to be confident in going on a job interview, or submitting a proposal to your boss, or pointing your skis downhill on a near-vertical trail labeled “Danger: Experts Only.”
But confidence is actually a state of mind. It’s the belief that you can do well at something, but even if you don’t succeed, you will be okay. Confidence is an attitude that enables you to better handle whatever challenges come your way, whether you deliberately take them on or they arrive uninvited.
Much of the advice on how to gain confidence revolves around eliminating behaviors that diminish confidence.
The first key is changing how you talk to yourself. In particular, discard negative thoughts, such as those that begin with “I can’t” or “I’m not good enough to” or “I’ll fail if I.” It’s natural to have negative thoughts, but instead of letting them fester, banish them from your mind and replace them with positive thoughts about what you can and will do. And when you fall short, simply forgive yourself, learn what you can from the experience, and move on.
It’s also important to change how you carry yourself. Think of people you’ve met who exude confidence. Are they really confident? You can’t be sure, because when people project confidence, that’s how others see them. Therefore, the second key to gaining confidence is to look and sound confident. In doing that, people will see you as confident—and best of all, you will feel confident. So, stand tall, speak with a strong voice, and try to come across as someone filled with confidence.
The third key is to be cognizant of all that you’ve accomplished. Instead of dismissing or downplaying your accomplishments, give yourself credit for them. You don’t need to toot your own horn in public if that’s not comfortable for you, but a little private tooting, such as keeping a running list of your accomplishments, will help you remember that you have lots to be proud of.
The wonderful thing about confidence is that once you begin to acquire it, it grows, develops, and helps in everything you do. (Though possibly not pointing your skis downhill on a near-vertical trail. That’s at your own risk!)