It is no secret that confidence is tied to success, and vice versa. However, it is usually assumed that confident people are just born that way, that they are never scared and that they just feel confident all of the time. We assume it is because of this ‘inborn’ gift that they can go anywhere, say anything and do anything. Fortunately, this is just NOT true! Confidence is a learnable skill. Nobody is born confident or not confident. It is years of social conditioning combined with other environmental factors that help us adopt certain mindsets. In addition, confident people become scared, just like everyone else. What sets them apart is their ability to rise above these fears and move forward despite them.
Confidence is not about knowing all of the answers, but it is about moving forward knowing that you will eventually figure things out. It is knowing that you will be able to handle whatever comes your way. Here are 5 keys to raising your confidence level; these strategies, when consciously practiced on a regular basis, will have lasting results:
Envisioning success is a very powerful tool. Pro-athletes are famous for using this technique. Studies have shown that concentrated visualization efforts work because your subconscious mind does not like the conflict that may exist between your current situation and what you’re envisioning. Of course, it takes action to back up your visualization, but if you know where you want to go, it’s very likely you can trick your subconscious into getting you there!
Awareness of Personal Strengths
Being aware of your own strengths is a powerful tool in boosting confidence. The key to utilizing this strategy is to identify your strengths and to consistently remind yourself of them. It may help to make a small list of your strengths and keep it in a handy spot, perhaps in your purse or wallet. That way you can constantly remind yourself of your strengths and play to them. Playing to your strengths will immensely help in making you feel confident about your abilities.
The Confidence/Competence Loop
The more effort you put into learning a skill, the better you become at it. The better you become, the more your confidence grows. The more your confidence grows, the more you practice. This is called the confidence/competence loop, and it is a never-ending cycle. Try employing this strategy whenever you feel uncomfortable and not confident. For instance, if you are afraid of dining alone, make yourself go out to eat by yourself everyday for 2 or 3 weeks. In the beginning, this will be a challenge, but by the end of the third week, you will definitely feel more confident!
Fake It ’til You Make It
This strategy is easy, always applicable and, most important, it actually works! Whether it’s winging it at a new job or acting like a veteran online dater on your very first setup, sometimes it just makes sense to polish off those drama skills and act like you know exactly what you’re doing. Faking it ’til you make it isn’t about lying, it’s about trusting your own ability to adapt so much that your confidence precedes your experience.
Own Your Flaws and Admit Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes and we all have flaws. After all, we are only human. Strong and confident people own their mistakes and remain transparent about them. Fearful people cover them up. If you confidently own your shortcomings and limitations, you will likely be trusted more on your strengths. Being transparent about your flaws garners trust and respect from those around you and removes the fear of discovery from the equation. After all, life is one big learning curve and mistakes are what help us learn what to do better the next time around!