Self-Confidence…It’s really not as hard as it sounds.

By JoAnne Foist

ConfidenceatworkSelf-confidence is having confidence in oneself.

This is such a simple yet perfect definition.  Unfortunately, we often make it so much bigger than that.  In fact, I continue to witness amazing and talented individuals limit themselves due to their lack of self-confidence.

Here’s a question for you, do you think self-confidence is the ability to be perfect at everything you do?  Meaning, will you only feel confident when you have mastered something?  Well guess what?  That’s not self-confidence, that’s perfectionism.

Plain and simple, self-confidence is about believing in yourself.  It is having the confidence to try, not in the absence of, but in spite of fears.  Yes, self-confident people still experience fear, but they have confidence in their ability to handle what comes their way.  They would rather try and learn from the experience than let the fear of failure stop them.  They realize that the more they try, the more confidence they’ll gain.

With that said, below are a few more ways you can build your self-confidence.

  1. Be courageous even when you don’t feel like it.  When you act courageous you start feeling courageous.  You’ll start believing more in yourself and others will believe in you as well.  Remember, “we become what we think.”
  2. Stop worrying about being perfect and instead focus on giving it your best and in a timely manner.  Believe it or not, it is better to deliver something good and on time then something great too late.  Think about it is this way, what if Apple waited to launch the iPhone until it was perfect?   And ponder this, is it perfect yet?
  3. Make failure your best teacher.  Look at each failure as a learning experience and build from it.   Think of Thomas Edison, who said, “I have not failed 10,000 times…I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”  Have confidence that you will eventually find the best solution, win the sale, get the promotion, get your degree, etc.  With every try you gain experience and get better.  True failure is not trying.
  4. Take risks and embrace being a novice.  Don’t try to master everything and don’t let your inability to be immediately great deter you from trying new things.  You’ll never know what you could do if you don’t try.  Plus, you’ll miss the exhilaration of experiencing new things.
  5. Stop second-guessing yourself.  Once you’ve made a decision, move forward with passion.  It’s a lot harder to reach your goal when you zigzag.
  6. Build your muscle.  Many think of self-confidence as this huge unattainable ability that one must be born with.  But we should think of self-confidence as a muscle.  The more you work it, the stronger it gets.   In other words, for most of us, self-confidence really just needs to be developed through practice, through successes and failures.  Every little bit helps.
  7. Keep your perspective.  There are greater catastrophes in the world then what we experience, and we all only have a short time on this earth.  So lighten up a bit and focus on enjoying all the experiences and lessons of life.  This takes some of the pressure off and helps keep you from getting chocked-up.   Plus, you’ll be able to look back and know that you not only gave it your best shot, you enjoyed the journey.

See, self-confidence is not so illusive after all.

If this is an area you struggle with, download our free eBook, The Confidence Habit.  Or, contact us to learn about our workshops and coaching programs.  We’ve witnessed incredible transformation in our clients and would love to help you on your journey.

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