Remember when you first learned how to drive a car?
You had no concept of how much you needed to learn, did you? Then, when you first sat behind the wheel, you realised that you were actually completely incompetent! But with practice, practice and more practice, you increased your confidence, to the point where eventually you started driving ‘on auto pilot’ … Soon enough, changing lanes or thinking about which foot is on which pedal became a sort of ‘innate’ behavioural experience, improving your skill and confidence.
The point is this, not every human being is born with confidence. Surprisingly enough, it’s a learned trait, that can be practised over and over.
Imagine, as little toddlers if we gave up the repetition of getting up and falling down, over and over again. We would all be crawling adults right now.
And for those of you who do have toddlers, when they ask you to read that story, or play that game over and over again, remind yourself that repetition provides the practice that children need to master new skills. Repetition helps to improve speed, increases confidence, and strengthens the connections in the brain that help individuals learn.
…And it’s the key to your self-confidence!
Self-confidence is the foundation of all great success…
Self-confidence is important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet many people struggle to find it. Let me ask you this: how would you feel with more confidence? What would you be doing that you are not currently doing? How different would your life look right now?
There is so much research now that tells us that the more confident individuals, leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners are, the more successful their achievements and the happier they are in their personal and professional life.
And the one trait they have in common is this: Setting a small goal, a totally achievable one – which moves them forward, steadily, one step at a time.
Each and every one of us is capable of building confidence. There isn’t a one set rule on how to raise your self-confidence – your path towards it will be as unique as you are.
I think Carol Dweck sends a very strong message when she says that if parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, to be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong skill – the ability to build and repair their own confidence. In essence, they’ll have resilience, no matter what comes their way.
Have the confidence to fail…
Raising your own confidence is about trying something new, without the ‘fear’ of making a mistake – because, if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you’ll know that there is ‘NO FAILURE – only feedback! When we make mistakes and we actually learn to embrace them, then we open ourselves to the possibility of learning. When we learn, we grow and build deeper confidence.
So, as an experiment, try something new. Double Dare yourself if you’re game, and remember to have fun with it! The important thing, is taking action! When we dare ourselves, there is something in the brain that creates movement and then the task at hand becomes light and entertaining… and we don’t get bogged down in the mindset of ‘what if?’ exploring all the possibilities that could go wrong!
When you decide to do something, and then actually go out and make it real, you give your brain proof of your own talent and capabilities and this boosts your confidence! And then, the way to really nail this new talent and embed it deep into your brain is to do it again and again and again …. Repetition will help you master the skill!
Practice, practice, practice, makes perfect…
So, now it’s your turn… What do you choose? Decide how you’re going to challenge yourself with something new, and just go for it! Sewing a dress? Growing tomatoes? Cooking a fabulous dish? Skydiving? Committing to meditating daily? Asking him out?
When you approach these kinds of changes in your life with a curious mindset, then you’re less likely to get stressed or beat yourself up if things don’t fall into place immediately. (This, by the way, is exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve!)
A friend of mind approaches new challenges like a science experiment – she sets out her goal and her plan of attack and then every day she spends a few minutes analysing her progress and taking notes in a journal. She approaches the progress she’s making with a genuine sense of inquisitiveness at the way it’s all unfolding. This sets her up to automatically ask herself – What am I learning? What do I want to do differently? How can I approach this from another perspective?
These are all good questions to ask yourself, too. And you don’t need to go into this kind of detail (she says it helps her stay focused) but you can just spend a few minutes each day, reviewing where you’re at and where you want to be. Be patient with yourself as you rewire your brain for confidence! Be kind to yourself, laugh at situations, and remember it’s all a learning opportunity. And, because that’s why we’re here having this human experience for, no learning opportunity is ever wasted. Ultimately, you’ll find an increase in your confidence and soon you’ll discover that beautiful, powerful light in you.
It’s time to shine, my friend.
Take charge of your confidence and watch your success soar as a result!