How Do I Build Confidence?
May 14, 2020
“How do I become more confident?”-This is a question I have asked my mentors often, and many others have asked me too.
Why is there this desire for more confidence? Does it come from a place of lack always?
If you are even moderately ambitious, you will have an aspiration to grow professionally and personally. You would want to take on more significant responsibilities. When you take on bigger responsibilities, you naturally encounter bigger challenges. We can safely say challenges are the barometer of individual progress and growth. The higher you grow in life, the bigger are the challenges.
Whenever we encounter a new challenge not faced before, there is uncertainty, anxiety. Problems are like horror movies. The first time there is always some surprise and unpredictability. Once you see the film, it holds no more surprises. So it is with challenges. If we have handled a market downturn before, we know how to handle it the next time. But if we have not been through a recession, the first time we encounter it, there is uncertainty and anxiety.
When we face this diffidence in ourselves, we don’t like the feeling. This feeling manifests as a lack of confidence. So as we grow in a career, it is also vital to invest in growing our confidence. There will be challenges and issues. If we are not mindful, it takes just a few knocks to start chipping at our confidence, and before you realize, the very confidence that brought you to a position of growth will start deserting you.
So we all must invest in growing our self-confidence. We grow in confidence when we do things regularly that test our confidence. Confidence is like a physical muscle. Just like a muscle gains strengths when put it through constant stress, confidence builds when you do things that stress your confidence.
There are two ways to develop your confidence consistently.
- One is to do something you or the people around you think you are not capable of doing. e.g., You are a docile person. You are uncomfortable with confrontation, and the people around you know you are fearful of confrontation. When you stand up for yourself and assert yourself even if you may get hurt in the bargain, paradoxically, you will see your confidence skyrocketing.
- Two is to continually explore the boundaries of your potential by doing things you have never done before-learning a new language, a new skill, a new habit- anything new that pushes at the edges of your comfort. It again boosts your confidence.
The process of growing your confidence is a virtuous cycle that looks like this.
Whenever anyone asks me for tips to grow confidence, my question to them is this-” are you serious about building your confidence?” If yes, then the process is straightforward. Challenge yourself and do things you thought you were not capable of and regularly do something you have not done before.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?