Confidence is sort of a vague term. What is it? How do you get it? What do you do with it? All of these questions typically come to mind when you try to analyze confidence.
Let’s start with what it is, first. Confidence, in my humble opinion, is someone’s belief in themselves to do any particular thing. Whether that’s confidence in public speaking, confidence in talking to women, confidence in acing a test, or confidence in one’s ability to drive.
Confidence isn’t easy to get. Not everyone has it or can get it for every endeavor they participate in. Someone can be confident at singing but totally unconfident at dancing. And someone can be very confident when it comes to hitting a baseball, but very unsure of themselves when it comes to pitching that same ball.
Confidence is a funny thing when you really look at it. You’d think, all things being equal, that someone who is confident on say the baseball field or on stage, would be confident in all those sub-genres across the board. But that’s just not so. Confidence eludes many, unless they know how to get it.
But when they do get, it, what do they do with it?
Well, when someone has confidence in a particular field, they typically take that confidence and master whatever venture they partake in. See, when you have confidence, you have almost everything you need to succeed. Confidence, and I mean true confidence, is perhaps the greatest tool in any effort to success.
Here are 7 ways to build confidence.
1. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Every challenge in life is frightening. If it were not, it would not be a challenge. We fear failure. We all want to succeed in whatever we do. That’s just how we’re wired as human beings. But we can’t gain a confidence in something we don’t currently have without first attempting it.
Many people would rather not attempt something challenging instead of trying it and failing at it. People often let the fear of failure dictate their lives. But if you want to be successful in life, you have to get over this fear!
If you ever want to excel at something and have true confidence in it, you have to push through your fears and go for what you want! Stepping out of your comfort zone is critical in obtaining confidence. If we all start pushing ourselves to do things we fear or things that we may be uncomfortable doing, we’ll automatically gain confidence in knowing that we have taken the first, and biggest step!
2. Befriend Bold People
“Birds of a feather flock together.” This old saying tells us that you act a certain way around the people you hang out with. You tend to share the same behaviors, actions, and even personalities with the people you spend time with.
Knowing this, it makes sense to hang out with positive people. Don’t hang around negative friends, or downers who suck the energy right out of you. No, hang around bold, lively, and most importantly, confident people, if you want these characteristics to rub off on you.
The more confident friends you have reiterating this positive emotion to you throughout your day, the better your chance of displaying it to the world is!
3. Have Small “Wins”
You can’t get confidence overnight. It takes time to manifest. That said, enjoy small “wins,” or small steps of doing things that give you positive reinforcement.
For instance, if you were trying to get confidence in public speaking, you wouldn’t expect to be able to give a 1-hour speech in front of 1,000 or so attendees at a Tedx conference. That would be insane.
What you would want to do, however, is work your way up to this threshold. You’d start small, maybe at a Toastmasters group, and give a speech to a handful of members. This small step in the right direction would be a small “win” for you, and just what you need to work your way up!
4. Pretend To Be Confident
Look, I know it’s not good to pretend to be certain things in life. But when it comes to confidence, and the manifestation of it, there is an exception. Pretending to have confidence, at first anyways, is great for experiencing what it feels like.
You see, many people have no idea what it’s like to have confidence in a particular area of study. So instead of having the right, nothing-to-lose, bold attitude, which is ideal when trying to get something down, they alternatively have a meek, timid approach, and this often yields little in the way of success.
People don’t excel when they think they’re not good enough. They excel when they are confident in their abilities, or at least confident that they have a good chance to excel. So instead of being timid or afraid, feign confidence and pretend to be bold if you have to.
Embrace this feeling of confidence and watch as this act becomes something more. By doing this, soon enough you’ll have true confidence
5. Use Positive Affirmations Or Self-Hypnosis
Positive affirmations and hypnosis speak to the subconscious mind—the part of the mind that you cannot typically control. This subconscious mind, however, controls just about everything you do!
From regulating your heartbeat, to expressing your emotions, to controlling chemical reactions in your body, to signaling the neurons in your brain! These functions are all controlled by the part of the mind that you cannot typically access. However, there is a way to tap into this mysterious component of your brain. And that’s through affirmations and hypnosis.
By going into a precisely relaxed state, scientists, hypnotists, and affirmation specialists have found that you can access your subconscious mind. And by accessing it, you can make changes and override the coding—so to speak—for a lot of the unconscious and automatic processes that it has. Things like weight loss, depression relief, anxiety release, stress management, and oh yeah, confidence building, have all been scientifically researched and documented as being quite effective.
Try it out when you get a chance, it really works!
6. Practice Whatever You Are Trying To Master
There is nothing quite like practice. When trying to master something, really anything that takes some form of skill to excel in, there is no substitute for practice. The preparation and repetition that goes into doing something and being ready for it gives you confidence like nothing else can!
When you go over something, over and over again, you get better and better at it each time. The mind/body connection grows stronger with each attempt. This growth gives you unbelievable confidence; something that just can’t be replaced.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Mess Up
If you just appreciate that you are human, and that everyone messes up in everything they do, you will get a certain confidence from this realization. Look, you are going to mess up. You are going to fail. You are going to fall flat on your face from time to time!Everyone does.
But if you can accept that you’ll fail and that you’ll mess up, you want be as scared to do so. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” as FDR once said. You should take this sentiment and carry it with you always.
Whenever you embark on a new task, fear not! You may mess up, but you can always get back on your feet! If you truly embrace this, you’ll have a confidence about you that won’t fade.
Use these 7 tips now and take up a new challenge today! Don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never tried; instead, take what you’ve learned and be confident in whatever you do!
This article originally appeared on get-a-wingman.com