When all has been said and done about confidence, when the talking stops about what it is and what it isn’t, how exactly can we feel more confident? Well here are some ways you can learn to feel more confident in those situations where you most want to feel it.
Strategy 1 - Become Competent
Learn to become competent first.
Acting with confidence in something without competence can sometimes lead to results that are far from ideal. Learning to become competent in something first is a much better strategy as the confidence will be sure to follow. For example If you want to feel more confident when speaking in front of others, (public speaking) then it would be advisable
to first learn to become competent speaking to large groups. After all it is a skill, and one that not everyone has, therefore it can be learned and part of that learning process would be to become competent in those skills which make up public speaking, for example, preparing speeches, making eye contact with the audience, projecting your voice, using
hand gestures and other body language, therefore to become confident in public speaking is to actually become competent at a number of specific skills first.
The first time anyone speaks in front of an audience it would be fair to say they may lack confidence in their ability to do it well, to be expected perhaps. A good strategy would be to first feel the fear and do it anyway, once you do this you can do it again, and keep doing it until you gradually improve (become competent), because once you feel competent doing something you will also start to feel confident. And this gaining of competency can apply to any area of your life where you would like to have more confidence. Learn to become competent first, that way you will understand that you are on a journey and won’t be so unforgiving when you do something for the first time and
are not immediately flowing with confidence. When you start to learn something new and you reach a certain level, this will be something to feel confident about. As you start to become more competent at something, the confidence will follow as you realise you are developing a new skill and improving
It is by stretching yourself and doing things that you haven’t done before that you
become competent. Everybody has learnt to do what they do in their life by way of
experience, everyone has experienced a first time in a particular activity or circumstance, and after repeated exposure to the chosen activity they become better at it, more competent, and as a result their confidence improves right up to the point when they can do it without really thinking about it, much like learning to drive a car.
Sometimes to become competent at something we have to step outside of our comfort zone, and we may have to suffer some hardships as a result, but everyone to some extent would have gone through this to feel confident , and the rewards will surely be worth any short term pain or suffering. For some people doing tasks that at first seem impossible are necessary before any real growth can take place, and sometimes it is this growth that needs to occur before any progress can be made in relation to completing other goals.
Strategy 2 - Stretch yourself (Step out of your comfort zone)
There can be no quicker way to improve your life situation and feel more confident when taking part in a certain activity then to step outside of your comfort zone and stretch yourself. Your comfort zone is an imaginary set of boundaries which are defined by you, keeping you safe in your own reality away from anything that you feel would cause you or your life situation discomfort or pain.
However it is by pushing through on your own boundaries that will expand your
capabilities and capacities which will allow you to become competent in a certain activity.
By doing this it will enable you to experience new realities that perhaps before you thought were beyond your reach. Becoming confident in anything is probably going to involve stepping outside of your comfort zone. Certainly if you are prepared to step outside of your comfort zone, then you will be well on your way to becoming confident in any activity you take part in.
You change aspects of yourself when you step outside of your comfort zone, you can
become a different person. Ask yourself if you want to feel safe or confident?
Realistically how much better will you be at a given activity if you remain within your comfort zone? For example if you are shy and feel you need more social confidence, then unless you go out and start socializing and making an effort to overcome your shyness (moving outside of your comfort zone) then you will probably always feel shy and insecure. But if you start to take the initiative and make changes to your life by doing activities that initially make you feel uncomfortable, then in time your confidence will improve as you inevitably become more proficient in whatever area or activity you are
When you look in the mirror every day, is the person who looks back at you the best they possibly can be? Do you want to be a person who has grown and stepped up to life’s challenges or somebody who has kept themselves hidden and out of the way? How much will stepping out of your comfort zone benefit your life?
If you don’t have confidence in some area of your life now, then it certainly doesn’t have to be like that in the future. The only way you will ever improve your confidence and to some extent your life (if the area where you are not confident is holding you back) is to push your own boundaries and make life initially uncomfortable by stepping outside of your comfort zone. What is wrong with having to do activities which make you feel awkward and ill at ease the first time you do them in order to grow? For some people it is asking too much, perhaps some people don’t think the rewards are worth the hassle, or they could be content with the way they are already and see no reason to change. Others on the other hand will relish the challenge and know only too well how much they can potentially benefit. So whatever it means for you to step outside of your comfort zone, go for it, with all the confidence you can muster, do whatever is necessary and remember to reward yourself for the progress that you will inevitably make and to enjoy the rewards
that will be yours to cherish.
To be continued. WATCH OUT FOR MY NEXT POST