Self–confidence is an attitude about your skills and abilities. It means you accept and trust yourself and have a sense of control in your life. Feeling confident in yourself might depend on the situation.
It’s not always easy to be confident in yourself, particularly if you’re naturally self-critical, or if other people put you down. But there are steps that you can take to increase and maintain your self-confidence.
“As is our confidence, so is our capacity.” – William Hazlitt
I have learned there are three behaviours that must become intrinsic to shift your mindset from fearful to fearless and raise your level of self-confidence.
Number One: Take a Risk
Next time you have an opportunity to do something that scares you, say YES rather over thinking reasons why you can’t. Just say YES without thinking about the consequences. We are often so busy automatically thinking no, why we can’t, we miss out on the possibility of thinking YES.
You may remember the hilarious 2008 Jim Carey comedy –The Yes Man. In this movie, Carey’s character, Carl Allen’s life was at a standstill. He was depressed and saw no future. Until the day he enrolled into a personal development program based on a very simple idea – say YES to everything! Carl discovered with amazement the magical power of “Yes”, and saw his professional and romantic life turned upside down overnight, with an unexpected promotion and even a new girlfriend.
Although as you would expect in this type of movie, not everything goes to plan but the premise of just saying YES to everything created limitless opportunities and boundless joy he hadn’t experienced until he chose to explore the advantages of consciously deciding to step out of his comfort zone and not to worry about outcomes.
Carl discovered at first saying YES was like any habit that needed to be practiced until it becomes instinctive – a response that had to be deliberately chosen.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller,
Number Two: Try Something New
Explore opportunities and rather than waiting for life to come to you, actively pursue activities that provide you with the chance to undertake something you may have never done before. Carl’s confidence was boosted when he learnt to fly a plane, play a guitar & even speak Korean.
Continually learning new skills means you open yourself to new ideas. Every time you do something you haven’t done before, you allow yourself to expand your experience and shift your perspective. Consider what new activity/skill you have always wanted to accomplish.
Maybe for you, it is to travel to a place that you have always wanted to visit that is off the beaten track, for example, Machu Pichu in the Andes, maybe it is to get out of the rat race and start a new business, or maybe it is to become a confident speaker from stage. It might even be as simple as riding a rollercoaster or taking a yoga class.
Whatever it is for you, begin by writing a list of everything – everything you have ever thought about doing – don’t place judgement on what you think you can do – don’t concern yourself with practical thoughts as to whether you have the ability, the money, or the time. Just write everything down – don’t judge – don’t consider – just write them down.
Then choose one item on your list. Pick something and do it. Then do another, and another. Remember you are now saying YES and are eager to give it a go. I promise you, like Carl Allen – you will quickly realise the results won’t have to be 100% successful for you to begin to diminish your fear of failure or fear of consequences
Evoke Neales Donald Walsh’s quote “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” to inspire you to take risks and to delight in all life offers.
Three: Become Proficient
It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you can do something well, you will be confident in doing it. If you want to have the confidence to speak from the stage then you need to not only obtain the skills, you also have to practise, practise, and practise some more. To speak well and with confidence on a subject, you need to be well-rehearsed. Every time you stand in front of an audience you will be less nervous until you will eventually feel confident to enough you can address any situation that might arise. The same goes for any fear you want to overcome.
When you live without fear, your stress levels are reduced and all the “good hormones” work more effectively in your body to cope with real problems when they arise.
As W. Clement Stone encouraged, “Try, try, try, and keep on trying is the rule that must be followed to become an expert in anything.”
Don’t miss out on those wonderful moments in your life because of fear. Take a risk, try something new and become proficient to overcome your fears and become a confident and daring person.