A lot of you I am sure have had confidence issues. It can be from the smallest thing like picking up the phone to speak to someone, to not being able to stand up and make a presentation.
Either way, lacking in confidence can feel pretty debilitating. But, it is something that can be helped, so long as you are willing to push yourself into those more uncomfortable scenarios. Once you start though, you will find yourself doing it without questioning it.
Firstly, before you can begin to build up your confidence, you need to know where your anxiety is coming from.
Anxiety does usually come up for a reason, that reason is part of human nature to protect us from danger. So, this is about letting your brain know that there is no danger involved in what you want to achieve.
To get there, I like to use what I call the APP method:
What is achievable?
This relates to your own goals and desires. Make sure that what you’re aiming for is realistic. Otherwise, if you push yourself into feeling confident about something that is impossible, then you will end up in a cycle of disappointment.
Most things are achievable for you, but ensure that they can remain in your control. For instance, if you want to get that promotion that you are up for, you can gain the confidence to try and get it. However if you think that you want to go from an internship to CEO in 6 months or less, then I would suggest aiming lower.
Once you have visualised your goal, it’s time to act on it. And not just once or twice, but over and over again, in many forms. Pick up the phone to anyone and everyone, or practice your presentations on the spouse, children and pets. Repetition will give you confidence in what you’re doing until it becomes second nature.
As you practice, remember that you’re not going to get it right each time. Practice makes for improvement and learning from your mistakes. Just because you keep getting some things wrong, that doesn’t mean that you will ever get it right.
By taking on board these steps you can then find confidence in what you’re doing and rid yourself of that anxiety.
Now armed with the APP method, you can further your confidence with my steps to succeeding in your goals with ease.
This means relabelling your association with failure. I’m sure you consider failure as something to avoid and not aim for. But, failure is the only way to move closer to success. So, once you accept that failure will come, you will then find yourself more likely to succeed.
2. Then keep going
So, you have accepted failure, but it’s still hard to accept it once you get there. So, even when you feel like you can’t fail anymore and just want to quit, remember to push through and learn from what you have done previously.
3. Who cares?
When others around you see your constant failed attempts, they will probably tell you to just give up and move on. This is when you need to carry on moving forward and remind yourself of your end goal and how much you want it. Others will be disheartening, but use your passion to drive you onwards.
You are trying, failing, trying again and keeping that fire alight. When you start on this road it can be common to want to remain inside your bubble. Talking to others is a very important step though. This probably sounds contradictory to the previous step, but there is a difference between taking on constructive criticism, and unconstructive criticism. The same could go for unconstructive positivity.
So, surround yourself with people who can offer guidance and an outsider’s perspective to your goals. They will almost always see something that you would never have thought of had you not asked for their opinion or imput.
5. Relabel stress
Here we come back round to some further relabelling. This time it is to focus on when you feel stressed. Your automatic instinct will be to run away or avoid whatever it is that is making you stressed.
This is a similar animal instinct to failure. So, when you feel stressed, instead of trying to bury it or run from it, stick with it. I know this is easier said than done but ask yourself, why are you stressed? And remind yourself that you are taking action to learn from this experience.
As you stick with that stressed feeling, you will find that it gradually dies down.
What these steps will do is change the way that you connect to and deal with situations. Emotions like fear, anxiety and dread will eventually not come up, as you will feel more prepared to give it a go.
So as you move through these steps, enjoy your new found confidence and success.