Just kidding! There are no steps to confidence, unless you are learning to walk, in which case ten steps would be a big deal. You get confidence by doing. You can’t read about it, be hypnotized into having it, or talk to a therapist to gain it.
It’s actually pretty simple. You begin something that you’ve never done, which can be scary. Of course you’re not confident, you’ve never done it. After you become proficient at this new endeavor, you will eventually become more confident in doing it. Now confidence doesn’t have a cross-over affect; you may be an excellent mechanic but feel inept at helping your kid with his high school homework. You feel good about something you know you can do but new ideas are something you’re not feeling so good about, perhaps learning Spanish with your child.
It’s normal to feel confident in one area of your life and not so much so in other areas. You may feel like an A+ accountant but a C grade parent. You may be a rock star at work but your dating life is not so hot. We all have these ebbs and flows of confidence.
I have a master’s degree. I feel confident in my intellectual abilities. Today, I decided to order brakes and rotors for my car and do the work myself. Whoa, what? I’ve never done anything more than change a bulb in my car so that seems crazy to me. I watched some YouTube videos and thought, why not? What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll still have the front brakes. Kidding but not really.
You have to try something outside of your comfort zone to continuously learn and keep your confidence high. I’m about to enter a new field of work. I know that I am feeling uncertain and lacking confidence. I also know that you gain confidence by doing so how on earth would I feel confident about it? I have to do it and become proficient at it and then I will feel confident.
As we age, we tend to gravitate toward the things we know we can do. I truly believe that aging begins in the mind. Push the limits of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is not your friend. Try something new. Fail. Try again. Life is a continuous learning course for us. Real learning isn’t online and it’s not for a degree. It’s to keep your mind and your confidence at optimal levels. You can only reach the peak if you continue the climb.
Never, ever stop reaching for new experiences and new learning opportunities. Your mind is not your friend unless you understand how your mind operates. Your mind operates to keep you safe. You will hear a voice that says you can’t do that or that’s not something you’ve ever done before so why do it now?
Ignore that voice and tell yourself you become confident by doing and I’m going to do this. Thomas Edison made 3,000 attempts before he invented the light bulb. Let that sink in. When asked if it was wasted time, he replied, “I have gotten lots of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work”.
What would the world be like if all of humanity had that level of resiliency? Be easy on yourself as you try new things. Don’t expect instant success. The whole point is that you’ve never done it and you’re now working on getting better at it. I’m about to take up golf. I will have to read this blog every time before I tee off.
Avoiding the risk of failure is the worst course of action you can take. There are no failures unless you stop trying.