If only I had more confidence…I’ve been there.
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If you had more confidence then you’d write the novel you’ve always wanted. Start that business. Leave that toxic relationship. You just need more confidence.
I was right there with one of my last jobs. It was so stressful it constantly drained my energy, and my social life disintegrated. I was stuck. The job paid well enough and, even better, it had full benefits! But I didn’t have the confidence to just quit… or so I thought. Turns out I did have the confidence to quit, I just had to draw it out.
Here are 3 confidence building tips to help you toward your goals.
1. Confidence Is Never Far Away
The trick with confidence is getting it where you want it. No matter how much you think you lack confidence, you’re actually overflowing with it. Chances are you can walk outside your house. You can eat food. Right now, you’re even reading this article.
Those are all things I bet you’re pretty confident you can do. There’s no question you can read this, you just are. But at one time, you couldn’t read. At one time in your life, letters and words made no sense: they were scribbles. In fact, you’re so confident you probably can’t even remember a time when you couldn’t read. Whatever confidence you need, it’s already there.
2. Confidence And Fear
There’s a problem with wanting to be confident before we do what we want: it doesn’t work that way. That’s because it’s actually the opposite: you take actions that bring you out of your comfort zone, and then your comfort zone expands and confidence comes with it. Fear and confidence are not exclusive: you can be afraid and still take confident action. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the myth that confident people aren’t afraid: they are. They just take action despite it.
3. Transform Your Fear
We’re all afraid sometimes, even if we don’t admit it. We might call it things like being stressed, wound up, or tense, but what it means is that we’re afraid. And guess what? It’s ok to be afraid.
The problem comes up when we don’t think it is. Fear isn’t something to be rejected or ignored – it’s actually there to help you. At its core, fear helps keep us alive (“fight or flight” and all that). And it’s going to be triggered every time you leave your comfort zone. The farther you step out of it, the stronger the feeling will be.
Sometimes the fear is completely legitimate and can save your life. The fight-or-flight response help spring you into action. Other times the fear is a little more irrational. If you’re thinking of writing a novel for instance, your life isn’t actually in danger. But your brain doesn’t know that. Instead of running from your fear, make it work for you.
When you feel afraid, move toward your fear instead of away. Ask if you’re actually in danger. Today I use fear as a compass: whenever I feel afraid, I realize I’m coming up against an area where I have room to grow. Embracing fear is one of the most important keys you can have to becoming more confident. Next time you feel afraid, accept it, explore it and take action to grow into the confidence you want.