I used to think some people were born with confidence and others, like me, were SOL. Thankfully, I now understand that’s not the case at all.
Teenage me and even college me wanted to be confident but my negative self-talk and doubts about myself and my abilities were living their best life. Even simple things like intramural sports or arts and crafts activities made me nervous. I didn’t want to reveal to the world how awful I was.
Looking back it seems crazy that I was afraid to try new things because of the fear of being awful. Why? Because what sane person thinks they won’t be bad at something they haven’t done before? Heck. If we were good at everything before doing it, there would be no need for practice or growth and development in anything.
Today, I want you to know that most of us aren’t born with confidence and it doesn’t show up like puberty all of a sudden. Confidence is cultivated and there are things you can do to make sure you add it to your skillset.
HOW TO CULTIVATE CONFIDENCE
Treat confidence like a muscle
I like to think of confidence like a muscle. We are all born with muscles but making them strong requires effort. We have to feed them well and do the necessary exercises if we want growth. Confidence is the same. If you want to step out of your front door feeling like a badass, it’s 100% possible but you have to practice.
Just like with your body, you wouldn’t expect muscles to grow all over at once that would be unrealistic unless you are Popeye and you just had a can of BPA free spinach.
Us regular humans have to choose one area and focus. So. Decide where you want to develop your confidence.
- Do you want to develop your confidence at work?
- Do you struggle with public speaking?
- Does your personal life or communication in relationships need a boost?
Whatever it is, choose one and decide you’re going to grow your confidence in that arena. Then, honor your word to yourself.
Every time I write the word ‘practice’, I think of that Allen Iverson video where he repeats the word like nine times.
I digress. The point is…practice is necessary. No one gets to go to the gym one time and get sustainable results. I’ve tried it, I know. Lasting results require commitment, practice, and consistency. If you are committed to cultivating confidence, make it your mission to put yourself in situations that requires it.
Ignore the negative self-talk
Cultivating confidence requires doing things that are unfamiliar and that freaks us out. Our brains are hard-wired to keep us safe not for testing new boundaries. Therefore, you can expect a certain level of resistance and fear when you are ready to do that new thing.
You may even find that the voice in your head begins to become a negative Nancy. Here’s what you do, if that happens. Tell Nancy to shut up and make your move. Growth and reaching your next level of success will rarely ever be comfortable; therefore, you’ll want to get good at mastering your mindset and pushing through your discomfort.
CULTIVATING CONFIDENCE RECAP
Maybe you know someone who was born with confidence (maybe it’s Maybelline) but I believe the majority of us humans have the task of cultivating confidence and it takes work in the following areas:
- Treating confidence like a muscle
- Being realistic and focusing on one area at a time
- Ignoring negative self-talk
It also requires knowing who you are and what you want. If you are struggling with that, check out my self-discovery challenge.
YOU GOT THIS!