Confidence is one of those essential ingredients in life that is mandatory to achieve a right amount of success or enjoy life in general. If you lack confidence, you will find yourself missing out on various things that could make you even more successful or speed up your rate at which you progress in life. But if you show too much confidence lacking concise understanding or develop wishful thinking and mistake that for confidence, you might be digging up your own grave. So, let’s explore what confidence is, why celebrities make it look so easy and how you can make it a natural part of your life.
What is Confidence?
Before you understand what confidence is, you need to understand what confidence is not. Confidence is not a thing you develop after you do some work. Many people and even the top psychologists get it wrong. They all will tell you that confidence is a muscle that you develop over time. For example, if you are afraid of heights, and you do skydiving, it might boost your confidence level, and suddenly fear of heights might be gone from your mind forever.
To a certain extent it’s a valid observation but how do you explain the behaviors of people who never had any practical experience with any adventure or a task but they succeed regardless of their history of poor confidence or lack of skills? You indeed can deduce them by saying it’s all luck or suddenly they grew a spine, but that too can be argued.
Confidence is not a muscle because it doesn’t exist physically. Your eyes, hands, biceps, are muscles. You need to workout daily to build them up. But confidence is one of those things that exist purely in your mind and imagination. And you don’t have to keep building up your mental muscles to keep your confidence level high. How so?
Look at 5-year-old children. They are fearless, utterly fearless. Ever since they were born, they were mostly too busy having fun or living in their perception of reality. They don’t know about meditation, or they don’t necessarily build up their mental muscles every day to become a bit more confident than yesterday. Some children are naturally shy, and some children are naturally confident. But this trait can be easily changed. Let’s explore the possibilities below.
Some people might disagree and argue that you get more confidence by building upon your previous experiences. I don’t wholly disagree with that notion, but these folks are missing out on a fundamental fact. If you are a bodybuilder, you need to workout daily, eat right and make sure your body gets all the nutrition it needs. However, the actual muscle building takes place when you are asleep and getting enough rest. Your body needs time to repair and build stronger muscles on top of it. That’s just how it works, and there is no way around it. Confidence works the same way. You certainly can jump off a cliff, talk to that stranger or do that task you are afraid to do that doesn’t necessarily build confidence. There’s some other magic at work here!
How is Confidence Developed?
As argued in the previous paragraphs, confidence is not a muscle, and there’s something else at work that leads to more confidence. In this section, I will explore how exactly you develop faith within you and how you can use that to your advantage to become more confident than you probably thought possible. In its essence, confidence is a firm trust or believe you have within yourself or someone else. It’s the robust and unshakable belief you have that you can take care of yourself or someone else. That’s confidence! So, next time you feel nervous about anything, take a moment and ask yourself, on a scale of 1 and 10, how much trust I have to carry out this task? Just asking that question alone could get rid of that mental barrier you have that’s stopping you from taking action.
Usually, when people say confidence builds upon previous experiences, they are right but might be missing the critical point. You don’t necessarily develop more confidence because you take action but when you realize that you can trust yourself with a particular task. So, the trick is to establish that trust with yourself or develop that unshakable faith within you to make yourself more confident.
Why developing faith leads to more confidence? It’s because you can be self-reliant in any situation. If you think that taking action makes your more confident, then you are limiting your potential. If you talk to 10 strangers, it might give you the confidence that you are good with people, but you might limit yourself thinking that you need to do the same to become more confident in other areas of life. But if you have the inner belief that you can do anything you set your mind to, then you will naturally feel confident to take on any challenge. Whether it’s talking to people, learning to do skydiving, starting a business, you name it. You don’t have to practice every single item in life to develop more confidence. Develop a stern belief within you that you will not lose no matter what, you will find yourself naturally motivated to take more action and even if you fail, it will not demotivate you in the future. That’s the power of developing self-reliance or self-confidence.
How to Develop a Firm Trust Within You?
Although we live in a society where we need each other to survive, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your survival and progress in life. Surely, your mom, dad, spouse or kids might help you out here and there, but when it comes to making any meaningful progress in life, you have to be the one taking action and doing all the work. So, it’s essential to develop self-reliance from a very early point in life. A firm belief within you will allow you to go after your wildest dreams, survive the bad years and will enable you to be happy regardless of how many naysayers are in your life.
If you look at the history of all the successful people in the world, at some point all of them decided that they will have to be in charge of their destiny. There are plenty of stories where their parents, children or spouse didn’t believe in them or wanted to stop them from their goals. And when they failed, their loved ones laughed or reassured that whatever they are trying to achieve is not doable or they are not good enough, and yet, they all succeeded. It wasn’t just because the celebrities or the athletes developed or mastered the skills necessary but it’s also because they developed self-reliance. They cultivated strong faith on themselves or developed sturdy self-reliance that kept them going regardless of how dire the situation looked.
The first step to becoming more self-reliant is to be truthful to yourself. Whenever you want to embark on a challenge (e.g., talking to a complete stranger), ask yourself how confident do you feel on a scale of 1 to 10. Acknowledge the fact that you are nervous, acknowledge the fact that you never spoke to anyone before, acknowledge the fact that you have no idea how the conversation will go. But now, recognize the fact that you have full confidence in your abilities. Say to yourself with a firm conviction that regardless of what the outcome may be, you will always respect yourself, have faith in yourself, and you will still love yourself for the great man or woman you are.
Next, it’s time to elicit the demon in your head. Odds are your subconscious mind cooked up some wrong ideas that are making you nervous. Ask yourself whether the fear or the threat you are experiencing is real or imaginary. Is someone or something physically stopping you from taking action, for example, there’s a real tiger in front of you? Or are you just imagining all these things in your head that are drying up your wit? Taking a moment to notice these imaginary thoughts in your head and reminding yourself how firmly you believe in yourself will be enough to get you out of that mental paralysis, and you will find yourself more confident to go after what you want to do!
One great exercise you can do to develop a firm belief within yourself about yourself is convincing yourself why you feel that way. Open a new document on your computer or grab yourself a pen and paper. Now, write a page or two convincing yourself or someone else why you are self-reliant or how do you know that you are incredibly self-sufficient. The answers you come up with help you see yourself from a different perspective, and they will help you develop a powerful image of yourself.
If you stopped by this article looking for some cheap trick to wake up with more confidence, then you need to stop living in a fantasy. Even if you eat a pill, you need to give your body some time for the tablets to take effect. No matter how fast you read, how much you learn or how many videos you watch, you still need sleep and regular review to hone in the materials. Developing a firm belief within you will not take you necessarily days or weeks. But just two essential habits.
You need to be honest with yourself and ask yourself on a scale of 1 and ten how much faith you have in yourself. And elicit the imaginary boundaries so that you can free yourself from any mental barriers. With a firm belief within you will not only make you more confident but you will feel free from the boundaries of the world around you!
E.E. Cummings said it best. He said, “Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” It’s time you develop that unshakable faith in yourself and your abilities!