This week on Facebook and Twitter, I asked you if confidence is something we are born with, or can we learn it. The response was pretty unanimous: Confidence can be learned.
Its true! It’s a skill, just like any other. And how do we perfect our skills? PRACTICE. That’s right, we keep on practicing and practicing until we have perfected our skill… and even when its perfected, we keep on practicing to maintain it. Think of any successful sportsperson – how did they get to be sooo good at their sport? Yeah, sure, they had a little natural ability to start off with, but how did they turn it into something outstanding? They practiced and practiced… and even when they hit the big time, they keep on practicing and perfecting. It never stops for a successful sportsperson.
Confidence works the same way. You learn ‘how to be confident’; practice, practice, practice until you have it down; then maintain that skill through regular practice. It’s that simple. All of us are born with natural confidence, but our environment and personal experiences as we grow shape and mould our skills, and sometimes we become less confident. BUT, WE ALL HAVE THE NATURAL ABILITY.
So let’s learn a confidence building technique, something you can takeaway from this blog post, and practice, practice, practice. Next time you become aware you are not feeling confident, check in with yourself, and ask yourself what are you thinking that is making you feel this way? Step two, ask yourself, is it really true? Is there any evidence to support that thought? No? Let it go.
For example, you may be sitting in the waiting room before an interview, with all the other candidates, and you start to feel that lack of confidence creeping in. You look around at all the other candidates and think: “These people look way more qualified for the job than me. I’ve no chance”. Is that true? Really? What evidence do you have to support that?… None. You don’t know these people. You have no idea how qualified or suitable they are. Let that thought go. Feels better, right? For bonus points, add more helpful thought such as “I’m qualified, suitable, and well prepared for this interview”
- Stop, check in, what are you thinking?
- Is it true? Is there any evidence to support that thought?
- Let it go
- Bonus: Add a more helpful thought
And, keep practicing!