Feeling insecure? Nervous about that meeting coming up? How about the first class at your new MMA gym that you are supposed to go to tonight? And that phone call you have been putting off? How do you feel about that job interview coming up on Thursday?
If you feel confident every minute of every day, then this blog post is not for you. Stop reading right now and go make a movie or write a book about how you do it!
However, if you feel a lack of confidence now and again, or in a certain area of your life, or in a lot of areas of your life, or throughout the whole damn day, then this IS for you.
Lack of confidence (a.k.a. “lac-a-con”, the word my friend Mary and I came up with in high school to describe the phenomena) in any situation, blows, because it is rooted in the fear of embarrassment.
We, humans, hate being embarrassed.
We would rather endure physical and emotional pain on a grand scale than feel the slightest twinge of embarrassment. And we will pass up incredible opportunities to learn and grow and expand our lives in wonderful ways to avoid feeling it.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could feel confident more often? Well, guess what? There are 2 really cool things about the confidence that I have discovered:
- You can venture out into this big, crazy world and ACQUIRE it.
- You can turn within and DISCOVER it.
Confidence is totally something we can grow from the inside and the outside.
Here are a few ideas and insights for growing more confident that have helped me. Hope you find them helpful too!
13 Ways to Grow Confident!
- Have patience and compassion for yourself and acknowledge what you are ALREADY confident about. Maybe you have confidence in your ability to build houses, or grill steak tips, or rescue cats from trees, or teach jiu-jitsu, or sing show tunes, or play Spike Ball, or fly helicopters. Take a moment and pat yourself on the back for being awesome at whatever it is you ARE confident about.
- Reconnect to your invisible ally, the invisible Force from which we emerged into this life as babies. Babies are not born lacking confidence in anything. Lack of confidence is learned. Which means it can be un-learned. Re-connecting to our invisible ally returns us to our natural state of being, where lack does not exist. Reconnecting through meditation, prayer, walking in nature, writing morning pages, and spending time with animals, are just a few ways.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. If you are feeling a lack of confidence about any future event, don’t wing it. Stress eats confidence for breakfast. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be, and the more confidence you will have. If you can take even just a few minutes to prepare your remarks or visualize the scene and anticipate how you are going to perform, you will feel more confident for sure.
- Ask yourself, “What would it be like, and what would I do, if I felt a little bit more confident in this situation?” This shifts our thinking to what is POSSIBLE, and away from what feels impossible.
- Ask yourself, “What do I really want here, what is my ultimate goal in this situation?” Get clear on what your intentions are before your ego-mind takes you for a ride.
- Embrace a lifetime learner mindset as one of your core values, because the reality is that you are not going to have all the answers, all the time. My mother used to tell me, “If you are ever in a situation in which you are not feeling confident, ask questions! Then ask more questions! And then you will have the knowledge and you will feel better.” She was right because with knowledge comes confidence.
- Just get older! Confidence comes with age.
- Set and start pursuing goals that are in alignment with your core values and empowering beliefs. If you only did this one thing, you would increase your overall confidence immediately.
- Remember that everyone, even super-successful, beautiful celebrities, and athletes, feel like stupid, weak, unattractive, losers now and again. That’s just a part of life! Have a laugh and try not to take things too seriously.
- Ask yourself, “What is the worst possible thing that could happen here?” Usually, it’s not as bad as you are anticipating.
- Ask someone for help and encouragement.
- Remember that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Take responsibility for every situation and you will free yourself from ever being a victim again.
- And finally, Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face. You can say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Challenge yourself enough and you will get used to succeeding, but you will also get used to failing. When you fall flat on your face enough, the fear of failing will begin to lose its power. The fear of embarrassment fades away once we realize that being embarrassed isn’t the worst thing in the world, after all.
And that is what I was thinking about today.
Thank you and I hope you found this helpful 🙂
p.s. I will be teaching a Be Strong Meditation and Yoga class on Saturday, November 14th 1:00pm-2:30pm PT, and using the concepts shared here. Sign up for my class and practice these skills with me.