Preparing, Practicing, and Positive Thinking
I don’t know what you think, confidence really looks like in general. I remember asking a client this very recently, what does confidence look like on her? and she instantly said, a better version of me. This is true for most of us who look at confidence as this goal that needs to be achieved instantly by finding some potion or magical herb and consuming it. As Popeye used to do with spinach to gain physical strength and develop muscles. Believe it or not, as a child, I wanted something like that for my confidence. I wanted something that could make me confident in minutes. Obviously, I was enlightened as I grew up and understood confidence as a concept in its true form.
So, how do you form a better version of yourself? I asked my client and she said, that’s why I’m working with you and we both smiled.
Let me ask you the same question. How do you plan to achieve the kind of confidence you need?
But before that, I’d like to also ask you this, do you feel that confidence is something that’s innate, something we’re born with, or do you think it’s a learned behaviour, something that we cultivate over time?
According to me, confidence is a skill. It’s an action and a behaviour that can be learned over time just like any other skill. It’s not something we’re born with. It’s something we eventually become. But I understand the confusion because when we use confidence to describe someone we tend to say, ‘she’s such a confident person’, but we don’t look at the act that’s making this person confident. We fail to fully express what we truly see. Like, ‘she’s so confident about wearing this dress’ or ‘she’s so confident in her voice’.
From my experience, people cannot be defined as confident people, as everyone experiences fear or worry and that’s not a sign of confidence. People are complimented for the act of being confident in or with something.
As I mentioned before, confidence in anything is a learned behaviour. It’s a skill that can be learned over time.
The 03 tools that help with building confidence over time – Preparing, Practicing, and Positive thinking.
Preparing is a very strategic part of building confidence. According to me, preparing is a bit like becoming aware of what we’d like to build confidence in and how to go about it step by step. It’s about understanding what we already have and what we need to work more on. Like an assessment of our existing confidence.
For e.g., you may want to build more confidence in speaking in a group. For this, your preparation would be trying to understand your communication style, your knowledge of the topic of discussion, and your expression including your body language. Preparing is like setting the stage. It’s a strategic step in my opinion and also doesn’t make you feel as if you aren’t confident at all.
Another e.g., you may wish to learn how to drive. Preparing, in this case, would be training yourself to understand the insides of the car. Gathering knowledge of the safety that’s required. Even training yourself for days before you take it out for a proper drive.
Practice is quite literal here. Repeating it over and over helps build confidence. Practice helps you gain experience. Every mistake helps you move a bit closer to feeling more confident. Even if you make mistakes, it helps you to understand what doesn’t work and you inch closer to doing it the right way. The important part of this is showing up constantly and not allowing that critical voice inside you to pull you back. That’s why when we practice, we need to make room for mistakes and setbacks. It’s always a scary feeling to face failure so closely. The awareness that we may fail is physically and emotionally daunting and frustrating but, it’s always better to show up, try, fail and improve rather than feeling scared and not trying at all.
Positive Thinking –
I’m not going to ask you to keep chanting affirmations every time you need to step up and show up but I do believe that it’s essential to self-motivate from time to time. Especially when you have failed or have to get started. Positive thinking is a beautiful tool if we learn to use it effectively and without pressurizing ourselves. It’s strategic to have ways to self-soothe or say words of affirmation that will uplift your spirit and help you bounce back. You are going to experience setbacks and feelings of doubt. You are going to feel exhausted by constantly showing up if you can’t see the results, you want just yet. Positive thinking doesn’t mean setting unrealistic expectations. It means to look at the reality of what is happening and find pragmatic ways to have faith in yourself.
I know it’s all easier said than done. I’ve often been told how confident I am when it comes to a lot of things and the truth is, I wasn’t born confident. In fact, I’ve seen days and months, and years where I’ve felt the lack of confidence in myself and the envy, I would go through any time I met girls who were super confident in the things I lacked confidence in. I’ve worked really hard to become confident in the things that mattered to me and I kept showing up no matter what happened.
I’ve slipped time and again even at things that I had become confident in. I had to keep using these 03 tools to bounce back and feel confident. To be completely honest with you, there are many tools that can help improve your confidence but these 03 are definitely the ones that help me time and again and I wanted to share tools that have been tried and tested by me.
I don’t know how the lack of confidence has affected your life and the belief you have about yourself. I also understand the strength that you may require to get started but I hope you find the courage in you to do so. Because I know, that you can turn this around and become confident. By regularly practicing this, you can become the best version of yourself!
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