Low self-confidence is a big problem to those who experience it regularly, when that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach rears its ugly head and the negative self-talk starts to creep in, it paralyses you, destroying any chance you have of achieving your goals.
There are two main types of confidence, self-esteem and confidence in the ability to perform tasks. In this post we’re going to explore the later. There are some very effective things you can do to get your fear under control whenever you’re confronted by it just before you’re about to attempt something.
Believe it or not fear is your friend, so you don’t want to completely eradicate it as it serves a good purpose. A manageable amount of fear heightens your senses and capabilities giving you an edge you wouldn’t have in normal, relaxed circumstances, you’ll find below a few strategies you can use reduce your fears down to a manageable level.
Feel the fear and do it anyway – if you feel afraid don’t try to fight it, dig deep, deeper than you’ve ever dug before and face into your fear, accept it, stare it in the face to refuse to be beaten. It may sound silly, but it works, try it next time you find yourself in a fearful situation, the feeling you get once you’ve smashed through your fears can be phenomenal.
Act as if – When don’t feel you’re ready, or experienced enough, just act as though you are. Find someone who has already mastered what you’re attempting and watch them, copy their physiology, their posture, the way they walk and speak. Once you step into their shoes it becomes much easier for you to do it.
Everybody was a beginner once – always remember this, nobody, not one single person alive or dead was born with the innate ability to achieve what you’re currently afraid of, there’s always a first time in everything you do in life. This about what you can do right now, walking, talking, reading and writing, there was once a time you couldn’t do any of these and now you don’t even think about them, there are very few things you’ll ever do in your life more difficult to learn those I just mentioned and you managed to learn them as a child so anything else should be a piece of cake.
It’s OK to fail – the only reason you learned to walk, talk, read and write is because you failed, you failed a lot. Don’t be afraid of it, the most successful people in life are those who’ve failed the most and learned from those failures making them stronger and wiser as a result.
Always have a clear goal – keep this goal in mind when your confidence is waning. If your goal isn’t strong enough to motivate you through any resistance you’re feeling then your goal isn’t strong enough. It must be compelling, something you really want to do. If the task is quite mundane you must make the outcome of the task appealing enough to spur you into action.
Overcoming negative self-talk – when you catch yourself thinking about all the bad things that may happen when trying to achieve something one way to cancel this out is to come up with at least two good things for every bad one, this way you’ll have more reasons to do it than not to do it. When attempting this your mind will often throw back a simple answer like, ‘there are no good things’, if this happens, accept the answer rephrase the question. ‘if there were any good things about this situation what would they be’.
Push the boundaries of your comfort zone – Your comfort zone is any place where you feel no fear. The only way to increase your self-confidence in everything you do is the push the boundaries of it by using the tools in this post, you must actively seek out opportunities that put you in a fearful situation and push through them, as you do this your self-confidence builds and everything becomes easier.
To summarise, when you find yourself is a situation where you find your self-talk is trying to persuade you out of it firstly feel the fear and do it anyway by acting ‘as if’ you already know how, always remember that everybody was once a beginner once, give yourself a compelling reason to achieve your goal, match all of your negative reasons why you can’t do something with at least two positive reasons why you can and always be looking for new opportunities to overcome your fears which in turn will build your self-confidence.