Darwin once said that “It is not the strongest or the smartest that survive, but those most adaptive to change.” With all due respect, I disagree. I believe that it is not the strongest, the smartest, or even the most adaptive people that succeed but it is the people who are the most confident.
In life, business, and entrepreneurship, the person who is most certain of their abilities and their potential is usually the person who succeeds. Nonetheless, there is a problem. Most of us were never taught how to be confident.
We learned all about the Pythagorean theorem, the Magna Carta, and Newton’s Laws of physics, but we were never taught how to increase our confidence in any area of our lives or how to cultivate the confidence required to pursue our wildest dreams.
Luckily, there is a formula for increasing your confidence, and it’s much simpler than you might imagine. I’ve been helping men increase their confidence and chase their goals for the past five years and, after a significant amount of trial and error, I have finally unlocked a simple formula that works.
Here is the 5 step formula that will help you 10X the balance of your confidence account:
1. Accept that Confidence is a Skill and You Can Acquire It
Most people assume that confidence is a character trait or inborn element of someone’s personality, but this simply isn’t the case. Don’t believe me? I want you to think about the first time you ever drove a car. You were scared out of your mind, right?
You probably felt a rush when you first pressed your foot against the acceleration pedal. You likely had butterflies in your stomach the first time you merged onto a freeway. I can all but guarantee that you weren’t texting, drinking coffee, or eating fast food the first time you sat behind the wheel.
What about today? Do you still get butterflies in your stomach when you strap on your seatbelt and drive to work? Do you still feel apprehensive when you switch lanes on the highway or freak out when you have to park in a tight space?
No! Because you have developed the skill of driving; you have become confident in that particular skill. The same thing is true in every other area of your life.
Confidence, at its most basic level is simply an internal feeling of certainty that you have the knowledge, resources, and skills required to succeed at any given endeavor. Nothing more, nothing less. Therefore, the first step to increasing your confidence is to realize and accept that confidence is a learnable skill!
“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” – Dalai Lama
2. List Out the Current Balance of Your Confidence Account
Once you have accepted that confidence is an acquirable skill, you now need to acknowledge that you have already developed this skill in certain areas of your life.
I want you to pull out a pen and notepad and write down 10-15 skills or tasks in which you have tremendous confidence, big or small. Are you confident in your ability to have a great workout? Are you confident at your ability to paint, play the guitar, or write beautiful poems?
Are you confident about your ability to cook eggs without burning them, drive down the street without crashing, or successfully brush your teeth every morning? It doesn’t matter how big or small the item is, write it down!
The point of this exercise is to help you acknowledge that you are already confident! Once you have acknowledged you already have areas of your life where you are confident, it’s time to move to step #3.
3. Reverse Engineer
Now that you’ve acknowledged that you are confident, it’s time to figure out how you became that way. I want you to pull out a separate sheet of paper and create a list of all the ways that you developed your confidence in that particular arena.
For example, if you wrote: “I am confident in my ability as a Marketing consultant.” I want you to write out how you became a confident consultant (because I promise you were not truly confident when you started). Did you land one particular client that made you realize you could succeed? Was there a particular campaign that boosted your confidence and self belief? Did someone say something to you that made you believe you were a great consultant?
Figure out the steps you (unconsciously) took to become confident so that you can uncover your personal confidence blueprint and apply it to other areas of your life.
4. Realize Certain Actions Decrease Your Confidence
It seems like everyone in the world is encouraging you to pursue your dreams, set more goals, and stretch yourself with new projects. I’m not one of those people.
If you truly want to increase the balance of your confidence account, then you must realize that just like you can make deposits into your account by successfully completing tasks and improving yourself, you also make withdraws whenever you bite off more than you can chew, fail at a given task, or leave an important goal unfinished.
While you should never fear failure, if you are consistently setting overly ambitious goals, creating unrealistic expectations, or pursuing tasks that you know aren’t congruent with your deepest purpose, then you are subconsciously training yourself to believe that you cannot achieve success thus draining the balance of your confidence account. .
While I am a firm believer in setting big goals and shooting for the stars, I am also a firm believer in setting yourself up to win. Approach new goals and projects with a healthy dose of caution. Always ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time” and “Do I have the resources required to truly pursue this project.”
5. Act “As If”
One of the most powerful tactics I have found for increasing my own confidence account was acting as if I had already developed the confidence I desired. When you “trick” yourself into believing you are already confident, successful, and where you want to be, your actions start to become more congruent with those goals and dreams.
“Fake it ’til you become it.” – Amy Cuddy
When you act as if you are already confident, you will naturally become more confident. While you might be hesitant about “faking it until you make it”, I promise you that this tactic is cliche for a reason…it works. Each morning when you wake up, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and ask one simple question, “How would I act if I already had the confidence, skills, and mindsets required to achieve my biggest goals?” Then go act that way and the results will follow.
How do you increase your confidence when you need it most? Let us know in the comments below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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