When you think about “confidence” or “being confident” – it seems like a really intangible quality sometimes, doesn’t it? Some people just seem to be naturally confident, taking on problems head-on seemingly without fear.
You might think that building confidence takes a lot of time, and experience, and trials & tribulations to develop – most of it outside of your control. It’s something a person gains passively as they progress through life, right?
I tend to disagree on this, because,
“Confidence can be built proactively and it can even be done systematically, with intention.” – WittyWinks
Let me break it down.
It’s true that confidence is built up from blocks of experience. Specifically, it’s built up from overcoming challenges. Your confidence grows as you learn to overcome increasingly difficult challenges.
- Overcoming little challenges gains you a little bit more confidence each time. They are generally more numerous and take little time and effort to achieve.
- Overcoming big challenges gives you big confidence gains. They are (usually) less common and take more time and effort to overcome.
This means that having the right mix of little and big challenges is pretty important. Too many little challenges and your growth becomes slow or even stagnant. However, too many big challenges can lead to overwhelming, setbacks, and fear of failure.
So if you want to build confidence in something, you have to get the right mix. Having the right balance of big and small challenges can generate a steady confidence-building momentum.
This means you can take an active role to build it up systematically. You can take more control.
- To generate quick momentum, give yourself lots of little, achievable challenges. Actively create these small wins for yourself.
- Consciously pick and choose your bigger challenges. Keep them limited and keep them specific. Specific means making sure they have an obvious objective and scope – to ensure that they are actually achievable.
For example, if you want to build confidence in public speaking:
Set your big challenge.
- to do a talk in front of 100 people.
Set your little challenges, such as:
- mastering 3 hand gestures that you could use during a presentation
- learning to project your voice across a room
- speaking for 5 minutes non-stop in front of a mirror
Tune your challenges to your own level. A “little” challenge to one person might be a “big” challenge to someone else! So never compare yourself with others.
Understanding the right mix of little and big challenges can prevent you from biting off more than you can chew while maintaining a steady momentum of progress.
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Hemingway
I want to end off by introducing an even better step-by-step guide by Martin Cole. She’s got some really great tips on building confidence with practical actions you can easily apply.
Here’s a link to the article:
If this was helpful, I would love to hear your feedback. Any suggestions, comments, requests, or even sharing how these affect your everyday experiences are most welcome.