We frequently get confidence wrong. We think we need to have confidence in order to do something. However, confidence builds when we try new things and take risks. The more we do something, the more our confidence grows.
I remember when I first learned to swim as a kid. I was excited to be in the pool but I was scared – scared of the water and I especially didn’t like it when it went up my nose!
My instructor patiently stayed by my side and taught me how to blow out of my nose to make bubbles. This lesson went on for a few days. Over time, I got more comfortable in the water and, eventually, I didn’t have to think about how to swim – it just happened.
When you try new things, the confidence won’t always be there at first. If you are putting pressure on yourself in these type of scenarios to be perfect and not make mistakes, you will suffer.
A few years ago, I was implementing software for the first time and was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be the best. The challenge with this was that I needed time and space to learn. The pressure didn’t serve me and I suffered as a result.
If you’re in a spot where you don’t feel comfortable about what you’re doing, here are three things to help you move forward:
Build on what you’re good at
You have natural skills that come easily to you. Maybe you’re an amazing listener or perhaps you retain information you’ve read easily. What can you use from your library of skill sets to carry you during this time until you feel more confident?
Find a buddy
Someone else is most likely going through what you are. Find a friend, a social network, or a loved one who is experiencing the same thing. Both of you can safely and authentically swap stories and push one another to the next step.
If you don’t know anyone going through the same thing, consider hiring a coach or meeting with a counselor until you feel more confident.
Accept that you’ll screw up
You’re going to screw up. This is how we learn and grow as human beings. Focus on your wins and shift your perspective of failure to opportunity instead.
Don’t let not having confidence stop you from going after what you want. The next time you waiver on an opportunity because of a lack of confidence, picture yourself at 90 years old. What if you had gone for it? Would your life have been different?
Taking action builds confidence and you have the skills you need to take action. Here’s to you and your endeavors!