Confidence is a belief in your abilities. It’s the feeling that you can rise to the occasion when the pressure is on. It not only fuels your ambition but encourages you to set stretch goals. It even has a powerful influence on the results you experience. There is little we control in life, but we can control our confidence.
To examine where you are on the confidence continuum, the best place to start is by thinking about your successes in life and how you handled them.
1. Appreciate your past success.
Confidence is about seeing yourself clearly, appreciating your abilities and having a solid foundation on which to build when presented with challenges. There’s nothing more solid than concrete examples of past successes. So much of confidence is being conscious of how you handle your success and managing your internal dialogue when those moments occur.
2. Discipline your thoughts.
Paying attention to our thoughts, can be difficult to do because it’s hard to stop a train of thought that’s already barreling down the tracks. This is where cognitive discipline comes in. As we listen to our inner dialogue, it’s important to separate the words, phrases and mantras that are helpful from those that are damaging and could derail us.
“If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
3. Associate with positive role models.
Think about the people you know who embody positive behaviors. These are people who are credible, accountable and service-oriented, who have solid character and seem trustworthy.
4. Confront confidence-killing emotions.
We all have our own internal signals when we’re experiencing fear. When we have these fear responses, we need to tune in to them. Just by paying attention to our emotions, we can identify when we’re feeling anxious, and when we do, we can’t ignore that emotion. We must confront it. It’s helpful to remember the second point: discipline your thoughts.
Whenever you experience insecurity, you need to tame and quiet your inner critic. You need to flip the criticisms of yourself and offer yourself praise instead. Rather than beat yourself down, pause in the moment and recall all the things you’ve done, all the milestones you’ve achieved and say to yourself, I can do this. This mental reminder can often be enough to get you back on the confidence-building track that gets your head back in the game.