There might be nothing impacts your ability to get what you want in life more than your mental attitude, and confidence is a huge component of that.
What is confidence?
Simply, it’s your ability to convey your true value to others.
People with high self confidence know their value and can convey it well, and those with low confidence don’t know their value or can’t communicate it.
Your own level of belief in yourself will impact your real life performance. If you feel confident in yourself and your ability to succeed, you probably will be successful, but if not, that will probably prove true as well.
You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that you can’t have it.” Dr. Robert Anthony
When was the last time you felt hugely confident about something and then you were able to achieve it? When has your confidence been shattered?
An Early Confidence-Building Lesson
I had a big confidence lesson from something very minor when I was growing up.
Playing basketball in grade school I spent an entire practice before a game doing nothing but shooting foul shots. It’s not like I was Michael Jordan or anything, and I needed the practice.
I took shot after shot until I knew I could make them consistently.
As it turned out, that very game came down to whether I could make a foul shot or not. Make one, and we’d win. Miss, and we’d lose.
When I got up to the line, I couldn’t stop smiling, because I knew that I could sink it – I would sink it.
And I did.
Was it the practice that allowed me to make those shots, or was it the feeling of confidence that I was going to do it that made it happen?
Probably, it was a bit of both.
But it’s a cycle. Without some confidence that you can, most of us don’t put in the dedication that it takes to get good at something, but then as you get better, it leads to more confidence.
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson
The opposite is true too. If you run into certain situations, your confidence can be shattered or never get built in the first place.
But you can figure out how to regain confidence or build it where none existed before.
Let’s take a look. . .
Operating Outside Of Your Zone
Are you constantly asked to do things you hate and feel you’re no good at at work? When you’re doing things outside of your zone of genius you can be overwhelmed and feel like you’re terrible at everything.
You can’t accurately assess your own value, and your confidence is low.
In a work environment it’s easy to feel like people are judging you, and for you to start judging yourself.
But the truth is that often times we end up in jobs that don’t play to our strengths.
That doesn’t mean you can’t improve on things that you want to get better at, or gain more confidence around things you already know you have to do, whether or not you like them.
It only means that recognizing that operating outside of your zone of genius and then wondering what’s wrong with you is a set-up.
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Anonymous
Understanding that you are a genius, and beginning to identify and define your genius may be a great first step in building your confidence.
Begin by asking – what are you great at? What do your friends ask you to do for them? Once you’ve found it, immersing yourself in work that you are a natural at will almost automatically make you more confident.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be a complete career shift. You might be able to identify certain skills or projects that are better fits for you, and ask to work on those rather than others that you don’t do as well at.
Playing to your strengths will give you an immediate confidence boost.
A Confidence Eroding Environment
Are you stuck in a work environment with people that constantly erode your confidence?
Whether we like it or not, we’re all impacted by what other people think, do and say about us. If your work environment is less than supportive, it can have an impact on your confidence.
First, know that other people’s opinions aren’t truth. They are opinions.
Ask yourself: Are there things that you have to learn here? Whether they are personal development lessons or new skills, sometimes there are things we need to improve.
Ask a trusted friend to help you evaluate the situation honestly, and then do what you can to improve what you are responsible for. Let the rest go.
Deep down, you probably know that you are a strong and capable person. Call on that to get back on your feet and have faith in yourself.
It’s a dead-end street if you sit around waiting for someone else to tell you you’re okay.” Michael Pitt
Once you’ve made a decision about what to work to improve and what to let go, you’ll need to put your head down and ignore the naysayers.
It takes a lot of emotional strength, but if you have a big goal, other support in your life, or belief in yourself then you can operate in an environment like this (if you have to) and survive.
Stay centered in yourself and work to not allow what others do to sway you into believing that what they say or do is true.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
How To Regain Confidence After A Big Failure
Have you done something at work that’s caused your confidence to take a huge hit, like you botched a project or lost a client?
Whatever it is, can cause you to question your ability to do your job or to get a new one.
You’ll need to sort through your feelings and do what you can to learn from the experience. Are there apologies to be made? Wrongs or mistakes to be righted? Lessons to be learned?
Remembering that nearly everyone who has tried something new or worth trying has failed at one time or another with probably boost your confidence, because you can know that you were taking risks or trying things.
Even if what happened was a “stupid mistake” there was a reason it happened and a lesson to be learned from it. Lots of others have made “stupid mistakes” too, big ones.
Losing self confidence can result in a fear of failure, which can then prevent you from trying new things and then playing small in the future.
The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie
Remember other times you’ve been successful, and put this failure into perspective. Put it in context of the rest of your life and all of the other successes you’ve had.
Sometimes it’s even helpful to make a list of successes so they can literally stare you in the face.
You can be successful despite failure, no matter what it was or how big it feels. Don’t let it cast a shadow over everything.
Instead, let it be a learning experience.
Do you need to re-evaluate what you’re doing? Are you doing work that feels authentic and in alignment with who you are?
Do you need to slow down and take better care of yourself so you’re less prone to “carelessness”?
Do you need to learn something personal or professional?
No one is perfect, and learning to forgive yourself, pick up the pieces and move on, knowing that you still have a lot to offer is a skill you’ll need to build.
What More Confidence Can Do For You
More confidence doesn’t just feel good, it has a real impact on your life. In fact, people with more confidence, even from an early age, tend to earn more, which isn’t surprising.
You expect and demand more for yourself when you have self confidence, and people follow your lead.
If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything.” Katy Perry
Being more confident will allow you to set -and achieve- goals in your life. Without confidence, you’ll live small – but you probably won’t be happy about it.
Greater confidence allows you to at least shoot for the life you wish for.
Top Tips For Confidence
If you’re trying to regain confidence, you can follow some of these tips.
If self confidence is all about understanding your own value and being able to convey that to others, you’ll need to be able to improve those two areas:
Understanding Your Value: Self Esteem
Understanding your own value is about your own self esteem. To boost your self esteem, you should:
- Understand that your ability to learn new things and to gain confidence is a skill – it’s not fixed,
- Know that failing is part of the process,
- Surround yourself with helpful others,
- Stay in your zone of genius when possible (which doesn’t mean don’t set huge goals outside your comfort zone),
- Know that others also feel insecure, unsure and awkward. You’re ok. Really.
If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” T. Harv Eker
6. Don’t forget or underestimate your successes,
Conveying Your Worth
To convey your worth, try some of these tips:
- Dress well,
- Take care of your appearance so that you feel good about it,
- Use power poses, which are psychological hacks to convey your worth to yourself and to others,
- Learn to speak in a way that sounds confident,
- Learn to talk about yourself in a way you feel is confident (not arrogant -which is often the fear).
The Best Way To Regain Confidence
If you’re looking to recover confidence, there’s nothing quite like getting back on the horse.
“I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.” Robert Downey, Jr.
The thing about confidence is that it’s a practice, a habit. It’s not something you have or don’t. If you’ve lost it, you can only get it back by grabbing it and trying again. The secret for how to regain confidence is that you don’t wait for it. You go after it.
Shying away from it and waiting for it to come back to you won’t work. You can take small steps, but in the end, you need to know you’re good enough to try that next move and prove you can do it.
Once you can do that, you can do anything.