If you are asking how to get confidence it suggests to me a few things. We will go over these things and a whole lot more in the next few minutes. I’m sure you have heard this before, but semantics matter. That is to say, the way we say and think about things affects the outcome.
When you ask how to get confidence it suggests you think that it is something you can acquire, and by default, lose. I find this stream of thought interesting because it says to me you have a fairly weak understanding of what it is. I want to share with you a few things I have learned as a college psychology instructor and therapist about confidence.
Let’s start off by defining it, and then looking at the many ways people misuse semantics to confound the idea and concept. We will wrap up with a personal story about how I learned the secret of confidence and what you can do to learn it as well.
What is Confidence?
I am of the firm belief that confidence is simply a feeling brought on by a series of thoughts. These thoughts can be conscious or unconscious. They are often rapid thoughts that go undetected, and the connection to the feeling or lack thereof to confidence is lost.
Why do I think it is a feeling? Because it has a strong emotional connection to the body and mind of the individual. It also changes depending on the thought or thoughts of the person. Therefore, if it looks like a feeling, acts like a feeling, and can be modified or changed using thoughts just like a feeling, let’s agree that it is a feeling. If for no other reason than to see it from a different perspective for just a moment.
I will attempt to convince you of my assertion in the following paragraphs, but if not, it can be a different perspective for further or future consideration.
How to Gain Confidence
Gaining confidence sounds like it is something that can be scooped and placed into a bowl. It makes it sound as though you are at the mercy of something outside of yourself for the amount of it you feel. You are hoping to get some from somewhere or someone else. I think this is a terrible place to be. It puts the locus of control to external. This makes you feel powerless and in essence less confident in your ability to change the circumstances you find yourself in.
Do not use the phrase How can I gain confidence. Rather used the phrase “what would make me feel more confident about… (completing this task), (speaking in front of others), (etc.).” By changing the way you think about it, you can change the way you increase your confidence.
How to Increase Confidence
When you ask the question of how to increase confidence, it implies that it is measurable on a scale such as 1-10. How confident are you that…? This is a fair assumption, but it also implies that the asker is unaware that our level of confidence is caused by our thinking. What you think about will determine your level of confidence.
Let me give you an example. If you are thinking about all the different ways you might fail at a task, the likelihood of you feeling confident is slim at best. However, if you think about the many ways, you have completed a similar task in the past, your confidence level should be much higher. More later on the power of positive thinking.
So, do not use the phrase “how do I increase my confidence.” Instead say to yourself, “Is my confidence level based on fact or just speculation?”
How to Grow Confidence
This one is my favorite misconception about confidence. First of all, I love plants and growing things. But I know I am at the mercy of things outside of my control a lot of the time. This is the impression I get from people who ask how to grow confidence. This one too implies an external locus of control for one’s confidence level.
Growing something requires patience, diligence, and some luck from the weather, water, and sun. But I do not the idea of having to rely on something so fickle for my confidence. By just adjusting your belief about the nature of it you can increase your confidence quickly and with purpose however and whenever you want it.
Do not use the phrase “how can I grow confidence” rather ask, “what am I thinking that is keeping me from feeling as confident as I believe I should?”
How to Regain Confidence
“How can I regain confidence” is a statement of misunderstanding of what it can and can’t do. It isn’t something that can be lost, dropped, or misplaced. It is the result of your current thinking. If you had previously felt confident about a task or event but no longer do it, it is because you’re thinking about the task or event has changed. If you recognize the difference, then go back to thinking about you successfully completing the task or event and “regain” your previous “level”.
Do not use the phrase “how can I regain confidence” use instead, the phrase “what in my current thinking do I need to change to regain my previous confidence level?”
How to Improve Confidence
This one is similar to the earlier versions we discussed. Like growing confidence, improving it implies that it is a separate thing that requires specific attention. While I think it is possible to improve one’s level by adjusting the subject matter of one’s thinking. I do not like the implication of simply improving a sense of being confident, it leaves the thought that you can have lower quality and higher quality. Essentially, I do not believe confidence can be quantified by quality; I think it is simply a matter of quantity.
Do not utter the phrase “how can I improve my confidence” but in its place ask, “what can I do to improve my confidence level?”
How to Find Confidence
This one is just bad verbiage. It clearly implies that confidence is outside of oneself and must be sought after and discovered. It takes the locus of control to external, and lets oneself off the hook for being unable to locate any and failing to discover a confident feeling in time. This is a dangerous position to take, especially as a leader. If you must find some, find it quickly by looking at your thoughts.
When we take ownership of our success and failures, we must learn to admit there are things we can learn from others. Sure, we can attempt to learn from our own mistakes and victories, but why not get help from someone who has already traveled the road you are heading down?
What to Do Now to Feel Confident
If you’re like me confidence was not something that felt like I had enough of. I often felt unsure of myself and to be honest a little scared when I thought I was going to have to get up in front of groups of people and speak. Asking everyone I knew how to find confidence in myself did not deliver anything fruitful. Because no matter where I looked, I simply couldn’t find any.
In fact, I watched as others confidently walked up and gave their presentations and looked relaxed, they even laughed and joked around while they were up in front of everyone. I started to wonder if I was going to always feel this way, or eventually, find the confident feeling I so desperately wanted.
That was until I figured out the secret of confidence. When you figure out how easy it is to find, grow, and keep it, you can walk confidently toward success. I want to show you how simple it is to find the confident feelings you want with my powerful 3-Day perception-altering non-workshop. Once you go through the non-workshop you will discover how your self-image affects your perception, and how your perception affects your reality. You will understand the secret behind feeling confident and know what you need to do to easily increase it.
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