Feb 15, 2023
3 mins read
Let’s get excited about confidence! What does it mean to be confident? How can we cultivate and practice confidence? I, of course, have a few ideas I’d like to share. And I encourage you to start by sitting down and defining what confidence means to you. When you think of a confident person, what do you think of? What are they doing? What is their demeanor? How do they present themselves? What did they do “behind the scenes” to become confident? If you start here and go no further, you are already off to a great start in cultivating your own confidence! Continue on if you’d like to hear some more ideas about confidence!
I used to think that confidence is this intangible thing. It used to feel elusive because I couldn’t wrap my head around how to be confident. I used to wonder if it was possible to make it feel more real. I also felt weird because there were times when I felt really confident and other times when I didn’t feel confident. What in the world is a human supposed to do to learn confidence? Let’s look at this practically and find a way to recognize and cultivate confidence.
I like to think of confidence as a few different things.
Confidence can be a feeling or emotion and in my opinion and experience, feelings and emotions are temporary. And I have learned to be confident even if I don’t have that FEELING of confidence.
Confidence is also a skill. Skills require preparation and practice. Preparation is gathering information and making a plan. Practice is knowing how to do something and repeating it until you can do it easily.
Confidence is being certain of your abilities and capabilities. For example, I am confident in my coaching abilities because I have been doing it for many years and received feedback that I am a good coach. I am confident in my olympic lifting skills because I’ve spent a lot of time practicing them. These are things that I am certain that I am good at.
And I understand that it is possible to be very skilled at something, to have practiced it for a long time and still not be or feel confident in it. Similarly, it is possible to not be very skilled at something while being very confident. In these cases, I see a presence or lack of certainty in yourself. In the first case, you may be uncertain of your own abilities and that could lead you to a lack of confidence. In the second case, you could be very certain of your abilities and know that you are capable of doing something, no matter your skill level.
In either case, here are a few ideas to start or continue cultivating confidence.
Write down a time when you know you were successful and include the process that took you to that success and how you know you were successful. Now read that story out loud and take 3 deep breaths! What you have done with this exercise is find evidence of your ability to do something and your ability to prepare and practice for that thing.
Learn how to give yourself credit. This can be done with simple affirmations like “I did that,” “I practiced a lot and I got good at it,” or even “I got better at it.” Bonus points if you look at yourself in the mirror and take a couple deep breaths as you say these affirmations.
Ask yourself, “What am I certain that I can do?” or “What have I practiced?” Look for things that you are proud of. This is another evidence gathering exercise so that you can find examples in your own life of times when you did things or when you did things well.
For more about confidence, enjoy this video episode!