Some trick? Some kind of cruel joke?
Would I really try to get you to believe that you don’t have to worry about becoming confident anymore? is that even possible? Is there some magical spell I’m going to cast over you?
Firstly, i’m not going to try to get you to believe anything – what I say will either make sense to you or it won’t, simple as that. Secondly, it is possible not to have to focus on increasing confidence (and i’ll share with you how). Lastly, no… there’s no magic spell, sorry!
But confidence is one of those subject matters that’s on people’s minds, a lot. It has been for years and I dare say it will be for a long time to come.
The point is, we’ve heard myriads of people say the same thing over and over again…
I need to increase my confidence
I want to be more confident.
As well as ask that (in)famous question, how can I get more confident?
It seems like almost everyone is on the search for what can sometimes feel like a prized jewel. The kind of jewel that once you have it in your grasp, all your fears and doubts vanish and you can accomplish anything.
Indeed, when you feel more confident, you do more or at the very least, you feel 10 times more capable of doing and trying things you maybe would never have done or tried before.
So yeah, more confidence, please.
But this quest for confidence that you’re on might be leading you in the wrong direction
While there’s no harm in wanting to grow in confidence, being in the (almost) constant mindset of have to, need to, must get more confident, can leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, pressured. Even hopeless in some cases.
Many people will say faking confidence is necessary to make stuff happen and while that may be true in certain cases, if just the thought alone of trying to get more confident leaves a person feeling stressed or overwhelmed and they don’t do anything as a result or give up every time, it’s hardly helpful getting them to focus on it more.
Plus, that approach can take you further away from who you really are, especially if you’re on the quieter side.
You may find yourself speaking more than you need/want to, taking on a more extroverted persona and generally doing things that aren’t really you.
If it weren’t for all the faking, your approach as a confident person might be different.
Now say you fake it for so long that you eventually get used to it, which is the whole idea. You’re going to be thinking, ‘yes! I’m now this confident person and it feels great’ and that may very well be the case but if how you were faking it wasn’t true to who you are, does that now make you a fake confident person?…
It may feel good. You may feel good and that’s a positive thing but wouldn’t you prefer to be a confident version of yourself rather than this confident person that emerged from you faking all over the place?
If you enjoy being the way you are and you’re genuinely happy, then nothing needs to change but if, deep down, you know you’ve taken on a new persona but you’re too busy enjoying being this new confident person to do anything about it, how long until you start to feel as though something’s missing?
As though you’re missing.
Because it could happen. It might not but you just don’t know so why not work on being a confident you right from the start? It makes a lot more sense.
The question is, where do you even start?
How you can become more confident without focusing on confidence and faking it all the time
The way I see it is that you do it by directing all your focus on three areas:
1. Getting to know and understand yourself
That will mean asking yourself some probing questions about who you are and what you really want. It might even mean a bit of re-evaluating about who you think you currently are or digging up and acknowledging some things you’ve buried away and ignored. Whichever the case, you’ll need to be honest with yourself.
2. Getting comfortable with who you are
This part might take some time, especially if being true to yourself means breaking away from the so-called normal way of living life or what most people deem as ‘normal’. It might not even be breaking away from what society sees as normal but what those closest to you see as your normal. Those factors may make it challenging but there doesn’t need to be some mad rush to make it all happen quickly anyway.
I definitely know how hard it can be not to want to rush the process because I can be seriously impatient at times but the more comfortable you are with your truth, the more you’ll be willing to live that truth no matter what anyone says or how they respond.
3. Making changes in your life that are in line with the true you
When it comes to making changes, you can go as slow or as fast as you want. Whether you choose one over the other or a mixture of both, change is not always easy and you may find yourself fighting against it on numerous occasions but this is the last important piece because what’s the use of knowing who you are and what’s important to you and doing nothing about it?
At that point, you can forget about confidence and welcome in bucket-loads of frustration instead.
More importantly, if you’re feeling comfortable with your truth and owning it, you won’t be able to stop yourself from wanting to make those changes.
But it doesn’t stop there because doing the above requires practice. If change happens seemingly overnight for you, excellent! Other than that you’ll need lots of patience as you practice doing the things that’ll help you in those three areas.
In hindsight, I can see this is exactly what i’ve been doing and admittedly, I still have a long way to go but over the last two years or so, i’ve probably thought about trying to become more confident once or twice. I’ve been so much more focused on the three areas above that the idea of getting confident took a back seat.
The interesting thing is, i’ve STILL grown in confidence as a result. Has it been a slower journey? Absolutely and i’ve got in my own way many times, therefore, slowing things down even further but the growth has still happened.
The idea of going at a slower pace may not sit well with you but if you’ve been feeling like the whole getting confident issue has been too much for you for a while, it may do you good to take the pressure off yourself.
Bear in mind, the confidence i’m referring to is confidence within yourself – having a stronger sense of Self – not the confidence you need to execute a specific skill such as, for example, giving a presentation. Speaking in front of a crowd can feel daunting, so even with a strong sense of Self, you might still experience a case of the wobblies
Another thing to keep in mind is that taking the indirect approach, let’s call it, doesn’t mean that you’ll never experience overwhelm or stress ever again. Just like the magic spell I can’t cast over you, this isn’t a magic solution either.
It’s an alternative approach to getting the results you want.
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