A trick? A cruel joke?
Would I really try to make you believe you don’t have to worry about becoming confident anymore? Is that even possible? Is there some magical spell I can cast over you?
First, I won’t try to make you believe anything — what I say will either make sense to you or it won’t. Second, it is possible not to have to focus on increasing confidence (and I’ll share with you how). Third, there’s no magic spell, sorry!
Confidence is a subject that’s on peoples’ minds a lot. It has been for years, and it will be for a long time.
We’ve heard myriads of people say the same thing:
I need to increase my confidence
I want to be more confident.
And ask that (in)famous question, how can I get more confident?
It’s as if almost everyone is on the search for what can sometimes feel like a prized jewel. The kind that once you have it in your grasp, all your fears and doubts vanish, and you can accomplish anything.
When you’re more confident, you do more, or at the least, you feel more capable of doing and trying things you never would have considered before.
So yeah, more confidence, please.
But this quest for confidence 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 and even hopeless.
People say faking confidence is necessary to make ‘stuff’ happen. While that may be true, if the thought of trying to get more confident leaves a person feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and they do nothing as a result or give up every time, it’s hardly helpful getting them to focus on it more.
That approach can take you further away from who you really are, especially if you’re on the quieter side.
You may speak more than you need/want to, take on a more extroverted persona, and do things that aren’t really you.
If it wasn’t for the faking, your approach as a confident person might be different.
Say you fake it for so long that you eventually get used to it. You’ll think, ‘yes! I’m now this confident person and it feels great’, and that may 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 happy, then nothing needs to change.
But if, deep down, you know you’ve adopted a new persona, but you’re too busy enjoying this new confident you to do anything about it, how long until you start to feel as if something’s missing?
As if you’re missing.
Because it could happen. It might not, but you 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 start?
How you can become more confident without focusing on confidence and faking it all the time
You do it by directing all your focus on three areas:
Get to know and understand yourself
That means asking yourself some probing questions about who you are, and what you really want. It might mean re-evaluating who you think you are, or digging up and acknowledging things you’ve buried away and ignored. Whichever the case, you’ll need to be honest with yourself.
Get comfortable with who you are
This part might take time, especially if ‘being you’ means breaking away from the so-called normal way of living or what most people deem as ‘normal’. It might not be breaking away from what society sees as normal, but what those closest to you believe is your normal. These factors may make it challenging, but there doesn’t need to be a mad rush to make it happen quickly.
I know how hard it can be not to want to rush the process because I can be impatient at times, but the more comfortable you are with your truth, the more you’ll want to live that truth — no matter what anyone says or how they respond.
Make changes that are in line with the true you
When making changes, you can go as slow or as fast as you want. Whether you choose one over the other or a mixture, change is not always easy. You may fight 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.
If you feel comfortable with your truth and own it, you won’t be able to stop yourself from at least wanting to make those changes.
But it doesn’t stop there because doing the above requires practice. If changes happen seemingly overnight for you, excellent! Other than that, you’ll need lots of patience as you practise 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 thought about confidence only once or twice. I’ve been so much more focused on the three areas above that getting confident took a back seat.
The interesting thing is, I’ve still grown in confidence. Has it been a slower journey? Absolutely and I’ve got in my own way many times therefore slowing things down further, but I’ve still grown.
Going at a slower pace may not sit well with you, but if you’ve been feeling as if the getting confident issue has been too much for you for a while, it may do you good to take the pressure off..
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 skill, such as 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. That’s normal.
Another thing to keep in mind is that taking the indirect approach doesn’t mean 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.
Are you a part of The Confidence Haven community yet? If not, you can become a part of it right here.