Can you remember the last time you embarked on a project where you took all the necessary steps but it just didn’t work out? I can imagine that you were quite excited at the beginning but by the end of it, you felt rather deflated.
It is natural to feel disappointed when things go wrong, but if that stops dead in our tracks, then our confidence needs to be bumped up fast.
So why does a person’s confidence go down if a job interview doesn’t go as planned or a relationship fails? This happens because people normally associate their confidence with results and not actions. If things turn out well, they feel good and if things begin to go wrong, then they feel incapable or insecure to act. It is more productive to build our confidence on our inner beliefs than to build it on results. Confidence is our attitude about who we are and we can manage that. However, the outcome is something we cannot control. Let’s explore a few steps on how we can enhance our inner confidence.
Step 1: Determine where you are right now
On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest possible level, how confident are you right now?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Write down the reasons for why you believe that your confidence is at this level. For example: I know that I am at a four because I don’t feel good about being 20 pounds overweight. Remember that this is just for you to get a more concrete idea of why you feel your confidence is where you believe it is.
Step 2: Choose an empowering belief
Success makes us feel good about ourselves. If we believe we can succeed at something, then accomplishing our goals becomes easier. Believing in ourselves inspires us to act and to keep going when challenges arise. Think of three statements that represent what you would like to believe about yourself and write them down. For example: I am a strong and capable person or I achieve what I set my mind to. Remember to choose something that really inspires you in all areas of your life.
Step 3: Set a context and focus on what you control
Goals give us direction, inspire us and also enhance our confidence. Write down one or two things that you would really like to achieve but don’t feel quite able to start. Now make two columns on a piece of paper, labelling one, “things in my control” and the other, “things not in my control.” Next, write down all the things that are in and out of your control regarding the goal you want to work on. Make sure you think about aspects like behaviour, thoughts and results and things that are actually in your control. When we do this, we are less likely to let other’s thoughts or final results bring us down.
Step 4: Achievement list
Our confidence grows when we notice that we are capable and doing things we said we would do. At the end of every day, make a list of everything that you did well during that day. After writing the list, take a moment to notice how you’re feeling. Don’t worry if you don’t notice very much in the beginning — just keep up the habit. I anticipate that you will begin to feel happier and more confident as you go along.
Step 5: Be consistent
It takes at least 21 days of doing something every day for it to become a habit. Make sure that you write your achievement list daily and take the actions that you planned. Each time you feel a little disheartened, check if you are focusing on what you control or if your focus has shifted to things that you don’t control. In time, you will find your confidence rising. You will be able to reach out towards bigger and better things in the future!
Sayeda Habib is a life coach who empowers her clients to create a fulfilling, happier life. To find out more on coaching, or to work with Sayeda, log on to www.makelifehappen.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2012.