I always get asked, “how can I be more confident?” I’ve written before about how confidence is the ability to hear our fears and then take the action anyways (you can read that here).
So, why is it so hard to be confident?
The reason being confident is so hard is because we think confidence happens without fear and self-doubt. We expect our fear and self-doubt to go away in order to be confident when the opposite is actually true.
Confidence comes with fear and fear avoidance prevents us from being confident.
We get stuck when we let the worst-case scenario story in our head overwhelm our ability to take action.
It’s totally normal to fear things like failure, rejection, judgment, embarrassment, vulnerability and shame. “Sign me up to feel those things!” <—- said no one ever.
If you went to an amusement park that had a rollercoaster taking people through these emotions, it would collect dust. Everyone would opt for the ride that’s on the opposite side of the park sandwiched between It’s A Small World and the patio with the never-ending $10 sangria jugs and funnel cakes (I think this patio is called heaven).
In order to build confidence, we have to get on that scary rollercoaster.
You don’t wake up one day and feel confident about something. You don’t wake up and think, “today I feel comfortable enough to wear a bathing suit.” You have to get on that scary ride and face your fears in order to build confidence.
You take the ride and realize that even though feeling that fear and dealing with excessive sweating is hard, you survived. The world keeps turning. The Bachelor has another rose ceremony. Maury reveals the results of another paternity test.
You realize it wasn’t such a big deal. In fact, you might even realize it was kind of exhilarating to do the thing you’ve been wanting to do. And so, the next time feels less terrifying.
With each ride you get more comfortable and you feel safer. When you feel safer, there is nothing to fear and your voice of self-doubt gets quieter.
Do that thing you want to do. Do it again. Repeat. This is how you build confidence.
This post is part of the Confidence Blog Carnival hosted by friend Victoria at BamPowLife. She’s gathered together a bunch of my favourite body-positive women to do a blog series on confidence.