The confidence cycle

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We often avoid doing things that we don’t feel confident about.

Fear of making a mistake and not knowing what to do are big parts of why we do this. In many ways, this is a very natural reaction. We don’t want to get it wrong or look stupid in the eyes of others, and it feels safer not to risk it.

But the problem is that until we do whatever it is we are avoiding, we will NEVER be confident about it.

Confidence comes from doing something and succeeding – or from failing and learning from this. Without ever doing it, we will never gain this confidence.

THE BEST WAY TO BECOME CONFIDENT IS TO TAKE ACTION.

This may well result in getting things wrong and making mistakes – indeed, we may fail many times – but this is how we learn anything.

Look at how a baby learns to walk – it tries and fails so many times before it gets it right. Babies don’t worry about what people think of them when they fall down, and they have massive motivation to keep going until they succeed. There is no other way for them to learn to walk than by repeated attempts and failing many times. Only by making mistakes can we adjust and put things right.

As we grow older, we become aware of other people’s reactions and this often stops us from either trying in the first place, or persisting in the face of repeated failures.

Not taking action can lead to a vicious cycle where we feel even worse because we haven’t done anything, which leads us to feeling even less confident, and less likely to take action in future. Avoidance adversely affects our self esteem and confidence.

The alternative is a virtuous circle where taking action increases our belief in ourselves, which increases our confidence still further. Taking action (even if we fail) helps us develop coping mechanisms and resilience.

In other words, do what you are afraid of. Don’t wait to become confident, become confident by doing it.

WHERE DO YOU LACK CONFIDENCE, AND WHAT ACTION CAN YOU TAKE TO INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THIS AREA?