One of the most important skill that anyone should acquire in their life is self-confidence. Merriam-Webster defines “Self-confidence” as;
“Someone’s confidence in himself or herself and his or her own abilities”
We often tagged self-confidence for some people who can easily talk or communicate with other people wherein it seems so easy for them to just carry themselves, without any trace of awkwardness or fear.
I’m sure when you look at them you were also amaze and thought to yourself “Nah…that’s their personality” “I’m not an extrovert” “I’m not born like that” “How I wish I could do that” “It’s their talent”.
We often have these self-talks, thinking that confidence is a talent that only chosen people have acquired. But when I read the book High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, I realized that it was all wrong. The book discusses the result of the research and data his team has gathered from thousands of High performers (these are the people who are at the top of their own fields of interest) to understand the psychology and nature of Confidence.
Confidence has never been a God-given talent, which high performers have mastered and was able to help them win in this game of life. In this book, high performers were asked if it comes naturally from them and they answered that they were never born and innately have these skills. They started as where we are today and experience fear before, it was just that they slowly develop being confident as the time passed.
The book discussed on the following practices how you can significantly improve your confidence. The following steps provide a clear path for you to hone this skill. Also, these gave a deeper understanding on how confidence works and the psychology behind this.
1. Develop competence
“Competence is a great creator of confidence”
– May Jo Putney
High performers gained their confidence by knowing which field they are competent. They rigorously develop their skills that help them to have the foundation and confidence to do things. This is best explained when you first entered the gym, remember that feeling that you are not sure what to do, not sure what equipment to pick, how to use gym equipment and felt this awkwardness if you were doing the right thing or not. But as you regularly went to the gym, it becomes easier and easier to you. You became more and more confident on how to use the equipment and you already know how you will do your workout as you went to the gym day by day.
This explains that confidence was never about your personality, if you are an introvert or extrovert, or not instantly born with it. It is just the competence and familiarity on the things that you wanted to do which you acquired as you do certain things.
You are more likely to be confident in doing something if you already know or already build your skills around it. If you wanted to be confident in speaking, try to learn how to effectively communicate, learn the different aspects of this, try applying it more often, and it all takes practice!
Contrary to what we believe that confidence is like a sudden boost of energy that we need when we are afraid, it was actually a series of practice the we deliberate do and formed NOT AT THE MOMENT THAT WE NEED IT BUT BEFORE EVEN WE NEED IT. Grow your skills, develop competence on certain field and you will be surprised how your confidence naturally flow within you when you need it the most.
2. Be congruent
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”
Being congruent means that you are align or in harmony of who you wanted to become. That’s why clarity on who you wanted to become, what you wanted to achieve and where do you wanted to be is critical in your personal growth.
High performers are those people who are precise on who they wanted to be, that gives them the push and the courage to do things outside of their comfort zone. They are intentional on what they do and what they feel. They push themselves to be the person they wanted to be, whether about being a gold Olympian, a businessman or an influencer. They have this clarity in mind and intentional on each thing that they do for them to transform themselves.
They simply know their “why”.
For you to be more confident you must have a vision of your future self; you need to know who you wanted to become. Having the clarity of who you wanted to become, gives you more purpose on each action that you are taking, that gives you courage to do things even if it is outside your comfort zone.
Focus on who you wanted to become and let your actions be congruent with who you wanted to be. Learn each things each day, practice and expect to fail at your first attempt remember no one perfects it during their first time, focus on improving rather than the fear of failing. LET EACH OF YOUR ACTION BE THE PROGRESS OF YOUR FUTURE SELF.
3. Enjoy connecting
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie
I wasn’t really expecting this part, that if you wanted to be confident you must know how to connect with others. Oftentimes we are selfish and just focus on ourselves. We focus too much on ourselves and WE ALWAYS THINK WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK OF US RATHER THAN THINK WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM SOMEONE. Our fear held us back from knowing someone that we forgot that at the end of the day, we people are made to connect with other people around. It is normal for us to communicate with other people and fear shouldn’t stop up from doing this.
Being interested to know someone gives you more purpose in speaking up, it helps you to genuinely ask other people and converse with them. Have you noticed, you often see confident people can easily talk with anyone, try to observe them and you will noticed that they constantly ask questions. They are fully into the conversion and they look very interested to know the person they are talking to.
We must understand that having the genuineness to know more about others, deeply gives us the confidence to talk with more people. The great thing about this is, the more you ask people the more they will like you. Each people have a story to tell, someone may look like boring for you, but you will be surprised on their stories once they spoke about it.
Push yourself to know others more and more. It is ironic that the more you focus on knowing other people, the more you become more confident in talking with them. Enjoy connecting with people and confidence with come next.
If you think that confidence is only for certain people, think again. The above steps that was discuss in the book High Performance Habits is not about personality, race, gender or any biases that you may think of. These are all something that we can develop slowly until we became the person with confidence that we sought to be.