Don’t be fooled into thinking some people are born with confidence and others aren’t. Confidence is a skill to be learned like riding a bike or coding an app or managing a project!
You don’t have to look too far to see self-confident people. They are the ones around you that face their fears head-on and take the risks you’d like to take. They exude charisma regardless of the challenges that come their way, knowing they have the ability to get past them. And they tend to see their lives in a positive light, with a cup-half-full kind of attitude.
These people are often in leadership positions, which isn’t really a surprise. Self-confidence is an integral part of the equation of personal and professional success. You’d think something so important would be taught to us along the way, but sadly it isn’t.
Scientists are still trying to determine if there are specific biological markers for confidence. As of now, although there is some evidence that confidence may come easier to some than others, the overriding evidence appears that it is available to everyone for the taking.
The reason? The development of confidence is largely a learned quality reinforced and perpetuated by habits. And we can all practice good habits.
Confidence, like many other qualities we admire in people, is the result of thousands of small subconscious thoughts, beliefs, decisions and behaviors made over the course of years. They become such a habit most confident people don’t even realize they are doing them.
If you lack confidence, then, it isn’t because you didn’t get the “confidence gene” or are broken in some way. Although sometimes it can feel that way. It’s that you haven’t been practicing the right habits.
And, you don’t need to be hard on yourself for this. Or for getting caught up in habits that work against you. Your mission starting now and going forward is clear and the prognosis for developing confidence is excellent! To increase your confidence you just need to adopt some targeted skills that bias you toward taking action. And then repeat them over and over until they become a habit.
Notice confidence, real confidence that will span your lifetime, isn’t built on how you look, how smart you are, or what type of job you have. Those things fluctuate too much to tie your confidence to.
But first, a little warning. The most common mistake that people make when pursuing change is setting their sights on a particular event, a massive transformation, or an overnight success they want to achieve, rather than focusing on what it takes to make it happen. It’s okay to be excited about the new skills you’ll be developing but it is also important to treat any type of change as a journey. Or in another way, see it like a marathon and not a sprint. Forming habits and routines take practice and repetition. So plan on confidence taking a little time to cultivate and you’ll set yourself up for long-term success!