“Improving your confidence is easy. All you have to do is decide to be confident! Supress those negative thoughts! Cast away those negative influences in your life and recite daily self-affirmations—and voila! You’ll instantly be supremely confident and self-assured in everything you do!”
As grandma was fond of saying, “Son, that’s hogwash.”
If you’re serious about improving your confidence, don’t buy into that nonsense. The reality is, you can be a confident person who at times is put into situations in which your confidence wanes. That doesn’t mean you’re not confident. It means you have something that needs to be improved.
At other times, you may harbor views of yourself that may be construed as negative. But you know what? That’s ok. In fact, I would argue that such self-analysis and recognition of one’s own deficiencies is actually healthy for personal and professional growth.
So here it is: A lack of confidence is not the problem; it’s actually the means to a solution.
Think about it: It’s only when you recognize and accept the fact that you’re not as good at something as you would like to be that you’re able to truly focus on what you need to do in order to improve, and have the necessary motivation to go do it. After all, dissatisfaction drives change and only change can drive improvement.
When you really want something, and I mean really want something, you must be prepared to take all the necessary steps to achieve it. If you’re serious about reaching your goals, whatever they may be, then you will do whatever it takes to reach them. Your confidence is secondary. Challenge yourself to never again mutter the words, “I don’t have confidence.” Why? Because we all lack confidence. We all have our insecurities, our fears and self-doubts. All of us. Again, confidence is not the problem; it’s the means to a solution. Instead, identify the root causes of those insecurities and self-doubts, set goals for how you would like to overcome them, and go tackle them.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with a quote from Ulysses S. Grant, the celebrated Union Civil War general and 18th President of the United States. In battle, his adversaries referred to him as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. He simply refused to stop until absolute victory was achieved. He explained his approach this way: “One of my superstitions has always been, when I start to go anywhere or do anything, not to turn back or stop until the thing intended was accomplished.”
So when your confidence is feeling a little shaky, fix your sights on a goal, go to work, celebrate every win, analyze every setback, and never stop moving forward until the goal is conquered.