Importance of Confidence
This article talks about the importance of confidence and how it heavily influences everything you do. I outline the fundamentals to build confidence.
Confidence is a skill. A skill you can train and learn. You probably heard about the phrase ĄFake it till you make it". It is often said but not explained why itís true.
Confidence is a skill like any other learned trait. You canít expect to just be confident exactly like you canít expect to speak french fluently without putting time into learning it. So why is that. Lack of confidence is the result of not having the experience of various situations in life. If I say to you, prepare a presentation and present it in front of 200 people. Most of you will be hesitant and be afraid of the task. That is because so many different unexpected situations can occur in which you mind find yourself lost. Repeating the tasks will lead to you facing every situation possible which will be hard at times and you will often fail but learn so much in the process. There is unfortunately no way around the failing part. But what you can do is minimizing the fail potential. So what can you do?
Again, think about confidence as a learned skill. What if you have an important exam coming up? You learn for it. The more you learn the more you feel better about the exam and about your confidence concerning the task. So do what you can regarding preparation. Sometimes you canít prepare and need to improvise. Thatís where faking the confidence comes into play.
"Fake it till you make it"
The perception of others of you as a person is always vastly different to your own view of you. Walking straight, eye contact, loud and clear talking makes you look confident. Even if you donít feel like you are confident, others will think you are. You will notice the different looks people give you and that will boost your confidence. So just get the ball rolling, the confidence will come.
Building self-confidence is a step-by-step progress. I might get a little mathematical here, but it helps getting my point across. You have the following situation. You are new in a city and want to set up your social life but are afraid or not confident enough to approach strangers. There are 2 possibilities.
Talking to a stranger and maybe become friends. There is of course a possibility of failing because he or she might react negatively about your approach. Letís say there is at least a 50% chance that the encounter will yield positive results and the other half of the time, the stranger wonít react nicely.
The other possibility is simply not approaching. The expected outcome here is 0% progress.
"Failure is the key to confidence."
The first option results in a better outcome since 50% of the time you will have a positive encounter. The question is now if the 50% negative encounters makes you choose the second option of not talking to strangers. Are the negative encounters really negative in the long run? No. Each conversation or approach you learn more and more things. Whatís the best approach to a stranger, what questions to ask and so on. If they donít react nicely, you have valuable information and feedback about your approach.
This is very important in every kind of encounter. You choose how failing affects you. The stranger wonít think about what happened for longer than a minute. Why would you? You have to fail to succeed. If you donít take initiative you can not win. Even negative results have a positive side. You gain experience and can improve your approach. Take the best out of failure and see it as a positive experience in the long run.
Everything regarding confidence can be viewed with these guidelines. Speaking in public, what will happen if you fail? Will it really affect your life more negatively than not speaking in public at all? Itís all about your own perception. People just do not care if someone makes a mistake in a presentation or if you talk to them. Your audience is there to learn, not to make fun of you. If there are people laughing about something you do, those are the people with opinions you shouldnít care about at all. In the end the human mind always exaggerates such encounters and makes you over analyze the situation.
The start is definitely the hardest part of all. Only asking someone for the way is a huge deal for some people, but after theyíve done it they are incredibly happy. Itís exactly the same with asking someone out for a date. Ask them with fake confidence, you will be surprised how often they will see your confidence and act upon it. If they say no, who cares? As Iíve said, they wonít think about it for more than a minute, why would you.