It’s never too late to get the confidence you desire in any area of your life. People talk about confidence as if it is something you either do or do not have. This is not the case! Confidence is specific to particular situations and can both increase or decrease over time. You may be confident at networking and building relationships but you may tremble at the thought of public speaking; lacking any confidence at all.
When faced with something new, even the most confident of us all get pangs of self-doubt. At that moment we all have a choice: give in to the fear and remain where we are or face the fear head on and master the confidence.
In order to gain confidence, you have to do the very thing you are unconfident about. The fabulous thing is that with a few tools up your sleeve, you can make the process a little easier and master the confidence at just about anything.
How to Develop Confidence:
Choose a specific area that you want to achieve greater confidence.
Create a vision of what it will look and feel like when you have confidence in this specific area. Make the vision as detailed and vivid as possible. Focus on all your senses: what you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste.
Practice focusing on this vision every morning and every evening before going to bed. Also focus on this vision immediately prior to any situation where you want to draw on this confidence.
Model people who are already confident in this area. What do they do that makes them appear, behave and feel confident? Start doing those same things!
Form a ‘hierarchy of tasks’ you can face in order to build your confidence in this area. Start with tasks that are easiest and work your way through to more difficult tasks. Remember ‘large doors swing on small hinges’.
For example, one of my clients, Claire, used this exercise to overcome her lack of confidence to network effectively. She set the big goal to walk away from every networking event with 3 new contacts. Claire made the following hierarchy of tasks that would lead to the development of her big networking goal:
- Attend a networking event alone
- Talk to one person I have never met before
- Get contact details of one person I have never met before
- Send a follow up email to one person I met at a networking event
- Make a follow up phone call to one person I met at a networking event
- Talk to two people at a networking event that I have never met and get their contact details
- Follow up two people with phone calls and organise to meet
- Talk to three people I have never met, get their contact details, follow up with a phone call and organise a meeting.
She steadily progressed through each task, moving onto the next level only once she had mastered the level she was on. By the end of three months, Claire had gone from detesting networking events to using networking as her main marketing tool. She now enjoys walking away with three contacts every event. She is more confident than most other people at any networking event and now focuses on helping other people feel at ease at these events by approaching them herself!
Decide to never again run away from something because you lack the confidence! Face it head on. You may just find it’s the most liberating thing you have ever done.
Author: Sacha Crouch