Learn how to improve your most important asset – self confidence. Understand the reasons for the lack of self-confidence in order to utilise the techniques for gaining your confidence.
Self-confidence is your most important asset. It is both a clear understanding of what you can do and a clear vision of what you can become.
It is therefore the basis for belief : in yourself, in what you do and in the ideas and dreams that you have. To lack self-confidence is to frustrate this process.
What Is Self Confidence?
People often say “I need more self confidence!” without noting for what reason. It is important to realise that there is often a clear reason for the lack of self-confidence and it is usually experienced (a feeling of doubt, uncertainty or even dread!) in relation to a particular area.
To explain it in another way, no person is completely lacking in self-confidence. We all have our areas of expertise (even though we may deny that!). For example, a businessman who has spent many years understanding his customer’s needs and market place may become very wealthy and very successful, and as a result of his work, have great self-confidence in his ability to conduct his business. However, if he were asked to stand on stage and talk to 1000 people about the secret of his success, he may not now feel very confident!
Perhaps he now lacks confidence because he does not know what to say or how to prepare a speech. Maybe he hasn’t had any experience in speaking in front of people or such a large crowd. Whatever the reason and despite his uncertainty, if he wants to speak in front a large audience and also believes he can do it, then he will!
From this example and your own experience it is easy to see that the feelings associated with a lack of self-confidence only arise when you anticipate your current ability to perform a particular task. Every day our self-confidence is being tested and requires continuous rebuilding. This is because in pursuing our goals and in experiencing life we are always being challenged to learn new things.
When you are learning something new you are expanding your “Comfort Zone” (which is your current level of expertise and self-confidence). There is always uncertainty – “Do I understand what has been explained to me?” When you are then asked to apply what you have just learnt there is always a learning curve as you convert what has been learnt into actual experience. We can sometimes feel at “risk” of making a “mistake”, or looking like a “fool”. We can also be afraid of not being able to meet other peoples’ high expectations, or worse still our own! The weight of these fears can be overwhelming to the point that a person will simply not attempt to do something new, which is a pity as the situation can quite easily be mastered when you know how.
Improving self-confidence is therefore something which can be achieved through applying and experiencing the following process:
- Having the desire to achieve a goal.
- Identifying what you need to learn.
- Applying what you have learnt.
- Receiving feedback (then if necessary going back to step 2).
Although it is important to identify and appreciate the process by which we gain self-confidence, it does not always help us with the real issue which is our reluctance to apply it!