Recently I read a post by Seth Godin that really got to me.
Seth said, “It’s easy to feel confident when we’re on a roll, when the cards are going our way, or we’re closing sales left and right.”
How true is that? We nail a couple of sales at work, we connect at home with our spouse without even trying, or win $15 on a $1 scratch off lottery ticket. Immediately we feel confidence leaping out of us. Our thoughts tell us we can keep nailing big projects and it will just become a habit. That connecting with our spouse can become effortless and stay that way. That we should reinvest the $14 we won from the lottery on buying more lottery tickets to win more ‘easy’ money.
Seth calls this “symptomatic confidence.” But as we can all tell, none of these things seem to have taken much effort or provided any sort of difficulty.
Like the basketball player who gets a triple double or scores 40+ points in a night, it cannot last. They may be feeling the shot one night, but the next night the same player might be lucky to score 10 points. The confidence they carried the night before is long gone.
So if we want to change the game, what do we do?
Set yourself apart by making a shift from symptomatic confidence to internal confidence.
Confidence should emanate from within instead of spawning from fickle external circumstances.
But, how do you set yourself apart by making the shift?
Start working on it today. Building true confidence does not happen overnight. It is a process just like everything else in life. Start by trying external changes that affect internal attributes like dressing well, sitting up straight, making more eye contact, smiling more, being grateful, complimenting others, speaking up more often (regardless of how nervous you are inside), and working out. If you feel good about your external attributes, then what was once symptomatic confidence will slowly begin to emanate from within.
Don’t be a perfectionist. You will inevitably get bogged down. It’s the old 80/20 rule. If you get caught up in all the small stuff, you will spend 80% of your time on 20% of the work. Not very effective, right?
Try identifying your successes in life and focus on the talents that got you there. Build on them.
Ever heard the phrase, “fake it ’till you make it”? Why don’t you try that out. Fake your confidence until it becomes a habit you no longer have to think about. And even when you get knocked down because you didn’t quite fake it well enough, just get up and start all over again. Resiliency will serve you well on the road to building confidence.
Do you feel like you lack confidence? If so, how will you change that? How will you gain the confidence you need to set yourself apart? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!