You’re here because you are looking for ways to build confidence and I have one way for you to do it.
I don’t have a list of 8 things you can do right now to feel more confident immediately.
I have one way.
Because it’s the way I believe works for building confidence for anyone. I’ve seen it work for myself, my children and in many of the adult students I work with on a daily basis as a Community Manager for Dare to Conquer.
The One Way To Build Confidence that Will Work
Ok, so what’s the special trick? You want to know, right? That’s why you’re here.
There is no special trick. Sorry.
The one thing I’ve seen work to build confidence is simply doing things.
It almost doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you pick something and give it a try.
My daughter, as an example, is a pitcher for her High School varsity softball team. She’s a Freshman. She’s very good. She’s not great yet, but she’s good enough that she was chosen to play varsity.
She didn’t start off very good and she didn’t start off confident. She started off so riddled with anxiety that she used to cry on her way to have her at bat.
But she had some natural ability for pitching and has gotten to where she is now simply by “doing it”. Pitching often. In practice, in games and with her pitching coach.
She didn’t sit down and read about pitching and she didn’t watch Youtube videos about pitching. She did it. She pitched. A lot, until she started to get good.
Then she kept doing it and she got even better.
What We Learn from Doing Things
Do you see what my daughter is learning by doing things? She’s learning that you can get better. She’s learning that practice builds skills.
She’s learning that she can do something that she didn’t think she could.
She’s learning what it feels like to be good at something and feel proud of her accomplishment.
I know, it’s softball, what’s the big deal, right?
Building a Well of Confidence
The big deal is that she’s creating a well of confidence that she can draw from in every other thing she does in her life.
Because once you have accomplished something, two things change.
- You understand that you are capable of doing something that initially you weren’t so sure you could do. The next time you’re not so sure about yourself, you can look back at this accomplishment and remember you can do difficult things.
- You feel proud of yourself and your accomplishment. That is a feeling you will crave and it will push you to try more things.
But Does This Work Outside of Sports?
I have an amazing job as a Community Manager at Dare to Conquer where I get to work with students from all over the world, all walks of life, all ages and all abilities. Every student is working toward making a business they love and that will bring them financial independence.
They are doing hard work.
The great majority of them are women and the great majority of those women have something in common.
They don’t trust themselves to succeed.
That’s sad. It hurts to even write that. Even I am like that in many ways.
They come to the school because there is a little burning light inside of them that is telling them they have something to offer the world. And I’m pretty sure that light terrifies them.
I can tell in the questions that they ask.
“Is this a good idea?”
“Should I do A or B?”
“Is this going to even be worth my time?”
“How is what I do going to stand out against what everyone else does?”
I don’t have great answers to any of those questions. But, I know that if they trusted themselves, if they had that well of confidence, they wouldn’t need to ask them.
They’d just do the things and see what happened. Because, like my daughter, they would know that asking questions, watching Youtube videos and reading blog posts, doesn’t help answer any of those questions.
You have to do something.
When you do something, you can see an actual result. Either, Awesome! It worked. Or, Shoot, that didn’t work.
If it didn’t work, that’s ok, you’ll have learned something about whatever you chose to do. And you’ll be able to make a better decision on the next thing.
If it DOES work, though?
You will swell with pride. You will get a surge of adrenaline. It will feel awesome.
And you’ll want to do it again.
Not only will you want to do it again, but when it comes time to try another new thing, you’ll think back to that success and remember, I did that other difficult thing.
I can do this, too.
You might not have a well to draw from yet, but you’ll have a puddle to sip from. And the next success will fill your well a little more.
Ok, Fine, But What Should You Do?
You can do almost anything that is a little bit more difficult than what you usually do and that will make you step just a hair outside your comfort zone.
You could take a class. Or join the gym. Take up bowling.
For me, I do crafts.
There’s something about making things, even simple things like crafts that fills that space in me that wants to be creative.
I’m not an artist and I don’t have a particular skill, but I have a little patience and I enjoy the “in the zone” feeling I get when I’m deep in thought trying to figure out the best way to do something.
I also really love the feeling when I’ve finished a project and it came out great. That’s a great feeling.
I took a pile of clay and made a dish for my rings.
That dish didn’t exist until I formed it with my own hands. That works for me. That fills my well a little.
But let’s be real for a second. I really love it when someone comes over to the house and says:
What a cute dish! Where’d you get it?
And then I say:
Oh, thanks, I made it!
That really makes me happy. I made something useful and pretty.
And someone else wants one.
But let’s back up for a second and walk through the whole crafting thing from the beginning.
My projects nearly always begin on Pinterest. I’ll be scrolling through the feed, and something will catch my eye.
A macrame keyring.
A paper flower arrangement.
Something that is all of the things that I love about crafts. It’s easy, it’s useful and it looks like something that would be fun to make. I pin it to my board.
And what used to happen is that I would have this amazing Pinterest board with crafts that I wanted to make.
But I never did. And that is a problem. Here’s why it’s a problem.
When you don’t do things, you don’t fill your confidence well.
In fact, you drain it a little. Because then you go back to that Pinterest board with all of the cool crafts and you don’t feel a sense of accomplishment.
Exactly the opposite, you feel like a bit of a failure.
I wanted to do those things, but I didn’t. I didn’t find the time, I didn’t think I was capable, I didn’t think there was enough value in it. Not a good return on my time investment.
That’s the failure.
When I find all of the excuses to not try the things that I want to try. I give up on myself. I look at that Cute Crafts Board on Pinterest and there is the vague feeling of disappointment.
With a touch of jealousy for the women who do take the time, believe they are capable and see the value in spending that time and effort on themselves.
Now here’s what happens when I do follow through and actually make one of those projects that I pinned.
I anxiously await the Amazon delivery with the supplies that I need. A little like a kid on Christmas, but you know, mature.
The box arrives and I sit myself down to make the thing. The actual making part is my favorite.
I like to figure things out. I used to love to untangle necklaces when I was a kid.
I like that intense concentration, that in the zone feeling when everything else falls away.
Sometimes the thing comes out great. Sometimes it comes out terrible. Obviously comes out great is the optimal outcome here, but there’s something to be said for comes out terrible, too.
When it comes out terrible, here’s what happens.
I get annoyed.
And I probably toss the thing to the side and think, that was a waste. Why do I even bother? I’ll never get those 30 minutes back.
And then I get a little itch in the back of my mind. It’s just a shade of a thought that flashes through my brain “Oh, but I probably needed to… That’s why it didn’t come out right.”
And now that project has wedged it’s way into my head and I have no choice but to try it again. And most of the time it comes out right the next time.
And that’s a double dose into my confidence well.
I tried something. I messed it up, but I believed enough in my abilities to try it again.
You see what I’m saying? It’s just a marbled clay ring dish, but I’ve taught myself a little thing about myself.
I’m resilient. I’ll try again if I mess up. I’m not going to give up just because I didn’t do it right the first time.
And so that brings us back to what you came here for in the first place.
I’ve got confidence in myself. Because I tried something I wasn’t sure I could do. And I either accomplished it or, almost even better, I didn’t, but I tried again.
It’s like when a baseball player hits off a tee. It’s not as hard as hitting a 90 mile an hour fastball in the World Series. But it’s the same motion. It’s creating muscle memory for when he is in the World Series.
Hitting off the tee fills his well of confidence.
Doing something, like making crafts, does the same thing. You’ll be more ready for the important moments because you practiced.
You filled your well.
You built confidence.
If this meant something to you, I would love it if you shared it.