Unless you’re Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Shirley Temple, or Tiger Woods, chances are you’re like the rest of us and weren’t born good at music, acting, or golfing. Womp womp. The truth is, as humans, there are a lot of things that don’t come naturally to us. For some, being confident is one of those things. So, how can you become more confident in yourself?
For some people, confidence is hardwired into their system. It’s second nature. But for others (many others), it’s not that simple. They need to work at it, focus on it, and practice it. Becoming more confident is hard work, but it’s achievable. You just need to figure out your training plan.
Training Yourself To Become More Confident
In order to become more confident, you need to train yourself to think differently, act differently, and speak differently. It might look simple on paper, but changing your perspective and behavior can be very challenging.
If you feel like your lack of confidence is holding you back in your career and life, it’s time to start training. But what does it take to train yourself to become more confident?
Embrace your whole self (including the things that embarrass you).
We all make mistakes, have regrets, and things we wish we could change. If you’re constantly trying to hide those things, it’s going to fuel your insecurities. You’ve got so much to offer this world. If you’re focusing all of your energy on hiding what you don’t love about yourself, you’re going to minimize the good stuff. Take a step back and evaluate who you are and what you think is holding you back. Then, start training yourself to embrace those things wholeheartedly. Be authentic. Be you.
Make yourself uncomfortable on a regular basis.
“Do one thing you fear everyday,” said confidence coach Scott Ballard.
It’s important to continuously challenge yourself to be uncomfortable. It allows you to grow, thrive, and push your limits. And with that, you gain more courage, confidence, and moxie. Who doesn’t want that?
Michele Badie, career confidence coach and author of Confidently You, 21-Day Action Plan To Your Professional Best, said the best way to train yourself to become more confident is to step out of your comfort zone.
“A great way to train yourself to be confident is to progressively step out of your professional development comfort zone continually,” said Badie. “These efforts will reward you with sharpened knowledge, skills, and abilities that will help you excel in the workplace. Along with a diversified perspective of task execution.”
When you’re not forced to step outside of your comfort zone, you don’t build resilience. And when you don’t build resilience, you’ll have a hard time fending off confidence-crushing thoughts that bring you down.
Practice being open.
When Larry King first started as a radio broadcaster, he wasn’t the confident talker he is today. In fact, he was quite the opposite. During his first day on the job, he completely froze. Even though he was a good talker and was passionate about what he was doing, in the moment, he lacked confidence in his ability to be a broadcaster.
His insecurity silenced him. He couldn’t do what he was there to do: talk. He was on the air for several moments without having the courage to speak. He couldn’t talk, the general manager was getting upset, and time was ticking. Finally, he mustered up the confidence to say something, but it wasn’t what he was planning on saying:
“Good morning. This is my first day ever on the radio. I’ve always wanted to be on the air. I’ve been practicing all weekend. Fifteen minutes ago they told me my new name. I’ve had the theme song ready to play. But my mouth is dry. I’m nervous. And the general manager just kicked the door open and said, ‘This is the communications business.'”
In this book How To Talk To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication, he wrote that being able to say something gave him the confidence to go on, and the rest of the show went just fine. He was never nervous on the radio again.
“I learned something about talking that morning in Miami Beach, whether you’re on the air or off: Be honest. You can never go wrong, in broadcasting or in any area of speech. Arthur Godfrey told me the same thing about how to be a successful broadcaster: Let your listeners and viewers share your experiences and how you feel.”
If insecurity and vulnerability is crippling you, consider being open about your situation. It will ease your nervous and allow you to become more confident in yourself.
While confidence comes naturally to some people, it can take a lot of practice for others. If one of your goals this year is to train yourself to become more confident, try incorporating these habits into your daily life. Little by little, you’ll find yourself becoming more assertive and less doubtful.
Register for our free webinar “4 Game-Changing Career Hacks For 2017” with J.T. O’Donnell to learn what little habit changes you need to make this year in order to succeed.