We all want it. It’s a learned behavior. Why is it though that some people stride through life as if nothing risky affects them? You know the people- the ones who approach others without a care in the world. The ones who instantly connect with others. The people who seemingly can give a speech in front of thousands without stammering or sweating profusely.
I’m talking about confidence.
In my own personal experience, trial and error has led me to the building of confidence. Sometimes situations were thrust upon me. In middle school many of the teachers believed I have great speech potential, so they would often suggest that I volunteer for speaking opportunities at assemblies or special functions. Through that I learned about projecting my voice, tone, inflection and the ability to carry people with your words. I think this has helped me overall when it comes to my writing endeavors as well as interviewing bands- I’m not afraid to put thoughts out there even to people I’m meeting for the first time.
When it comes to my relationships, I used to put so much forethought into them I pretty much talked my way out of success. Nothing exudes fear more than eyeballs firmly planted in the sky or on the floor, sweat pouring from every gland in your body and a shaky voice that sounds like you are going through puberty again and again. If you are shy and scared, other people will notice and I had to learn to just trust my instincts. When I became comfortable with who I was and what I project as a person, I think my relationship skills improved and eventually I found my soul mate who is my best friend and wife.
I didn’t think about my bowling abilities as being in the good to great category until the last 6 years. I’ve felt that I have the skills to compete, but getting near the top of local tournaments was something I thought would be a distant memory. I found as I expanded my learning curve and the willingness to apply the tools I was learning in practice and league situations, I gained confidence that I could compete successfully. I’ve learned when it comes to bowling, having a good physical game is important but the mental aspect can be just as important if not more so when it comes to taking the top prizes.
How do you develop confidence? I think you need to make the subject a 30 day study at the start. Find others who are doing something successfully that you want to do and take them out for a meal. Pepper them with questions about their life story. Become a reporter and find out the who, what, where, why, when and how of their journey. See if they are willing to let you follow them around for a day so you can take careful notes. Maybe allow them to critique your performance and see if they can find something you have been missing or lacking.
The important part of this quest for confidence is: never give up. There’s always a way to improve, and gain insight, to make the next day a better one. Take care of yourself in this journey and I’m sure you will see plentiful rewards in the long term. It’s like a farmer who plants for the harvest- the more you put in, the more things will multiply. Good luck…