I’ve been watching a few self-improvement classes lately. One, in particular, focuses on how self-confidence and self-doubt stop us from ever achieving our dreams.
What has stood out to me the most is how the instructor defines confidence.
Most us, myself included, believe we attain confidence when you reach a certain level of skill — a pinnacle of “success.”
- “I’ll be more confident when I lose the weight.”
- “I’ll be more confident when I’m stronger.”
- “I’ll be more confident when I can do ______.”
It goes on and on. Endlessly it would seem.
The instructor, Mel Robbins, doesn’t view confidence as an achievement of the goal. Through her eyes, confidence is the willingness to try.
Take, for example, playing the guitar. I started over a decade ago. I’m a good guitarist and quite confident in my ability.
But what if I told myself that I would only be confident if I could play the same way as I am able today. I probably would have given up long ago.
I never would have put in all the hours of practice. I never would have pushed through the pain and blisters in my fingers as I built calluses.
Judging ourselves against a future version of us, or a different person entirely is completely misaligned.
You cannot obtain confidence by reaching a goal. That is not how you build confidence.
You create confidence by spending time on the task every day.
Even if only for a few passing moments. Practice builds confidence. Trying builds confidence.
Taking that first step, in the beginning, is always the hardest. You know you aren’t where you would like to be. You unfairly compare yourself against your favorite role-model who has been building confidence for years.
Feeling insecure is natural. We all feel it. We all consider ourselves a work-in-progress. We are all scared, anxious, and nervous when trying some new.
It’s normal, so please don’t give up. Confidence will come. It just takes time.