This is the first of four articles from the series Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone: 3 Keys to Confidence.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing a series of articles explaining a variety of ways you can increase your confidence levels. These articles will contain exercises I have used to increase my self-belief that anyone interested in developing themselves will find useful. This is the first of four, an overview of whats to come.
In this article we’ll discuss why confidence is important and where it comes from. This complete series will be available in a convenient PDF download for those subscribed to the Transcendence Effect mailing list.
A Pivotal Moment
In a tangle of sweat we bounce off the ropes near a neutral corner. I don’t remember who throws first, but the fight was too back and forth to matter. I feel I’m getting ahead, I’m landing shots, but they aren’t doing much damage. When watching tape later I’ll be able to see that my hips weren’t connected to my punches, something I haven’t mastered yet. Both of us dig deep, swinging our way through the end of the 5th round.
With each shot landed the crowd cheers – it’s a close match, no doubt. During our last break my corner told me it could go either way, that this was the round that mattered. These 2 minutes was what my last 2 months had been about. I kept pushing, remembering the wages I’d bet on myself, perhaps a stupid move, but the extra motivation might be what pulls me through.
“And the winner is… Red!!” declares the announcer. My right hand is raised by the referee, my left follows involuntarily as I let out a sigh of relief. I’d done it! I’d won my first Muay Thai fight! More importantly, I’d completed my first goal! In that moment, with the announcer gabbing overhead and the yellow arena lights shining down I regained my self-belief. I found confidence.
Ever want to start a business? Dream of dropping out of school to travel the world? Ever have the chance to meet someone you were attracted to but let it slip by? I know I have across the board. I know exactly what it’s like to have an vision of the possibilities, but lack the guts to make it happen. That’s why I’ve created this series – to help you get out of your comfort zone and into the arena the arena of life.
A Willingness to Fail
What is Confidence? Confidence is self-belief. It’s the trusting – the knowing – that you are capable of whatever it is you want to do. Defined by Merriam-Webster, confidence is “a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.” But confidence is more than that – more than the belief that you can succeed – it’s what allows you to be willing to fail.
In my experience the majority of people lose out on what they want not because of failure, but because they never make an attempt.
Self-consciousness, the proverbial opposite of self-confidence beats them every time. Instead of taking the risk and screwing up they remain safe and comfortable by not doing a thing.
Anxiety, self-doubt, fear of the unknown – all learned symptoms of the unconfident mind. But just as these symptoms can be learned, they can be unlearned.
What Effects Confidence?
Confidence is influenced by a variety of factors, many of which are in our control. While it isn’t within the scope of this article to explore them all, we’ll look at 3 that have had profound effect on my own growth and development.
Before we get into the 3 areas I’ve found beneficial, I’d like to first clear up some misconceptions about confidence.
Confidence is not arrogance
Having belief in your abilities based on past experience and logic is different than having unwarranted self-belief. A man of confidence can speak his mind – predicting the outcome in his favor because he has done it before or believes so strongly in his preparation that he sees no other end. A man of arrogance on the other hand speaks his mind from a place of ignorance – unaware of what it takes to do the job that needs to be done. He fails to prepare and in doing so seals his fate.
Unfortunately, some people cannot see the subtle differences between a man of confidence and a man of arrogance. This is why many overlook and talk down on the importance of this skill.
Genetics don’t make or break confidence
Another common misconception that people have about confidence is that its all genetic – you’re either born with it or you aren’t.
This unfounded assumption limits many peoples ability to develop confidence because they believe it can’t be done. It can be done. Confidence is not something that you’re born with, it’s something that you learn. By using the 3 powerful techniques I’ll be teaching throughout this series you’ll learn to drastically increase your confidence levels in a short period of time.
Focus is one of the most important factors that affects confidence. For example, whether or not one focuses on negative self-talk or a negative mental image instead of being in the moment and focusing on a positive mental image has a huge impact on how well they handle any given situation. Choosing to focus on the things that will bring you closer to your desired outcome is an excellent way to increase your confidence. We’ll learn more about this in each coming section of this series.
What we believe plays a huge factor in how we carry ourselves, what we think we’re capable of, and the challenges we’re willing to take on.
Throughout our lives we’ve all made hundreds of agreements with ourselves which led us to where we are today. The very fact that you’re reading this article shows that you hold certain beliefs about yourself, your future, and what the human experience can amount to. Through the irreplaceable discipline of goal setting we can learn to shatter our limiting beliefs and enhance our vision of the future.
Changing your mindset can have a huge impact on your confidence levels. Looking at challenges as growth opportunities instead of roadblocks can change your life forever. Although there is tons to learn about mindset, we’ll settle for a single visualization technique that will leave you feeling confident and excited about your future plans.
Confidence is extremely important and you owe it to yourself – and everyone in your life – to train yours. Improving your confidence changes everything. I look forward to helping you on your journey to a brighter future where anything is possible.
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