If goal-setting is the vehicle that drives you toward your vision, then confidence is the wind in your sails. A mixed metaphor, but you know exactly what I mean! Confidence propels you through slow times and seasons where little to no visible progress is being made. It’s that inner knowing that motivates you to keep striving.
But what happens when you’re confidence is deflated or ripped off? You may have started a project with a bit of success that quickly dried up. You may have faced a series of harsh criticisms. You may have failed more times than you thought humanly possible, and those failures sank your battleship. It wearies you to even consider picking yourself up and trying again.
Eventually, the lack of confidence in one area leaks into everything else, leaving you utterly crushed. How do I know? I’ve waded through that swamp more times than I care to count.
Because it usually happens over a long period of time, a lack of confidence can’t be fixed overnight. The 5 steps I’m about to propose will take some time, but regaining your confidence is worth all the effort you can pour into it!
1. Identify the confidence stealers
It’s usually easy to know what’s been crushing you, but sometimes it takes more thought. Are there mini-critics in your life? Small failures that added up over time? A pattern of disappointments? It’s always easier to find a remedy if you can pinpoint the cause.
2. Assess where you’re at and know where you’re going
Once you know what poked holes in your confidence, you need to decide if that person/activity/project should remain part of your overall life strategy. Is it crucial to your vision, or can you replace it with a more fruitful venture?
Let’s face it, sometimes we’re chasing the wrong goal. I once had a sales job with a great company that offered excellent training and a supportive atmosphere. Problem was, I couldn’t sell my way out of a paper bag. My core personality does not lend itself well to selling. Classic example of having all the right tools but pursuing the wrong goal.
Sometimes we may be pursuing the right goal but with the wrong tools. Or we have the right goal but the wrong timing. So many combinations to consider! It’s going to take time and patience to evaluate where you are and see if you’re positioned for where you want to go.
3. Shore up your shortcomings
Once you’ve eliminated the confidence stealers and confirmed you’re involved in the right projects, fix what you can. You might need more training or practice. Perhaps you need to seek a mentor for expert advice. Maybe you need the right tools to do the job. Change whatever you have control over and you’ll start to feel a sense of progress.
One thing I know for sure, progress—even in small amounts—will breed confidence.
4. Seek small victories
Spend time doing things you already know you’re good at. Remember how doubting yourself can leak from one area of your life to another, spreading like a virus? The same is true for confidence. By reminding yourself that you’re competent in one area, you’ll fuel yourself in others. Small victories will snowball into bigger ones.
5. Surround yourself
Be careful who you hang out with. Choose people who lift you up and remind you who you are and what you’re capable of. Surround yourself with tokens of your past accomplishments. Change your environment to one that’s positive and uplifting. Keep motivational quotes or Bible verses that inspire you where they’re easy to see. And don’t even get me started on the ways music can change your mood!
Like anything worth having, confidence can take time to build, but don’t let that discourage you. Set the foundation for the future and let your confidence be contagious!
Have you ever had your confidence ripped off? How did you gain it back?