It’s not a color you wear or how you style your hair. It will never be arrogant or rude. Confidence is a feeling you have and develop as a result of a skill set. Confidence is not tied to your self-worth. Self-worth has nothing to do with how well or how poorly you can do something; that’s your confidence. Confidence is built through practice.
Let’s rewind to when you were a child. There it is… a shiny, new bike propped up in the driveway with a big, red bow on it just for you on your 5th birthday. Filled with excitement, you gear up with your helmet, pads and gloves – you’re ready! And just as you are about to hop onto the saddle, you remember you’ve never rode a bike before and lose all confidence. Not to mention, you can’t even reach the saddle without needing a boost. But after some reassurance and assistance from your fan club, you climb on and begin to pedal. Holding on for your life, you grasp the handlebars as you continue to pedal, keeping your gaze fully focused ahead, afraid to even blink. Even though there are training wheels to assist, you are still being closely followed. And so goes your first bike ride! Then slowly each day you practice. Your rides get longer, and you go further. With the daily dedication, your skills improve, and your confidence grows. By the end of summer, you no longer have someone walking along side you and have removed the training wheels. You’re a pro!
Learning to ride a bike took practice, but through commitment to yourself and the dedication and desire to learn, you mastered the skill. This is just one example of how confidence is built through mastering a skill. Examples of this have likely happened many times throughout your life. Making a career move, you don’t just show up on day one fully confident in your abilities in this new position at a new company with a new team. You work daily over the course of several weeks, months, or even years to build confidence in yourself in the new role. Or maybe you recently moved to a new city. Those first few trips to the grocery store were driven by way of Google Maps, but in a short amount of time you became confident in your own navigation skills around the new city and no longer needed GPS. Or maybe you recently adopted a puppy and are completely overwhelmed with the associated responsibility and need for training. It takes time, dedication, and patience but after some accidents and persistence, you become the best pet parent there is to a very obedient dog.
I am sure you can think of many examples of how you have built confidence in yourself throughout your life. When you gain confidence, you gain feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. You feel proud! You earned the right to feel confident because you trusted and believed in your own abilities. It was you that learned that new skill, succeeded in the new role, or found your own way. Confidence is within you. It comes from what you do. It’s simply the way you feel about yourself and the various skills, abilities, and accomplishments you’ve tackled throughout your life. It takes time, dedication, and practice but with enough determination and motivation you can build your confidence with anything you desire.
Get out there and try something new or do something you’ve always wanted to but lacked the confidence to try. And keep doing it – the confidence will come!