Lesson 6 - Introductory Course in Living Your Success
Finding Your Confidence and Keeping It Strong
Confidence is your belief and faith in yourself. When you are confident, you are self-assured, and you trust in your abilities to act in a certain way and do what needs to be done.
Your confidence will vary according to different areas of life and different skills, having higher confidence in areas where you have a lot of experience and lower confidence where you have little or no experience. In my own case, I am very confident I can drive a car safely, but I am not confident I could play a good game of basketball. I drive a car every day, but I haven’t played basketball in decades.
Overall, you can have a level of confidence in how you behave and carry yourself generally. And, fair or not, people judge you on how confident you are in carrying on a conversation, how you act, how well you get things done, how successful or capable you seem, and how comfortable you are with yourself in public.
The difficult thing when it comes to personal success is that confidence is dependent on having a degree of success. When you are successful at something, you become very confident that that is something you can do well. BUT when you don’t have much success, you will probably also lack in confidence in that area of your life. It’s a bit of a catch-22.
That is why knowing your purpose is so important...
Your purpose is more likely to be in an area of your life where you already have talent and skills. Or it may be something that builds on existing knowledge and skills for which you have strong confidence.
So, that is why certain foundational skills, such as writing and interpersonal communications, can be so important. If you are weak in the foundational skills that you need to accomplish your purpose – whether that is writing or using certain kinds of power tools or designing/sewing dresses – you must absolutely concentrate on learning and getting stronger in those areas. It may require going to school or getting specialized training or simply finding time and ways to practice and gain experience in those things you are weak in.
One of the most important foundation skills of all is the ability to learn. Humans have a strong innate ability to learn, especially when it comes to things that are important to you or of strong interest to you.
With that background about confidence in mind, I recommend that you sit down and write out an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses related to your purpose and your success goals. Do some brainstorming to try to look at your purpose and goals in the broadest perspective beginning with the near term and then thinking further and further out in time. Your list should be something that you go back to periodically, so keep it in your journal or someplace where you can quickly go to it. Then, for each weakness, think about and write down ways you can learn and eventually turn that weakness and into a strength.
Please do the above as an exercise for developing yourself and your confidence as you go forward. Identify areas in which you need to become more knowledgeable and skilled, identify actions, and take those actions that seem most appropriate for you. Do not skip over this exercise because it will help you on the path to success.
And remember to believe in yourself always and prepare to serve your purpose as best you can.
Now, you also need to maintain and strengthen your “mindset for confidence” every day. The best way to do that is to think about the successes you have had – things you have done well, either on some occasion or often. Remember what it felt like, in your body and emotionally. Even if it is in an area different than what you are concerned about, remember all your wins and successes and go back as often as needed to those winning feelings. Remember them, feel them, and let those feelings fill your mind and body. You can also anchor and reinforce those feelings by feeling them strongly and then making a fist and saying “yes” powerfully.
If you are down on yourself and struggling to remember successes, then imagine something happening which builds on your natural talents and strengths. Imagine what it would feel like to have something go spectacularly well. Build that up in your mind. Make it vivid and something that you really want to happen. Feel it in your body, and feel the emotions of joyful winning. Then make sure you can come back in your mind to what you imagined, and come back to that “memory” and its feelings often.
Please make the above process (described in the 2 preceding paragraphs) an exercise that you do right now, if possible, and ideally do at least once a day to strengthen your feeling of confidence in yourself. “Acting as if” truly works – I know from my own firsthand experience – so don’t dismiss it as nonsense. Use it as a tool – it can be quite powerful.
You can also obtain audio recordings for building your confidence through hypnosis. I use them and find them very helpful. They really do work because they work through your subconscious, but you must also consciously choose to build your belief that it will work for you.
Finally, working on your self-confidence is very important, so don’t skip over it. Affirm "I can do this; I am unstoppable" with strong feeling while visualizing the end results you desire. Multiple times during the day, pause and mentally and physically feel your confidence growing and know that it will help you stay true to your purpose and help you accomplish your success goals.