How confident are you?

SELF-CONFIDENCE: A skill you can learn Credit: Shutterstock

CONFIDENCE is not a personality trait, it’s a skill that can be acquired through learning. The more you practice being confident the more naturally it will come; think of it as exercising a muscle.

It’s the ability to be able to move from a thought to taking action, coupled with the willingness to try. Lack of confidence can hold us back from what we really want to do in life. Our thoughts and wishes remain just that if action is never taken. We are not born shy or with lack of confidence no more than we are born with unlimited amounts of confidence.

We have simply acquired the habit of being so during our early years which creates our framework and our reality. Many people have lack confidence because they add their own assumptions and opinions to the facts. For example: ‘My boss is really mean, he’ll never give me a pay rise, why ask for one?’ Well the fact is yes, your boss may be mean, but it’s only your opinion that he won’t give you a pay rise.


Your opinions are only ‘your’ opinions and not a true reflection of what is actually real. This way of self-sabotage will only add to your lack of self-confidence and keep you from improving on your life. The fear of the result is what holds many of us back. You imagine the worst and therefore don’t act on something that could make a significant difference in your life.

Being confident isn’t about becoming an extrovert and being more vocal, it’s about facing your challenges and fears and courageously breaking through that invisible wall. Many extroverts may appear confident on the outside but they don’t always say what they really mean because they are not confident on the inside.

They fear criticism so do not speak their truth, their personal fear is just hidden in a different way. So, if you really want to become that new confident you, start off by practising small acts of courage each day. Look at something that you know you should or would like to do that would normally instil a little fear. It can be something as small as paying your scary grumpy old boss a compliment instead of assuming he’ll rip your head off!!

Each time you overcome a fear by acting upon it, it will slowly increase your confidence. Slowly start to step up and face your larger fears as you start seeing your confidence grow. Eventually you will start seeing more success and stop focusing on your negative assumptions and past failures.

This new found skill will start to serve you very well, and as time passes, remember to keep exercising it. To stay fit and healthy you need to stick to a regime, confidence skills require the same, so don’t stop, and keep going. By being persistent you’ll be demonstrating faith in yourself.

The more faith you have the more persistent you will become. Eventually, it will become habitual and replace your old habits of doubt and fear. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest once said “It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Don’t let lack of self-confidence be your unclimbed mountain, conquer it and you’ll reach summits you would never have thought possible before.



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