Confidence is everything (and it is learnable)
All success springs out of confidence.
Elon has a ton of confidence to take on electronic transportation, space travel, and solar generation of electricity.
Oprah knew that being fired from a news-anchor job wasn’t the end.
Chris Gardner knew he could become a stock broker.
That list can go on all day.
What those people have is confidence in themselves. They know that even if the thing they are working on falls apart, they can pick themselves up, dust off their knees, and start working on something else. They have all had large failures (how many times did SpaceX fail landings?)
People with confidence ask better questions, deeper questions, questions which elicit better answers.
People with confidence can fail multiple times before they succeed (1,000 ways to NOT make a lightbulb for Mr. Edison).
People with confidence can take on sysiphian tasks like Mother Teresa and know they are making a difference.
Confidence is also very helpful with VC pitches, dating, parenting, and running marathons.
You can have that kind of confidence. You can believe in your own abilities. You can have that kind of success.
Confidence is a learnable skill. That’s right you can learn to be confident. Learning to be confident is easy, anyone can do it. You can learn confidence at any age. Confidence does not require large amounts of experience. Expanding your confidence will take practice. It’s like juggling — knowing how doesn’t do anything, you have to start throwing things. Confidence is like everything else, practice is necessary for competence and mastery.
Here are two techniques which you can use separately or together to get a boost of confidence. I learned these years ago from a mentor who’s accomplishment list was legendary.
- Proactive naïveté or “what’s the worst that can happen?”. With this technique, we break down the potential negatives to really get to the core. Yesterday one of my teen sons used this technique to ask for his first job. He walked into a retail store cold and asked if they needed help. Before he walked in, we discussed all the possible negatives which could happen. The list was very short and the worst was “we don’t need anyone right now”. Afterward, he commented how easy it was.
- “This is similar to…”. Spreading frosting on a cake is like spreading spackle on drywall or grout on tile or filler on a bent car body. Writing code is like storyboarding a video or outlining a book or planning a significant party. I taught a friend how to tile, she said it was a mix of carpentry and and collage. If you can see how a “new” thing is like an “old” thing, suddenly you can see how to do it successfully. How many things can you do that are like something you already know?
People use this combo of skills for all kinds of learning, helping others, work, play, creation, and adventures.
Bonus — learning
These two techniques are also how you supercharge learning. Learning is slowed down by our fear of doing it wrong, with these two techniques, you can dump a piece of learning friction and learn faster.
Confidence is available to anyone. It doesn’t care about your education, work history, family background, or age.
You got this 🙂
At UpLevel Works, we teach people how to grow their confidence, escape workplace anxiety, and how to move up the corporate ladder.
If this interests you — email us: hello at uplevel dot works