5 Steps to Build Confidence, Destroy Fear, and Create Your Destiny
Focus on being the captain of your ship and sail the seas your way
You know the feeling. You’re faced with a challenge that you’ve never had to face before. Perhaps it was a physical challenge, emotional, or a mental one but they all generate similar reactions.
Palms start to sweat, heartbeats speed up, breathing becomes more rapid, dry mouth, even the urge to just flee and getaway.
We have all faced times when the lack of confidence in ourselves makes us lose something that we want. This low self-confidence and low self-esteem may show up as fear or as simple inaction. It can be crippling but it can be overcome.
Confidence needs to be built slowly, one small step at a time. Here are five key steps which will help you bust through any fear and destroy the limitations and self-doubt that may be holding you back from your true potential.
1. Action cures fear.
Identify and isolate your fear and take constructive action. Whatever it is you fear it’s likely not going to happen anyway. In fact, 85% of what we fear never happens in real life. Inaction strengthens fear and corrodes confidence.
Whenever I’ve faced a fearful situation I remind myself of an acronym that spells out F.E.A.R that helps me quickly take action and just do it as the Nike slogan says. The acronym stands for:
Think about that for a moment. Whatever it is that you face that is appearing so ominous that it cannot be overcome is very likely false. It’s something that is 85% unlikely to happen.
I don’t know about you, but I like those odds and in the game of life they are worth acting on. You see once you do the thing that you fear you will have the power over it and you can move forward.
So the next time you face a fearful situation, no matter what it is, identify the fear, isolate it, and then take positive action. You’ll be surprised at how powerful this will make you feel and the confidence it will instill in you for facing fearful challenges in the future.
2. Exude positivity.
Make a conscious effort to deposit only positive thoughts in your memory bank. Do not dwell on negative experiences or allow negative thoughts to morph into mental monsters. If you feel good about yourself, you will become more confident.
Your thoughts are powerful so you must feed your mind with strong positive thoughts. Use the subconscious part of your brain to control how you act. If you feed it with positive and action-oriented thoughts that's what it will produce and your body activities will become congruent with what you think.
This not a “fake it until you make it” strategy. It is a real and productive process that produces results. Change your thoughts, change your life.
3. Keep things in perspective.
Remember, people are more alike than different. Get a balanced view of the other person and try to develop an understanding attitude, particularly when you are in an uncomfortable situation. This builds confidence when talking to new people.
Also, remember, they are likely to feel just as vulnerable as you and subject to the same fears and uncertainties as you are. Listen more than you speak. You’ll learn what’s on the other person’s mind and be able to better form responses and questions to gain more information to help you in any situation.
Use empathy when dealing with other people. Let them know you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and be attentive. Nothing impresses a person more than someone who is sincerely interested in them and seeks to help them rather than harm them. Taking such a position also puts you in better control of the circumstances because you appear as less of a threat.
Once that is established there is a great opportunity to create what you what out of any situation.
The experience of failure makes it easy for us to give up, letting fear and self-doubt win. But if you persevere and keep striving for your goals, you will be able to destroy your fear of failure and push past your limitations. In this sense “practice does make perfect.”
The more you practice the better you perform. The better you perform the more you improve your results, better results create a habit of winning. This is the reason top-performing athletes practice continually and the reason they are star performers.
Practice what you fear. If you fear public speaking, write out a speech and practice in a mirror. Then try it out in front of friends or family who love you and support you, then move to the next level and deliver it to people that need to hear what you have to say because of the value it delivers.
Doing this builds up the muscle to do whatever you need to do to overcome what is holding you back. Practice, practice, practice. The results will be well worth it.
5. To think confidently, act confidently.
To be confident you must have a confident mindset posture. Have you ever noticed when a person says one thing but their body language is saying something different?
What a person feels is reflected in how they act, the posture they have, their stanch, and their walk — body language.
How you act will reflect how you feel and how you feel projects outwardly in either a confident or non-confident manner.
Project confidence by thinking and acting like it. As referenced earlier in this article, I don’t subscribe to the “fake it until you make it” strategy. Anything that’s fake usually doesn’t come off well.
However, there is a technique that many great actors use to help them be confident when inside they are not. It’s called method acting. It’s not fake it’s a technique.
Confidence can be acquired by acting like it but don’t try to fake it until you make it. Your body language will expose you.
Always strive to be yourself and no one else. Once you understand that you are the captain of your ship you can sail the seas as you want. The winds will blow but how you set and positions the sails will determine your destiny.