A Simple Trick to Build Self-Confidence
To become confident, learn to trust your decisions
If you’re not from the U.S., you know the feeling.
You’re standing in a queue at the airport passport control. You’re waiting for your visa to be checked by an immigration officer. There are two more lines beside you with people, one on the left and one on the right.
The other line always seems to go faster than yours.
You become irritated by this. You decide to switch lines.
You make your way, pushing other people with your elbows, whispering, ‘Excuse me, sir…’ and getting annoyed looks from old ladies until you’re finally done.
Then you look around.
Now the line you switched from started to go faster.
The nature of self-confidence.
People say they want to be confident. But what do they really mean by that? What is self-confidence?
There are as many definitions as there are people. So instead of trying to guess which one is more correct, let’s go back to the basics.
Confidence comes from a latin word fidere’ which means “to trust”; therefore, having a self-confidence is having trust in one’s self.
When you’re confident, you believe yourself. You trust your own decisions.
People who are confident, make a decision and stick to it. People who lack confidence are always changing lines at the airport.
You can trick your brain into confidence.
There was an old study which showed that people can trick their brain.
You usually smile when you’re happy. But you can reverse it and smile when you’re not happy and become happy as a result of smiling.
Same thing with self-confidence. What do you do, if you realize (reading this post) that you’re the guy who always changes lines at the airport? What do you do if you lack self-confidence?
You build it by behaving like a confident person.
Derek Sivers famously said:
I think that you are whatever you pretend to be. I think I just realized somewhere in there that you can just choose to be confident.
Choose to be confident. Trick your brain into confidence by staying in the current line and not switching to the other.
It doesn’t matter if the other one goes faster. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made the wrong decision or doubt yourself.
Your job is to learn to trust yourself and your instincts. Teach your mind to trust your decisions by sticking to whatever you chose to do.
Your decision is the rule.
Stick to it.
I used to have a problem sticking to anything in particular. I would start working on something and then doubt my decisions, ‘Hey, maybe that other idea was better…’, as a result, I couldn’t get anything done.
When all you do is start, switch, start, switch, you don’t get anything done. That’s why people who lack confidence usually don’t achieve success in life.
They can’t stick to it for long.
My message to you today is this: stick to it. I have a rule, that many of you like and applauded for.
It’s called the ‘six-month rule’.
Whenever you start something new, tell yourself that you’ll stick to it for 6 months. You won’t change course. You won’t look at the results. You won’t take on new projects. You’ll not overthink or doubt yourself.
For the next 6 months, you’ll be like Bill Murray from Groundhog Day, you’ll just do the same work over and over again.
The problem with people who switch back and forth is that they never see results. They quit too early.
The ‘six-month rule’ will allow you to be consistent for long enough for results to show up.
That’s how I approach all of my projects. That’s how I write on Medium. And I’ve still got 4 months to go.
Stay in your line.
When you’re at the airport next time, you know what to do. The quickest way to get your passport checked and move on is to stay wherever you are.
You are confident now. You trust your decisions.
Good for you.
Thanks for reading.