How to gain confidence
Confidence is different from self esteem. Confidence is “domain specific” which means it relates to a certain topic or area – I can have every confidence in my writing abilities, but have very little confidence in my ability to do public speaking. If you can relate to that, here are some tips on how to gain confidence in your abilities:
How to gain confidence: Preparation
If you prepare and practice enough at something, you’ll be better than people around you regardless of what it is. If you are going to have a major presentation in front of an audience, prepare what you are going to say in advance. A lot. Become so good at it that you know you’re the best. Then it will be more like you teaching something to other people instead of a presentation. The more you prepare and practice, the better your confidence will be.
How to gain confidence: Don’t be too hard on yourself
You will always be harder on yourself than anyone else. Very few people will care if you make mistakes and most people won’t even notice. Hell, if you make a presentation in a meeting at work or in front of classmates in school, odds are that some won’t even listen but rather think about what they’re going to have for dinner that night. And if they don’t care, neither should you. Also, stop thinking in terms of failure. There is no such thing as failure. There is only progress. As Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
You’ve been through worse
Remind yourself that you have been through worse. Imagine climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. That monstrosity of almost 20,000 feet might seem very taunting. Now imagine a person who has already climbed Mount Everest, which is almost 30,000 feet and requires specific equipment like oxygen tanks, ropes and spike shoes. For that person, Kilimanjaro is like a walk in the park, right? Now imagine a person who is about to make a presentation to ten of his co-workers, but last week he spoke to the entire United Nations congregation. Suddenly this presentation is just peanuts, right? The point is this: if we keep challenging ourselves and remember our achievements in life, if we keep reminding ourselves that we have been through a lot worse, nothing will really seem difficult and daunting.