Boosting confidence guides are a thing to write – and although it seems like everything has already been said and done (they breed like, well, rabbits), I feel like I have a thing or two to add. Could you possibly forgive me if I added to the How to gain confidence pile?
Why am I even asking? I was meant to be the confident one over here!
You see, in the very grand scheme of things I am quite a confident person. I’d even go as far as to say that I am a borderline extrovert, as weird an extrovert as I do make. I enjoy bossing people around; there is no reason to pretend otherwise. I enjoy working with people. And although I like staying comfy at home, I go nuts if I don’t talk to someone at least once a day, in real life not via the means of Internet.
But as there were good years and still are, there were some bad ones too. I have suffered through periods of shyness I never expected myself of having. I think I forced it onto myself somehow – but who knows the ways human minds go, really? And still from time to time I experience it suddenly – mostly when I am trying to talk about my writing or if I encounter a particularly nasty article on how slim girls ruin the world or something. My confidence just disappears, I am unable to face people and all I can do is put on my panda onesie and cry into a tub of coconut ice cream.
Moments of a lack of confidence happen to anyone. Trust me. There are no people who always 100% believe in themselves.
And when this parade of self-doubt comes, we all need to be prepared. I have no real cut-out solution that would work for everyone; these solutions are also a myth. Yet I do strongly believe that everyone should have one – I call mine a trick. A trick for when I am low and stressed and scared and ready to run. Something to simply keep me in place and help me get through it. There are probably more profound strategies on how to suddenly gain confidence – but from my experience, the more things I focus on, the less I focus on each and the more I am prone to fail in all of them. One trick for me is just enough.
So let me tell you about my trick – if you don’t mind. Hopefully even if it does not work for you, it will help you find your own one.
What are prerequisites for this gaining confidence magic?
There is one thing this little trick requires though – and it is a biggie. Before anyone goes on to conquer the world with confidence, there is a certain… honesty with oneself threshold that needs to be passed. You see, there will be lots of people who seem very confident with their lies but shatter under pressure. That would be not be because they lie – but because they try to believe they are telling the truth.
I am an overly honest person. This blog is all about keeping an honest conversation with ourselves – yes, us inside. People like lying to themselves, pretending, denying; that is our nature and it is really hard to combat. But you need to be able to talk about yourself with yourself if you want the world to see you as confident and strong.
No amount of motivational quotes on Momentum will give you a boost if you are an audience and an actor of the same play performed just for your mental comfort. Spinning a web of lies around your persona may make you feel all warm and fuzzy for a while, but the time will come for all of this to unravel.
If you are truly honest with yourself or at least are trying to, you are bulletproof to most bad reactions – because deep inside you just know if it is true or not.
Just trust yourself. No one can be a better buddy of yours than you.
How does my trick work?
Every time I feel like I may give up on something because I am scared of what the world may say – my main shyness cause; of course there are others, but this is what troubles me – I ask myself one simple question:
If everything goes wrong, what will be the consequences of that?
Sometimes I’d have a genuine reason, you know, I’d cut off half of a country’s Internet would be a good one, not to get into any more drastic examples. Sometimes. I’d say these would constitute maybe… maybe 1 out of 20 times I ask myself that question.
My usual reaction, if expressed verbally, would probably sounds more like: Ummm Eeee Yyyy. So good that I do not talk aloud to myself, they’d fire me straight away for disturbing people with my weird noises.
The truth is, most of the time I don’t actually know what would happen. I’d get embarrassed, I guess – but embarrassment comes and goes and at the end of the day can be forgotten quite quickly. Sure, it can scar one for life if one is unfortunate enough, but what are the odds?
Chances are that although there should be some reaction to my action, there will be none. Someone may say no or at the very worst laugh at my silly question, if that is the reason I am stressing out so much, but their reaction will carry no real consequences to my life.
Ok, but why does it help me?
I think the main reason my trick helps me gain confidence is because it rationalises my fears.
Fear feeds on irrationality. Being scared of something that makes no sense or that we know very little about is so much more difficult to shake off than a real, well-defined danger. The wilder our imagination can roam the better for the fear. We do really know there is nothing under the bed – but if we cannot test it and see it ourselves, if we have no solid proof there is REALLY nothing under the bed, fear can still win.
Thinking about the real world consequences of our actions move what we are scared about from the imaginary, I have a bad feeling zone to a tangible effect that we can measure and assess. I am well aware of the fact that lots of people may still struggle with dealing with some of the consequences that I find miniscule – like embarrassment, yet even for them this could be a valuable first step.
Fighting what you don’t know works sometimes, but it takes so much strength and the price to pay is often so high, and our odds are smaller and smaller the less and less knowledge we possess.
I am not saying this process is pleasant – it is not for me at least; I still approach whatever I am so scared about with a great deal of loud heart beats and hand shaking, and I do suffer through the process not less than I would otherwise. But it has never failed to give me the kick necessary to start what I was just about to run away from.
And a kick is all I can reasonably expect.
Just give it a go and let me know how it goes. The worst that can happen is you staying exactly where you are. The best – well, you may just as well find a route to your own trick.
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