or how to reinforce confidence
“Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.”
― Frederick Buechner
Doubt is an exquisite spice added to your journey as a human being. Yet way too often its delicate appearance evolves to be a monster creating terrifying outlooks. It doesn’t need to be like this though. You can easily use doubt to reinforce confidence in yourself and instead of a tiring fight against the self-doubt monster, you can train yourself to be its friend. But how?
According to Wikipedia, doubt is also described as a status between belief and disbelief. A balanced scale that can either turn into greater doubt or even fear or increased confidence. It is up to you on which side you put weight on that scale.
Unfortunately most people are unaware of making that decision as soon as doubts arise. Often they find themselves in states of either being confident or timid depending on previous experiences.
For instance you are talking to a client about your product. He request further information about features and pricing before purchasing. Because you are an expert and you have advised numerous clients you stir confidently through this conversation until he is being reassured. Your previous experiences have helped you to gain confidence in your ability to convince a customer to buy the product. Even if there were a notion of self-doubt you probably wouldn’t have noticed at all as your mind reinforces confidence as soon as there is evidence for it.
It might be different with a new project you start, for example you introduce a new service to your clients. You are excited as this service e.g. will help a huge number of people to achieve greater success. Because your mind can’t find enough evidence in your experiences with this service, each question about it knocks on your confidence. Your mind presents you the case and you become aware of doubts. While some people master doubt in a constructive way resulting in reinforced confidence, other people give in on doubt while weighing the scale with reasons for failing.
Here are my tips for reinforcing confidence and decreasing doubt:
- Transfer skills. You have already mastered many things. How can previous experiences help you to reinforce confidence in your new task, situation, goals, ventures, etc.?
- Notice success. Each tiny success builds self-confidence and your mind starts dealing with them for you. Start writing a success journal to get into the process.
- Look for evidence. Before surrendering doubt request evidence, even from yourself. What exactly could you have done better? If there is valid evidence, use it as constructive feedback and incorporate it.
- Be prepared. If you have an extraordinary idea, service, or way of doing be prepared that people might not like it at first. So it is necessary for you to be sure that it works. What makes you believe that it works? How do you know that it will?
- Have faith in others. If you notice the inabilities of those around you, you stir up self-doubt within yourself. The same applies to the opposite, self-doubt retreats while you believe in the unique abilities of the people in your life.
- Accept who you are. As long as you refuse to accept yourself fully, you will have to deal with a great amount of self-doubt that might come up in the most unexpected situations. What is it, that you find hard to accept about yourself? What does it make so difficult to accept? What do you need to do in order to be able to accept yourself fully?
- Ask for help. If you feel you can’t deal with self-doubt yourself, get help. It might be beneficial to work with a coach or other practitioners who are experts in building on self-confidence.
In summary doubts can be hugely beneficial in order to recognise in which area you lack of confidence. Once you have an awareness of an insecurity you are able to reinforce self-assurance. This way doubts are a wonderful measurement that not only help you to identify areas that need development, it too makes you stronger within yourself.
by Sandy Seeber – August, 2012 More articles by Sandy Seeber
- Doubt Your Doubt (servanthearts.wordpress.com)
- How to Break Through Fear and Self-Doubt (entrepreneur.com)
- Overcoming Insecurity and Self-Doubt (sdtherapy.wordpress.com)
- How to Fight Excessive Doubt (spring.org.uk)
- Doubters anonymous… (caroldekkers.wordpress.com)
- The Pros of Confidence (pokerlistings.com)
- A Short and Valuable Guide to Self-Confidence (balanceinme.com)
- 11 Proven ways to gain unstoppable confidence (harikrishnamurthy.wordpress.com)