It’s easy to be confident when everything’s going your way and you’ve already learned the ropes. When you’re in your safety net, you understand what it takes and how to get there. But not so much when you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone to try something totally new.
How can you be confident when you might feel like a fish out of water?
When you really don’t know what you’re doing, but you wish you did.
The old saying of “Fake it til you make it!” isn’t so easy when you feel so far removed from reaching your goal.
Whether it be adapting to a new environment or picking up a new skill, it takes guts to put yourself out there and try something new.
You NEED those guts in order to take the risk, but how do you hold on to your confidence through the multiple failures and missteps on the journey to success?
How do you remain steadfast when you're a total amateur?
I had to ask myself this same question when I moved to Chicago from my family's farm in Indiana. I always wanted to move to a big city to try something new, but I felt like a total foreigner once I actually made it up to the Windy City.
Frankly, I just didn't feel like I belonged.
I was totally confident in Indiana and grounded in who I was. Yet, here I was in the third largest city in the country and everything felt so out of place.
Did I make the right decision? I had the guts to go out and try to make it on my own without Mommy or Daddy holding my hand, but was this where I was supposed to go? How could I know?
What could I place my confidence in when everything seemed so uncertain?
We all know that we have to take risks and put ourselves out there in order to grow, but how do we keep the faith amongst all the uncertainty?
When things don't come so easily, remember these 5 things to grow your confidence bigger than ever before:
1. By Simply Trying, You Are Already Ahead of Countless Others:
It is important to remember that it takes a lot of character in simply putting yourself out there. Most people are too afraid to fail or of how they will look if they don't succeed.
Yet, if you never expose yourself to new possibilities, you will always get the same type of life.
2. You Don't Know What You're Doing, But Why Would You?!
Stop punishing yourself for not being an expert when you're just starting out. If you approach life that way, you will want to give up before the game has even started.
There will always be individuals that are smarter or better than you at whatever it is you're running towards. Getting embarrassed about where you're at is only a mark of insecurity.
True confidence is when you admit that you don't know what you're doing, but that you are more than ready to learn.
3. Befriend Your Role Models:
You can't learn everything that you need to know from reading a book. You can't understand all that this world has to offer by simply staying in your particular corner.
Look to those ahead of you who know their way around or have become an expert in their particular field. If you compliment them on their knowledge, they will likely be willing to share. Perhaps they can attest to feeling like a total beginner at one point too.
4. Stick to Your Values:
Someone who is truly confident knows what matters most to them. They hold on to their values no matter where they are or what situation they may be in.
On the contrary, someone who is insecure will be tossed like a leaf in the wind, changing their opinion with every new person they meet. It is great to be open-minded, but there is never a reason to change who you are and what matters most to you to fit in somewhere else.
The world needs more people willing to be different than the crowd.
5. Look Back Knowing That You Survived:
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'" - Eleanor Roosevelt
Nothing gives greater confidence than to know that you survived whatever obstacle you put yourself through. If you can look back thinking to yourself, "I rose to the challenge and came out stronger," then just imagine all that you are capable of in the future.
It takes guts to put yourself out there, but that's exactly what you're made of.
Oh, and don't worry - Chicago ain't got nothin' on me now.