To be blunt if you want to succeed at anything, you will need to have a certain level of confidence.
This does not mean that you need to boldly and fearlessly attack every aspect of life. We are not all extroverted and seemingly confident people. There will be areas however where you know yourself that you lack in confidence, suffer from nerves or even feel physically unwell.
The first thing you need to do is to identify where you need more confidence, and where you do not. For example, you maybe nervous of public speaking (most people are), and you need to get over those nerves in order to succeed. In this case, you will need to gain confidence in speaking in front of people.
If you lack confidence in cooking a good meal however, that more than likely will not affect to your speaking ability! So, you need to identify where you want to gain confidence, and where a lack of confidence does not really matter. So, this means we can gain gain confidence in many areas, - and in those we want to!
Succeed in what you do
One of the dangers of a lack of confidence is that it can fuel failure. Failure then leads to decreased confidence, which then leads to failure, which leads to well… you can see it is a self fulfilling circle. Lack of confidence and failure feed on each other, and they will drag you down.
So, the first key to gaining confidence (could be obvious this one!) is to succeed rather than fail. How do we do that?
Clever but small goals initially
Your first successes do not need to be major successes. You just need to succeed at something to start lifting yourself up, and break out of the failure/lack of confidence cycle.
Choose a small goal to achieve. It could be anything you want, and does not necessarily need to be seen by others – you just to pick on a goal that you want to achieve. Focus and set your mind on achieving this goal. Give yourself a realistic time frame, and then determine what you need to in order to succeed.
Once you achieve this goal, you will start to see that you can succeed. Keep setting yourself small goals, and work towards achieving them. Successes here will lead to confidence, which will lead to more success, and so on. Before long, you will be able to attack those identified critical areas where you lack confidence.
Find and model confident people
Find mentors to help you along. Seek out someone who at least appears to be confident and watch them. In NLP we call this modelling - seeing, hearing and feeling what they are doing to be able to do what they do! Also find groups and organizations that deal with the specific area will help you to build confidence.
Do not confuse confidence with arrogance. Being confident is a good thing, being arrogant is a bad thing. Confidence is the idea that you can achieve something and that you can succeed. Arrogance is the idea that you are better than others.
Smile at your vulnerability
Embracing your vulnerability and no longer hiding from it means that you’re no longer concerned about others’ judgment of you. When you act in such a manner your relationship and confidence with yourself surges. This is strength and confidence combined!
The more you do this the more you will actually grow in confidence. So the paradox to being more confident is that you need to accept and embrace your frailty, and, then, your confidence will likely grow. If you try to disguise your insecurity, you betray yourself and stay mired in insecurity.
Confidence is the key to succeeding in any aspect of life. Whether you want to succeed in business, creative endeavours, fitness, weight loss or family, you need to have a certain degree of confidence. Start by setting yourself small goals, and find small successes. Build on those successes and you will find yourself gaining confidence in all areas of your life. Once you have confidence and success, then you can start helping those who lack confidence themselves. That's a great thing to be able to do!