You got sweaty palms, a sick feeling in your stomach, your heart is racing and your hands are shaking.
All because you’re thinking about doing something you don’t feel confident about.
In this moment, your mind will come up with plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t be doing this and how you’ll probably crash and burn.
It’s time to get out of your head
Don’t confuse the stories your mind is telling you with facts. Why would you believe it?
Truth be told, your mind doesn’t know what it’s talking about.
It may say: “Remember when you were 10, and you made a fool of yourself in front of the entire class?
Let’s not do this again. You obviously suck”.
Even though this happened and was the most embarrassing thing and worst feeling ever, it doesn’t mean that this is proof for anything.
If you look at it objectively, there’s no reason why this one incident from years or even decades ago should still be impacting your life today.
Feeling scared doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out for what you want to do.
We tend to think that others are just naturally confident, and we aren’t so lucky.
When in reality, you get confident from doing the thing that scares you.
You don’t just wake up confident one day – you train it by facing your challenges.
It’s easy to give up before you even try. You can convince yourself that it’s just not meant to be.
You feel so sick and terrible before doing what you need to do that you just want this awful stress to go away.
You’ll get instant relief if you decide “You know what? I can’t do it. I’m not doing it”.
Or maybe you went through with it once, found it was horrible, and decided that “it’s not for me”.
You can’t give up too soon. It will take a while before you feel better about it. You need to have a little faith in yourself.
It does get better with time and practice!
How I know you can train confidence
A few years ago I interned at a tiny international trekking company.
By “international” I mean you could book trekking vacations all over the world. I was in Marketing.
On my very first day, literally a few hours in, there was a problem with one of their partners in Italy.
They were on the phone, communication was NOT working and apparently, the Italian didn’t speak any English or French.
We were 5 people in the office and no one spoke Italian.
Since the conversation with the Italian wasn’t going anywhere, I shyly lifted my hand and almost whispered “I can try to talk to him if you like”.
“You speak Italian?”
“Yeah, kind of…” (probably B1 then)
“Okay, give it a go”
I got on the phone, and everything went fine.
The Italian calmed down, and we were able to find a solution. I got off the phone, and the company owner declared:
“From now on YOU handle Italy”
This meant talking to Italian B2B partners about accommodation, organizational issues, or transportation for certain trips.
Like 2-3 calls a week.
You can get over your fear
The first few calls I had to make almost had me throw up.
I mean literally. It was truly bad.
Are you picturing someone breathing into a brown paper bag?
Okay, I didn’t actually do that.
But it took me literally an HOUR to pick up the phone and punch in the number with shaking hands.
I also waited until everyone else was out of the office – so there would be no witnesses of my doom.
But after a while, I discovered that I didn’t die.
The Italians were super nice & helpful. We always understood each other.
And so I got over it.
From the 5th call on, I didn’t worry anymore and just picked up the phone. What could happen?
Nothing really bad.
And even if there was a misunderstanding (or no understanding at all) that was fine.
Practice, practice, practice
We often feel like we will be homeless forever if we mess something up. Which is a completely irrational fear if you think about it (also read how to stay calm and composed under stress)
Knowing this doesn’t make it feel any less real in the moment.
So when you start to panic, close your eyes, take a deep breath and think for a minute.
What can really happen if something goes wrong?
Confidence builds over time
You get confident through practice!
It’s uncomfortable for a while, but it does get better if you keep pushing through it.
We don’t like to panic (who would) and just want this feeling to go away as quickly as possible.
But if you give up to avoid feeling scared, you will never get over it.
It will forever hold you back.
Push through it and be proud of yourself for doing it scared.
Know that even though it sucked big time, it will suck a little less each time you try.
Until you won’t feel bad anymore. Until it becomes the normal thing to do.
If you feel passionate about something, have faith in yourself and keep trying.
I hope this gives you a clearer perspective. You can do it!
Have a great day,
Improve yourself. Improve your life!
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