So, self-confidence can be learned!
E-Canteen Fundas: Dial up that confidence level to conquer it all
I made a presentation today,’ said Rahul. ‘Everyone told me to be more confident.’
‘I have an interview coming up and I’m short of confidence too,’ said Rinku.
‘Not to worry,’ said Rakesh. ‘Confidence or self-confidence is having confidence in our abilities to handle whatever comes our way. Most times, we feel that we don’t know enough or we’re not good enough. The gap between others’ expectations and our ability to meet those expectations shrinks us, be it in an interview, presentation, social skills or so on. What most people don’t realise is that self-confidence is a skill. It can be improved with practice.’
‘Really?’ said Rahul. ‘How?’
‘The building blocks of self-confidence are our thoughts, words and actions,’ said Rakesh. ‘Since the biggest confidence-breakers are negative thoughts and negative talk, stop those. Replace them with positive thoughts and words.’
‘Okay, bhaiyya,’ nodded Rinku.
‘Next, take action,’ said Rakesh. ‘Every confident performer practices extensively — writing stuff down, rehearsing, recording themselves, correcting body language and tone. This means that for every situation we don’t feel confident about, we need to practice. The more we practice, the better we get and the more confident we become. Then, we are less affected by negative talk.’
‘I never thought of it like that,’ asked Rinku. ‘How much should we prepare and practice, bhaiyya?’
‘Until it becomes second nature,’ said Rakesh. ‘Work on every area that bothers you until you feel confident. Practice, get feedback, correct and practice again. Build little wins every day. Every extra repetition builds muscle to your confidence.’
‘What if we lose confidence before the event?’ asked Rinku.
‘Good question,’ said Rakesh. ‘Despite our preparation, we sometimes lose confidence. This loss of confidence is not real, it’s fuelled by scary stories that we tell ourselves. Stay in the present, stop telling yourself stories, trust your preparation and deliver what you have prepared for.’
‘Can we be confident if we have no time to prepare?’ asked Rahul.
‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Trust yourself. Tell yourself to do the best with what you have. It’s about what you know, not what you don’t know, so back yourself, own it and deal with the situation.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I feel more confident now.’
Pro Tip: Self-confidence is a skill and can be built with preparation. Just focus on what you know, work on areas of doubt and back yourself to handle what comes your way