Gaining confidence can be difficult, particularly if you are just starting after a history of not having any. If you have a list of situations where you did not accomplish what you set out to get done, or you have not gotten what you strived for, confidence can be in short supply. One way to get started is to get your confidence not from within, but from without. You can begin your journey towards self-confidence by depending on others for the first dose of belief.

Gaining from the Belief of Others

Les Brown says “Sometimes you have to believe in what others say about you before you can believe in yourself.” What that means to me is that I need to believe that others can see things I cannot. There is a concept called the Johari Window, which states that you have four areas to your personality, based on what you know and what others know. One of those areas is what others know about you that you do not know. This is the area where you can get help from others with your confidence.

You need to find someone whose opinion you are willing to trust without proof. This could be a relative, a friend, or a colleague; however, I would suggest you go outside your comfort zone. Such a person is a good candidate as a mentor for you, if they are willing. Regardless, you need to get them to give you an honest appraisal of you, both your strengths and weaknesses. You could also get their suggestions about what you could do to improve your successes.

Once you have gotten their input, then you need to ride your faith in them. You might not believe what they say, but you can believe in them. So if they say you can do something, go ahead and do it, despite your fears and doubts. Many times they are right and you are wrong. If that is the case this time, you can then start to expand on that area, doing more of what they suggest. You will begin to see that you can do things, accomplish tasks, and get results. And from that you can plant the seed of your own self-confidence.

Why This Technique Works

All too many people have a very negative belief in themselves. For years, people have told what they cannot or should not do. They have been told “No” so many times that the word has become part of their internal world picture. Whenever something new, different, or challenging comes up, their subconscious immediately says not to move forward, so they do not move. Denial of progress has become a habit.

One of the reasons this happens is because we tend to remember the negative results more clearly than the positive. We remember the pain of failure rather than the pleasure of accomplishment. Unless you work at controlling your thoughts, the failures will be stored in your memory with more vividness than all the times things worked out as planned. So when you delve into your memory for evidence to support your budding confidence, all you get is negative memories, and your confidence withers.

You need to start keeping a journal of your successes, so that you can remember all the times things worked. Since most people have not done that, they can get some of that evidence from others who do remember, who do rely upon you, and who do believe you can get the job done. Their belief in you can give you the confidence to move forward.

Author's Bio: 

John Steely has been teaching mathematics, study skills, and habits of success for over 25 years. This material comes from a course on Deep Self Confidence offered on his website.