We all want to be confident: confident in our work, confident in our thinking, confident in our relationships. We feel that we are lacking in confidence, sometimes to the point of fearfulness. We hold ourselves back, telling ourselves that we will move forward when we are more confident. But what does this really mean?

What is Confidence?

Confidence is the belief that, in the long run, things will work out for the best. Confident people are willing to take chances, strong in this belief in the inevitability of a positive outcome. They try new things, meet new people, start new businesses, and make long-term plans.

Confidence is the belief that, when all things are considered, you will be up to the task. You will be able to handle the challenges and difficulties that will arise; in short, you believe that you will succeed. Confident people recognize that some failure is inherent in taking chances; this potential failure is called risk. However, when you are confident, you are saying that you will succeed more than you will fail, and usually you will have a lot more success than failure.

Confident people also have a positive outlook about the universe. They feel that the universe will usually provide positive results. The universe is not malevolent, out to get you and beat you down; instead, the universe is one of growth and development, of beauty and support.

How to Get Confidence

Many people have a problem with this belief. They remember when bad things happened, and project that bad things will continue to happen. Instead of believing in growth and development, they believe in pain and rejection. "That new person will laugh at me rather than like me." "That new business will fail, leaving me in debt and poverty." "I will never be able to get in shape, and all the hard work will be for nothing." These are the beliefs held by many people who lack confidence.

Confidence is not an all or nothing proposition. You need to realize that confidence grows with practice, like many other skills. Confidence can be learned, developed, enhanced, and improved. By starting at your current level of ability, you can become much, much more confident.

To start to build confidence, you need to focus on the things that you have done well. Find one area of activity where you can get the job done. It does not have to be a big area; maybe you cook well, or have a good yard. Maybe you can read well, write well, or converse well. Find an area where you are capable.

Every day, write down something that you did well. The area of your success is a good place to start. Regardless, write down something positive. Our memories are filled with negative results, and we need to dilute that negativity. So write down something good every day.

Whenever you want to try something new, read your success journal. This journal will show you that you can do things well. Then you will have a more positive attitude towards the new thing you are about to try. Make a note that you have tried something new. When you succeed, make an extra note in your journal.

Confidence is a matter of thinking that you can and will rather than you cannot and will not. This belief can be inspired by looking at your past successes rather than your past failures. The world then becomes a much better place.

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.