How to Grow Your Confidence Step by Step
March 29, 2021
Confidence is the sureness of our abilities to do something and do it well with no self-doubt!
We all have certain situations where we are more confident than others. We are more confident in our areas of expertise and interest and profession.
How do you become more confident?
You can read, observe, watch videos, or listen to podcasts. What you have learned, you need to practice and practice some more until you become more confident in your abilities and you diminish your self-doubt.
You build confidence by taking one step at a time toward your end goal. Break apart what you want to achieve in small steps where you can see and feel yourself become more confident. If you didn’t succeed in one step, you don’t need to go back to the beginning. Just repeat the step you struggled with until you have it.
You don’t build confidence overnight. You will have to work at it.
For example, when you were little and learning to ride a bike, I suspect you started off with training wheels. They were intended to help you learn to ride a bike without getting hurt. You learned how to get on and off, how to stop by using the petals, and to gain confidence for when you took the next big step…. And the training wheels were taken off the bike.
Have there been times in your life when you wished you were more confident? I suspect that your answer is “yes.” Who doesn’t want more confidence?
One area in my professional life where I struggled with confidence was in my ability to write in a professional manner. I could write a lovely personal note, but when it came to writing for business, I struggled. I am more comfortable as a verbal communicator. I knew what I wanted to say, but it’s harder for me to put it in writing.
But I really, really wanted to write an article and be published! So I decided to do something about it by breaking it into “one step at a time.”
For the sake of a deeper example for you, here is my “one step at a time” process:
- I asked a trusted colleague if she would be willing to be my “accountability coach” for writing an article.
- We discussed my specific challenges, and we identified my topic.
- Drawing from my areas of expertise in career management, confidence and relationship building skills (content that I felt confident in), I chose to write about “Rebuilding Confidence After a Job Loss.” I believed that the emotional loss of losing a job needed to be discussed more.
- My colleague helped me get started when she said, “Just talk to me about this. Why are you so passionate about the subject?” After I told her why it mattered to me, she said, “That is your beginning.”
- Next, she told me to write in bullet format how someone would rebuild their confidence. After all, I have been developing resumes for years so I am the “queen of bullets!” I can do that, and I did!
- We are almost there…. How to end the article?
- Once again, she asked me a question. What do you want them to know about what you just said? I told her and she said, “That is your ending.”
Success in writing my first article!
- Two big discoveries along the way were: I felt confident about what I wrote about; My lack of confidence was in how to write it
- I learned that I could write by drawing on a process that comes easy to me. I was confident developing bullet statements that I could turn into sentences.
The story does not end there!
I was proud of my article and I wanted to see if anyone would be interested in publishing it, so people who were in a job transition could perhaps feel better about their situation.
I sent it to the marketing person at my company who in turn sent it to their PR firm. They loved the article and it got published on CareerBuilder and Monster and re-published a couple of more times.
I was ELATED! And I was hooked and determined to continue to improve my writing and confidence.
Over the years since that first article was published, I became Marketing’s “go to person” for either writing or contributing to article requests.
And then after I left that company, I got really daring and I wrote a whole book! That book, You, You, Me, You: The Art of Talking to People, Networking, and Building Relationships serves as the cornerstone of my consulting business.
This entire journey comes back to one of the most important things that helped me develop my confidence in writing: My willingness to say, “I am not good at it, but I’d like to learn.” I was open to advice on how to improve. I was willing to practice, and I sought guidance and feedback that helped me find my way.
And so, I ask you:
Around what skill do you want to increase your confidence?
What are you willing to do to make it happen?
Do you want to make sure you're happy in your next job?
Use this worksheet to clarify what you need in the next company you work for.