Whatever level of success we are currently at in our lives, finding ways to boost confidence is always an important ingredient. As we accomplish more, we see new things. New opportunities appear that weren’t visible previously and different challenges appear. As a result of this, we require a new way of thinking which means challenging our current patterns. Furthermore, it necessitates us getting out of our comfort zone. Moreover, as this goes against our natural tendency for our brain to keep us safe at all cost, many people stay where they are. So, how we do we overcome this?
One of the best ways to overcome staying in a ‘comfort’ zone is to build intrinsic belief and boost confidence. We do this by taking action and being consistent with our actions. Moreover, the most significant news is that our actions don’t have to be major physical challenges or super-human activities. Simple tasks, which, when we do them consistently, make us feel good about ourselves. What follows, is we prove to ourselves we are the type of person who is reliable, and this adds to our sense of self and identity.
Action is the best way to boost confidence and build belief
Recently I created a 66-day challenge. It was partly selfish as I wanted to overcome my dislike of cold water showers, but mainly to support other people and because:
- Firstly, there is little proof that supports the common theory that it takes around 21 days to build a habit. Consequently, I wanted to make it a more realistic time-frame.
- Secondly, recent research cites it takes a minimum of 66 days and anything up to 365 days to create a lasting habit. Habits are the foundation of our success, shape our identity and drive our lives. Furthermore, as a Mindset Coach, I know that most people take way longer than 21 or 30 days to lock in lasting helpful habits.
- Thirdly, inconsistency in actions and thoughts erode self-belief and confidence. By sticking with the same behaviour for 66 days we prove that we can be consistent despite our previous failed attempts. Voila! We have a way to boost confidence and build belief. Vital ingredients for grit and a positive mindset.
Make the behaviour easy to do in relation to your time available
The only condition is the challenge had to be easy and feel doable. Easy enough that it didn’t take too much time, feel hard or make you run for cover. Otherwise, the odds for failure increase exponentially.
A few of the simple behaviours my clients chose are:
- Two minutes of daily planning
- Daily review at the completion of the day
- Ten minutes updating a database
- Banning Social Media between 9 and midday
- Turning on the cold shower for a few seconds at the end of a shower, (that was mine!) – said to aid circulation.
- Drinking two extra glasses of water a day
- Eating one piece of fruit a day
- Reading 3 daily inspirations, twice a day
- 20 minutes walking, four times a week.
On the surface, nothing instantly life-changing. Simple and relatively pain-free. Yet, in the pursuit of our lofty goals, we tend to start out enthusiastically, but as we get further from the starting point, it wavers. Small steps are critical to maintaining our progress and to boost confidence.
We give ourselves reasons and excuses to justify our lack of consistency
Next, we make up reasons why it’s okay to skip today, or, we let ourselves get distracted by bright shiny objects as our brain seeks variety. So we lose focus and quit. Consequently, we feel disappointed and when we need it most, we don’t have the confidence we need. Furthermore, we are left open for criticism and negativity to creep in, which further diminishes confidence.
However, when we commit and stick with doing the things we say we will, however small, we prove to ourselves that we can do what we say we will do. We become reliable. And herein lies the key. The first person we have to sell our goals and dreams to is ourselves! In addition, every time we have a small win our brain releases feel-good chemicals in the form of dopamine.
The dopamine receptors trigger feelings of reward that make your brain say “do it more.” This positively affects your motivation and helps hardwire your new helpful behaviour so it becomes a habit. It also builds your willpower, another essential of a Mindset for Success.
To boost confidence beware of your inner thoughts and stories.
As we feel better about ourselves, we build belief, reliability and boost confidence. Especially relevant is that it helps ward off criticism and makes us more willing to tackle bigger things. Slowly our inner story changes to support our better thoughts and we begin to re-shape our beliefs and turn unhelpful habits into winning habits. Ultimately this positively impacts our identity and our results.
What that means in plain English, is that you can retrain your brain to believe you can do the things you want to do. So, here are a few questions for you:
- How consistent are you in doing the things you say you will? Congratulations if you are one of the few who are.
- If not, what area of your life do lack consistency?
- What is the cost of being inconsistent?
- And what result could you get if you were more reliable and consistent?
Remember, how we do one thing is how we do everything! So an inconsistent pattern in one area is likely to show up in other areas of your life.
How you do one thing is how you do everything
‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.’ – Aristotle
So my challenge to you is to pick your one new tiny behaviour. Diarise it, do it, stick with it for 66 days and prove to yourself that you can break this poor habit. This is the simplest way to boost confidence gradually and build a solid foundation for your future success. Perhaps most importantly, it helps create a habit of excellence. From here it’s easier to then create another one and another one.
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About the Author
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