Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong

pexels-photo-576739I was involved in an interesting debate in work recently. Can you do a ‘course’ to build confidence and motivation?

I think that implies that these are ‘skills’ to be learnt. I’m not so sure that applies here.

Confidence, to me, is an inner belief in your ability to successfully complete, or at least attempt, something. Confidence increases the more often you achieve the outcome of a task. You can train to do a particular activity, but confidence comes from doing it well. It is useful when tackling a problem, when faced with making a decision, and particularly for convincing others to follow your lead.

Motivation is the desire to complete the job at hand. It will see you overcome hurdles, push through obstacles, and do your absolute best to get to the end. It helps you learn from any perceived failure, and try a different approach if necessary.

Put the two together and you have a recipe for success: resilience.

Think about day-to-day activities you are really interested in doing, no matter how small they are. How do you feel when they are completed? Happy, proud, content, ambitious, challenged, enthused……? That’s your motivation, comes from your values, and varies from person to person.

Do you know what your values are? Probably, but we don’t tend to actively think of them. Take half an hour, maybe when out walking on your own, and have an honest conversation with yourself about what really matters in your life: family, friends, colleagues, health, wealth, religion, politics, sport, hobbies, pets……..

There are no right or wrong answers, but whatever you agree to go on your list are the triggers for your motivation. If what you intend to do has a positive impact on your values, then it matters.

Now, look ahead.

What does tomorrow, next week, next month or next year hold for you? Set goals that stretch you, but are important to you (not what others think are important). If where you want to get to, who you want to be, or what you want to achieve are special to you, that’s the battle lines drawn.

Can you plan a route to get you there?

If what you want is a big ask, break it down into smaller bits. Take them in order, one at a time. Tick them off as you achieve them, bank as a confidence-builder and move onto the next stage, until the overall job is done. If it means enough to you, anything is possible.

Too often we hold ourselves back not through failure, but fear of failure.

Confidence and motivation are two huge drivers of personal progress. Without those, there is a risk that you will just drift: complacency becomes your enemy. Long term goals may end up being set aside for short term rewards.

Understanding your values, creates motivation. Being successful feeds confidence. In turn they build resilience, and to some extent also contribute to your happiness. Nothing beats being happy, one of the most powerful of motivators.

Whatever it is you love, find time and space for it.

Life is short. Make the most of it, confidently.

Not through a training course, but the course of your life.

Big decisions can be scary, but if your preferred outcome is something you really want, then go for it with confidence.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain.

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