Confidence is critical to success. If you look around at the successful people you know and admire, one thing they likely have in common is confidence in themselves. Oh, they may have occasional bouts of self-doubt…that’s natural. But overall, to be successful in any endeavor requires a certain amount of core confidence because without this necessary component, we wouldn’t have the courage to pursue our goals and dreams in the first place.
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Core confidence can be improved
If you sometimes struggle from a lack of confidence then you know how much that lack of core confidence can hold you back in life. It can prevent you from pursuing things that are important to you because you don’t believe you’ll be able to achieve them. That lack of confidence keeps you playing small and from living up to your true potential.
But it is possible to improve your core confidence so that you can go after what you really want. The best way to develop your confidence is to develop your competence in certain areas. Once you’ve developed your competence, the confidence follows.
So what’s the difference between the two?
confidence vs. competence
Competence is having skill in a certain area. It’s the ability to do something well or efficiently. It’s something you’re good at.
Confidence, on the other hand, is the feeling of self-assurance that one gets from one’s own abilities or qualities.
So competence is a skill while confidence is a feeling.
how to improve your core confidence
If you suffer from a lack of confidence, you’re probably looking for ways to improve it. And the best way I know to improve your confidence is to improve the skills you know you need. The two go hand in hand and when you become more competent in certain skills, it tends to have a positive effect on your confidence.
And it makes sense when you think about it.
When you’re good at something, when you are certain of your ability and have internalized that competence, then it’s much easier to believe that you can achieve or do something because you know that you’ve go the skills that are necessary for making it happen.
In other words, you’ve got the chops to back it up.
How it works
For example, if you wanted to build a house but didn’t know how to use carpentry tools, the first thing you’d do is start learning what the tools are and how to use them. You’d perfect those skills until they were automatic and you didn’t even have to think about them. Once you’d mastered using the tools, you’d feel confident that you could build a house…because it would just be a matter of following a plan using the skills you’ve now incorporated into your repertoire.
Increasing your confidence in a certain area works the same way. You need to evaluate what skills are required to ensure success in a particular area and then go about developing those skills until they feel natural to you. It’s called automaticity and it’s when you know how to do something so well that you literally don’t have to think about it.
How to improve your competence in various skills
So how do you develop these skills?
- First you have to identify the skills you’re weak in and that you want to improve.
- Next, you make a plan to start learning one skill at a time. You can do this through taking a class, going to the library and checking out books to read (yes, you can teach yourself!), or by diving into something that requires the skill and learning it as you go.
- Once you decide on the approach that’s right for you, you do it repeatedly until you’re comfortable with the skill. You don’t necessarily have to do something for 10,000 hours to become proficient, but you do need a certain amount of times that you’ve done something before you feel like you know what you know what you’re doing.
- Then when you’ve increased your skill in one area, move on to the next skill.
Ideally, we’d all take steps to be constantly improving our competence in a variety of skills. Lifelong learning becomes not only a skill-building activity but a confidence booster as well.
It boils down to a simple phrase:
Increased confidence = improved confidence!
So what was the last thing that you learned how to do?