Even if you’re not naturally a confident person, I’m guessing there are things you know inside out that would impress someone who doesn’t know. And in those things, you can be confident. We’ve talked elsewhere about what it takes to get good at something, and how you’ve managed it before. Spending time on something is how you go from nothing to skilled, and it’s also how you get confident.
Of course the barrier to get over is often so big that it puts us right off trying, especially if we’d call ourselves unconfident people in general. The key is to not give up until after the hardest part. And not giving up is the hardest part! You can’t see any benefits yet, and all you can see is the pain you’re going through. Why carry on?
If you can make the shift from seeing yourself as an unconfident person to realising that confidence is dependent on experience and fear of the consequences of failure, you can begin to grow in confidence in new areas, as you decide to try anyway. Remember that failure is usually how we learn, so being afraid of it will actually keep you locked up and unable to learn new things. You might be experiencing this already.
How about if you found some way of exercising your confidence muscles in a lower-impact situation? Maybe think of something that you are good at and see if you can combine that with something that you would like to get better at – like take your epic knitting skills and teach someone how to begin, if you’re not confident around people. Using something you know inside out will help stop you from feeling like the other person will judge you for not talking with as much authority as you’d like, as they’ll be won over by the skills you’re showing.
Confidence comes from experience. And experience comes from trying things and failing, and then trying again and succeeding. It doesn’t come overnight. But if you’re not confident at the moment, you can build it up by not giving up.
Finally, I want to say that in a way, confidence is the whole goal of this project. With confidence, you can do just about anything. Without it, you will stop yourself doing anything. Really understanding yourself will start to give you more confidence in yourself bit by bit. And it will start to show up in all the parts of your life.