It’s not as hard as you think it is
Ever since my college days, I’ve always felt somewhat confident. When came time to work on difficult projects, I’d jump in and do my best, not worrying much about how I’d fail.
I started my first business developing custom software for businesses at the age of 19, only one and a half years into my college degree. Looking back, I must admit I had no f***ing clue what I was doing. Yet somehow I had the balls to show up at clients’ door and sell my skills.
I certainly wasn’t always that way.
My confidence level took a dip going from primary school to high school. I became way more introverted and shy. I wasn’t confident enough to raise my hand in class, fearing asking a dumb question and getting ridiculed. Not that it ever happened (as far as I can remember), that was all in my head.
I had never given much thought on how I gained my confidence back in college and beyond. And most importantly, in the past 9 months or so.
Until, from High Performance Habit — by Brendon Burchard — I read the chapter titled “The #1 Thing”.
In short, the one thing that makes high performers so good in the six habits is their confidence.
Raise your confidence, raise your performance. It’s that simple.
When I took the self-assessment that comes with the book, I did get a pretty good score (4.25 / 5), but I’ve still got a long way to go if I want to be in the top 15% of High Performers (4.67).
That made me reflect on how I gained the confidence level I have today. Let me share with you some my own findings and those from Burchard’s life-changing book.
Benefits of Having a High Confidence
*All credit to Brendon Burchard’s research for this section.
I’ll start with little gems from the book. It’s all backed by data, so do yourself a favor and trust in it.
When someone is more confident, they consistently have greater:
- Necessity; and
These are what Burchard calls the HP6.
Here are other important benefits:
- Overall happier life;
- Love for taking on new challenges;
- Feeling of making a difference in the world;
- Less likely to burn out from work;
- More willing to say no;
- More sure what to focus on;
- Less prone to distractions; and
- More likely to work out.
Feeling inspired yet?
That gets me fired up! I want all of the above, and now I have a roadmap to make it happen.
Do you see that raising your confidence really does help you get rid of so many issues in your life?
I know it did for me.
Read on for tried and true ways to raise that ever so important confidence level of ours!
True Way to Raise Your Confidence
“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings” — Samuel Johnson
Myth Busted — Self-confidence is not given to you at birth.
No one is born self-confident. It’s something you have to build yourself. This should be encouraging for everyone. I’ve certainly seen that in my own life. All high performers attest to that truth, according to Burchard’s research.
Easier said than done, right?
While it’s true it’s not easy to do, there are ways to make that happen.
Think about these simple questions:
- Were you more confident on your first day of school, or after a few weeks?
- Were you more confident on your first day at work, or after a few weeks?
- Were you more confident on your first day at the gym, or after a few weeks?
This reflection leads to three pillars for raising competence: Do more, learn more, reflect more.
Let’s start with a very important point, and something you should *almost* always tell yourself: “Screw failure”.
Experiment in an environment where it’s okay to “fail”. Remember, in experimentation, failure doesn’t exist.
“I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison
Remember above when I said my confidence increased dramatically in the past 9 months or so?
In retrospect, it wasn’t by accident: I started doing more. A sh*t-ton more!
In the past 7 months alone, I’ve started more than 6 projects, sold a video game on Steam, wrote two books (with two more coming), gained 7kg of muscles, lost 2% body fat, connected with “big-shots” worldwide, lived in 3 countries, gave talks, became a contributor to some of the top publications in the world, deliberately learned 27 new skills, and more.
I’m not saying that to brag, but rather to give you an idea of what it means to do more. Now, this is what I’ve achieved.
To achieve all that, I had to consistently write every day, work out every day, chip away at my games and books every day, reach out to influencers frequently, seek out talk opportunities regularly, pitch to publications weekly, and learn 3 new skills a month — practicing for 30 minutes a day each. All that while reading *way* more books and spending more time with my wife.
Good time management goes a long way. Stewartship delegation is also crucial. Message me if you’d like some quick guidance on both of those.
I hinted at that in the section above. 9 months ago, I started deliberately learning 3 new skills every month, practicing 30 minutes each every day.
My growth has been phenomenal. My confidence sky-rocketed.
If there’s one truth you must know about learning, it’s this one:
The more you learn, the faster you learn. The faster you learn, the more confident you become.
I was researching for the best ways to learn faster. People give some good tips out there, but the truth is, the more you learn, the faster you learn. It’s that simple.
According to Learning to Learn on Coursera, Barbara Oakley says that “chunks” of knowledge you acquire for a specific skill helps you more quickly assimilate the knowledge required for other skills.
I’ve certainly experienced that.
Learning new skills has been my obsession, and the object of my most recent project. Sign up for my newsletter for more information and early access to a platform I’m building to accelerate your learning.
What good is doing and learning if you don’t take the time to reflect on results you got, whether they be good or bad.
There are many ways to do that:
- Have monthly goals and review them at the end of the month. At the end of every month, write down what you want to accomplish for the month. Be precise. Quantify and qualify your goals. How much money do you want to make? How are you going to make it? What projects do you want to complete? How are you going to complete them? Who do you want to connect with? How are you going to reach out to them?
- Have weekly reviews. At the end of every week, reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and how you can do better. Did you accomplish your weekly goals? Why? Why not? How can you do better next week?
- Journal frequently. When I started journaling 7 months ago, I thought I’d have nothing to write and generally thought it was a dumb idea. But I tried it nonetheless. It changed my life. I have so much more clarity. A few times a week, sit down with pen and paper and simply write down anything that comes to mind. It’s so liberating. You learn so much about yourself that you didn’t even know yourself. Try asking yourself “why” 3, 5, or 7 times. It’s eye opening.
Developing your confidence can be done by developing your competence. Competence can be built by doing more, learning more, and reflecting more.
It’s simple in theory. Apply the strategies above to make it just as easy in practice. With consistency, you’ll become a high performer yourself, and live the life you’ve always wanted to live!
You can do this!
Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing! :)
First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/a-simple-yet-powerful-way-to-boost-your-confidence-according-to-high-performers-1c3af8ab08ff