When I talk to my clients, I often hear people say “I don’t have confidence”.
Have you experienced that you didn't have confidence at all? Probably yes, right? And I have the feeling quite often too.
It happens when you start to do something new, go to a new place, face something unknown, and/or don’t get the result you want. And it is very normal to lose your confidence and/or cannot find your confidence. So you are not alone!
Let’s think where “confidence” comes from, how to regain your confidence, and how to tackle activities when you don't have confidence.
For example, I had ZERO confidence when I did my first training session. I prepared as much as possible, however, I had never met any of the audience before, I was not an expert of the topic, and I had never done training sessions before!
When can you say “I have confidence”? Probably it happens when:
You do something with enough knowledge and experience
You feel your past experience can be used
You have enough preparation and practice
Can you think of any other situation where you can build your confidence?
All the situations above tell you that your experience and preparation support you to build your confidence. It is very true that you feel comfortable and confident by repeating activities over and over.
When I relocated to the States, I had a driver’s license from my home country, but I didn’t have confidence in my driving skills. Because I was not familiar with the streets and areas as well as I didn’t drive much when I was in Japan. But after driving hesitantly every day, I started to feel less hesitant to drive local streets. Also, after driving highways enough, I didn’t have to avoid highways. I still don’t like driving highways especially when I go somewhere I have never been to, but still, I have confidence that I can drive.
So my question is “Is it impossible to feel confident even if you don’t have any experience and/or cannot prepare enough?”
When I looked at a Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “confidence” is defined as
a feeling or consciousness of one's powers or of reliance on one's circumstances
faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
the quality or state of being certain
a relation of trust or intimacy
reliance on another's discretion
a communication made in confidence
It sounds like if you can believe in yourself and your ability, it is possible to be confident even if you don’t have enough experience, knowledge, or preparation. And people know this. However, many people feel it is difficult to have confidence without experience, knowledge, and/or preparation.
On the other hand, if you can say “I am confident”, what does it mean? What are you confident about?
Is it the confidence to be successful and/or to be good at?
I have heard this: “It is not necessarily true that people who can challenge new things with confidence and people who can jump into unknown circumstances without hesitation believe they will be successful. They just know they can get over even if they make mistakes and/or face failures, and it gives them confidence.”
This story gives me great insight. People who can perform anything with strong confidence don’t always have to believe their big successes. Also, it is true that even if you fail, it doesn’t lead to an awful result but probably just feeling bad/shameful or spending a bit more money and/or time than you wished. It might be the reason why you hesitate to try as you believe you have to be successful when you are not confident of being successful. However, if you can believe it is normal to fail and it is very important to learn something new from the failure, you might be able to take the first step. What do you think?
It is reckless if you start an IT company as IT is a hot industry without any IT background/knowledge. Reckless is different from challenging. Also, having confidence doesn’t mean to be snobbish nor besing less modest.
Join a workshop that interest you, start learning something new, and/or transfer your career into a new role/industry are challenges. However, you might be able to tackle these challenges if you believe you can learn from your failure and keep moving forward even if you don’t have confidence in success. I believe you can build your confidence in various actions by keep challenging if you can believe in the learning and motivation of moving forward.
With Intercultural C&C, we can have sessions to focus on your feelings, anxiety, and/or wishes. Having a conversation regarding your fear can be very helpful when you know you have to do something, but you are hesitating to do so.
Please let me know what you have in mind.