When it comes to building confidence, a key ingredient is to gather evidence that you can do something and the only way to gather that evidence is to… do it. When we’ve done something a few times, we find it easier to feel confident. We can look back at the times we’ve done it before, we can delve into our evidence banks and remind ourselves how capable we are.
But what about when you’re doing something for the first time? You don’t have evidence that says you can do this, so it’s much easier to doubt yourself. Your impact bias might kick in, convincing yourself that the repercussions of it going wrong will be awful. You might decide it’s not worth the risk and retreat into doing what you know.
When we do this, we can become stuck. Our growth and confidence become stunted. Doing new things is essential if we want to grow and move forward. So how can we do this?
Get clear on your motivation
Before you do anything, it’s helpful to identify exactly why you want to do it. Is the motivation coming from you, or someone else? If the pressure to do it is coming from external sources (for example societal pressure), you’ll likely find it difficult to push through the fear. Ask yourself why you want to do this, how will this help you grow as a person? Try journaling on this to help you gain clarity.
Take an experimental approach
This is something I’ve been doing a lot lately. When you approach new things like experiments, it takes the pressure off. You simply want to see what happens. You can make notes along the way (what feels good? What doesn’t?) and see any missteps as information to inform your next experiment.
Focus on the next step
When we’re doing something new that we feel fear about, it can feel like we’re climbing a mountain. Looking up at the looming mountain and thinking about how far you have to go can be enough to root you to the spot. Instead, look down at your feet and focus on the next step. Then the next. Then the next.
Think about the small steps you can take to help you do the new thing, ignore the mountain and just look at the next step. In time you’ll find yourself at the top (and I promise, the view will be worth the climb!).
Lean on your support system
We all need support sometimes and when we’re trying something new it can be really helpful to have some cheerleaders by your side. This may be friends and family, your social media community or even someone like a coach. Whoever forms your support network, lean on them. Let them hold you from time to time and let their encouragement lift you up.
Every step you take towards doing something new is a step you’ve never taken before – and that’s worth celebrating! Try to stay mindful during the process and make a note of every win (this is evidence gathering). Find ways to celebrate your wins in a way that feels good to you.
Be open to different routes
Recently I wrote about reframing failure as redirection and this is an important mindset shift to make when trying something new. When you’re climbing the mountain, you might come up against a block in your path. Something fails. Something doesn’t go to plan. This doesn’t have to mean giving up, it might just mean you need to try a different route.
I hope these tips were helpful, I’d love to hear if you’re trying something new right now – let me know over on Instagram. And if you’re looking to grow your confidence, stay tuned because I’m currently writing the second book in my Growth Spurt series, Vegetative + Budding, which will focus on building confidence and finding your purpose.
To get your hands on the first book in the series, Sprout + Seedling, which looks at starting your self-worth journey, subscribe to my newsletter and you’ll get it as a free gift.
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