What’s the #1 way to build confidence?

Take action – even when the outcome isn’t guaranteed!

When you hear the words “risk” and “failure” what’s your fist reaction – to move towards or away from them?

If you’re like most people (including me), your instinct is to avoid, rather than embrace the possibility of risk or failure. But despite the very human desire to stay safe, taking action when you can’t be sure of exactly what will happen is the key to strengthening your confidence muscle. As Katty Kay and Claire Shipman wrote in their book, The Confidence Code:

“Nothing builds confidence like taking action, especially when the action involves risk or failure. When in doubt, act.”

Great advice, but how do you deal with the fear of failure that may be keeping you stuck in the first place? Here are three strategies to help you shift how you think about failure so you can amplify your confidence and start taking action now.

  • Acknowledge your attitude. Do you take failure personally and see it as evidence that you’ll never achieve your goals? How is that impacting your confidence and progress? Redefine your view of failure if your current thinking is undermining your belief in yourself and your willingness to take action.
  • Look for the lessons. Think about a few instances where you feel you failed. What did you learn from those experiences? Reflecting on what didn’t work can fuel your resilience and help you grow – personally and professionally.
  • Find the opportunities. What new insights, ideas and approaches were sparked by the lessons you learned when things didn’t go according to plan? With that knowledge, how can you do things differently to achieve your initial goal? Are there new areas to explore that you didn’t originally see?

“I have not failed 10,000 times I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

So the next time fear is threatening to stop you from pursuing your goals, ambitions and dreams, remember: when you view failure as an opportunity to learn, grow and innovate, success is already yours.

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