How to Gain Confidence in the Pursuit of Success

Thinking about ConfidenceSalutations, mes amis! I am so excited about going forward and confident as we approach the future of 2013.

As Søren Kierkegaard said, “life is understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.”

It’s 7:28 pm as I work on this post and the eve of a new year, but after the many rewrites, coffee breaks, sleep time and more rewrites, it will officially be 2013 when published. So, in the spirit of celebration, I salute you, your confident journey forward and visions of success as we all embark on 2013.

2012 has been a struggle for many, myself included, but the new year brings a sense of hope and optimism as we go forward and accept the newness of life unfolding, with our collective confidence at a high. The question is, how do we nurture confidence throughout the year, while we pursue our dreams?

Confidence requires acceptance and faith. I’m referring to faith in your ability to create the life you want and accepting that grass grows all by its self. Life will always present opportunities and challenges, as it unfolds before you. Do me a favour, stop at this very moment. Right now. Look around you and sense life. You’re surrounded by people you know and don’t know, animals and insects, plants and the weather. These things are constant and interacting, with or without you. Life is a hub of activity.

As people in the pursuit of a life that means something, we work as best we can with the skills we have to do what needs to be done. Sometimes we’re effective and other times not. The defeats are not indications of flaws, but evidence of our humanness and capacity for growth.

Confidence is a concoction of optimism and the ability to be objective. Your past has already happened and you have some control over your future. The choices you make today and the attitude you wear day-to-day will decide how flexible and willing you are to creating something to be proud of at the end of your journey. I truly believe we all have a very personal journey in life and only we know what it is. No one can decide for you.

Pay attention to your instinct. It keeps no secrets from you and when you listen you gain confidence in your ability to make valuable choices. The wonderful thing about life is every new day, every minute, presents an opportunity to make a decision that supports your core beliefs. Develop blind faith in your ability to create the life of your choice, one habit-forming step at a time. Everyday is an opportunity to replace unproductive habits with productive ones. Just persevere.

Confidence is tracking your progress. Take the time to reflect on past accomplishments and acknowledge them. I do this throughout the year. It’s my compass, my barometer and when I keep tabs on my progress I gain confidence in my ability to achieve outcomes.

Journalling, graphic cues and my daily planner work for me because I’m overwhelmed by the details of tasks and dates on a spreadsheet. Also, I won’t refer back to a spreadsheet once it’s created so the purpose of keeping one is defeated. I’ve found that I like to create evidence of my activities and goals through visual cues that I create. Such as index cards which I tac to my wall, journalling at the end of the day which helps me reflect on the days challenges and successes and keeping on top of tasks in my daily planner.

There are so many ways to keep track of your progress and achievements; journalling, vision boards, mapping, visual brainstorming of ideas, daily planners and spreadsheets with outlined goals and dates, etc. The trick is to write it down somewhere and organize it in a way that is easy to access and makes sense to you. Information gathered about you and your day is gold, because it develops skills to keep you focused on what’s important to you.

Check out Getting Things Done by David Allen. He’s referenced by many entrepreneurs and is important to anyone interested in information on being organized and productive.

Confidence comes from feeling good about your life. Barbara Fredrickson, author of Positivity, has helped us understand the group of emotions that are central to persistence, innovation and success. Self generating positive emotions help people bounce back from setbacks. Negative emotions undermine the brains capacity to think broadly and find creative solutions. The well of emotions such as joy, hope, amusement, gratitude, interest and appreciation act as buoyant emotions that work as a kind of reset button when setbacks happen and confidence fades.

External confidence comes from your house, your car, your position, your looks and your connections. These things can be lost in a moment and with it the confidence you thought you had. Core confidence, is derived from achievements and not possessions. Aim to focus on your core confidence, with external confidence playing a secondary role.

I found this gem on 99u. It’s a short lecture given by Teresa Amabile. She talks about tracking your small wins to motivate big accomplishments.

If you liked this post, please share it with your circle of friends and acquaintances. If you want to share your insights and tips, leave a comment, it’s always appreciated.

Until next time, be well. Filio .

6 thoughts on “How to Gain Confidence in the Pursuit of Success

  1. Thanks for these encouraging insights; so much truth here. I’ve journaled regarding my personal life for several years, which has been extremely helpful; maybe now’s the time to start adding more reflections specifically on my creative projects.

  2. Another great post Filio. “These things are constant and interacting, with or without you.” – great line, nice work.

  3. This post came out timely. there are days that I feel a bit down and out of tune and this post shared something that inspires and motivates. I agree, “Confidence comes from feeling good about your life.” No matter how things turn out to be, we should always appreciate our blessings and look at our life as part of those blessings.

    • I’m so glad the post inspired you… I think confidence is something everyone struggles with at some time or another. Myself included. Sometimes we underestimate our environment too. Winters can be the most difficult for us on the Pacific West Coast of BC. January and February can be brutal with its grey clouds and lack of sun.

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