Fake it till you make it

One thing I have struggled with over the years is gaining confidence in myself. It’s something I have been working on through my personal development and self discovery journey. What I have found is if you continuously take yourself out of your comfort zone then confidence gradually begins to build. For many people, when you lack confidence, the first thing you want to do it hide from the world. Fear of being judged, failing at what you set out to accomplish, or just not living up to your own standards are all reasons to hold yourself back from the things you enjoy doing. My goal for myself is to continue to push myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis to prove to myself that I am capable of accomplishing goals, having fun, and that the only person judging me….is me.

The first step in doing this is to list areas of your life where you would like to see improvements and admitting to yourself where your weaknesses lie. Maybe you have confidence in your social life, but lack it in your career or vice versa. Online social media has made it possible to appear confident on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc, but it’s a whole other issue when it comes to actual face to face networking. My recommendation for increasing confidence in the job/networking sector of your life is to get out from behind your computer and attend events in your area. Many cities have clubs or groups that hold networking events every so often. Attending these and building your confidence in talking to people, selling yourself and making connections will always have more long term benefits than the “connections” you have online.

On the other hand, if your social life is your area of weakness, there are many things you can do to up the confidence in this department. Depending on what your personality is like and what you enjoy doing, but may be holding yourself back from , there is a group or a club somewhere that can help. Even though you may be tempted and may be able to come up with a million excuses to say “no” to party invites, clubs, sporting events, happy hour, etc, these are the times when you have to force yourself out the door kicking and screaming to go meet new people and have a good time. After all, you deserve to have fun in life! Remember, the only person judging you is you. Let your true self shine through in everything you do in life. Everyone has their own amazing qualities about themselves and it’s only fair that you not be afraid to share them with the world.

Honestly, if nothing else go with the old saying and “fake it till you make it”. Everyone has their insecurities, but many people you would never know by looking at them. Pick someone in your life that you admire because of their carefree, confident attitude and model their behavior. Eventually you’ll find that you won’t be faking it anymore.

So, my mission is continue to try new things, meet new people and force myself out of my cozy little comfort zone on a regular basis. Yesterday I did something I have always wanted to do since I was a kid, but have never had the chance to and have never fully pursued it. That something is….I rode a horse for the first time in my life.

Now, this may not seem like a big deal to many of you because most people have ridden a horse sometime in their life, but for me it was a very big deal. I was totally outside of my comfort zone on this one. Horses are huge animals and as I was getting on the horse I had visions of being thrown off or the horse suddenly taking off running with me flailing around. I am happy to say that it went very well and I had so much fun 😀 Confidence points for Tracey = +1!

Resources:
Meetup.com
Linkedin.com
Columbus Young Professionals (for Columbus, OH peeps)

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
– Henry David Thoreau

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