How Can We Build Confidence?

You need a certain amount of confidence to do anything that involves some risk, like speaking in public, starting a business, righting a wrong, or standing up for yourself or for others. Why will your book, or blog, or podcast, or request for a raise, succeed? You need to have confidence that what you are doing is worthwhile.

Often, perhaps too often, lacking confidence in our ideas or our talents prevents us from taking risks, and while that might keep us from failing it also keeps us from stretching and doing something worthwhile.

How can we get past this? How can we build confidence?

Related questions: How do you define success? When is it useful to fail? Why do we care what strangers think of us? Why do we put up with unhappiness?

When Is Doubt Helpful?

Our doubts can range from healthy skepticism to unhealthy paralysis. Everything from questioning someone’s intentions to doubting our faith (or lack of it) can be beneficial or crisis-inducing.

When is doubt helpful? Or, more specifically, how do you know when it’s good to listen to that inner voice of doubt?

Related questions:  What do you do that you shouldn’t?, When is it useful to fail?, What is necessary to change your mind?, How important is intuition?

What Do You Do That You Shouldn’t?

We all do things that we know are bad for us, for our individual selves or for our society or for our environment. And yet for one reason or another, for pleasure or convenience, for personal ease or peer pressure, we do them anyway.

What do you do that you know you shouldn’t?

Related questions: How much of our thoughts are our own? What are our responsibilities to others? How do you define success? When is it useful to fail?

When is it useful to fail?

The saying goes, “I would have rather have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.”  Is this true?  Don’t some failures have far too lasting and unwanted consequences?  Still, we would learn or experience very little if we stuck to doing what’s already comfortable to us.  And, trying new things we might fail at for awhile can be enriching and exciting.

So, when is it useful to fail?  What level of failure do you find acceptable?  What are your limits?

Related questions:  How do you define success?  Do we learn more from our successes or failures?  Is it okay to be wrong sometimes?