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?

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?

What Do We Have In Common?

Everyone is unique. Their DNA and their experiences make them unlike anyone else.

But, on the other hand, we all share things in common, simply by the nature of being human beings. What are those things we all share, despite the color of our skin, despite the political party we belong to, despite the language we speak, despite our economic class, and despite whatever god or gods we do or don’t believe in?

What do we have in common?

Related questions: Why do we care what people think of us? What makes a personal bond? What are the advantages and disadvantages to being the same? Why do we feel the need to belong?

Why Do We Feel The Need To Belong?

The only thoughts I’ll ever truly know are my own. And yet, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to not be alone.

People spend their lives trying to belong: to a spouse, to a family, to a tribe, to a cause, to a country. Where does this need to be more than an individual come from?

Why do we feel the need to belong?

Related questions: Why do we care what strangers think of us? What does it mean to belong to a country? What are our responsibilities to others?

Why Do We Care What Strangers Think Of Us?

Public speaking is a common fear. People, it seems, are afraid of embarrassing themselves in front of a large audience.

Why should that be? If someone speaks in front of a large group of strangers, why should their reaction matter? Setting aside an instance, say, like a job interview, where a stranger’s impression of you has something to do with your future, what difference should it make whether complete strangers, who we have never met before and will never see again, should like or approve of us?

Why do we care what strangers think of us?

Related questions: Where do our fears come from? When is embarrassment a good thing? Why do we behave differently alone or in large groups?