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 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?

How Do You Define Success?

In order to be successful at whatever you choose to do — career, relationships, hobbies, etc. — you need to know what it means to be successful. How would you know you’ve done it unless you know what it is?

So let’s hear from our individual readers: How do you define success?

Related questions: When is it useful to fail? Why are definitions important? How do you set goals?