How to Take Control of your Self Confidence

by Peter Murphy

Having confidence is all about believing in yourself and the only way you can build your belief in what you are capable of is by taking action in the world and learning through trial and error. If you think success, happiness and love are going to happen without learning through mistakes along the way you are mistaken. Our brains are wired to learn from our own experiences as well as those of others. Without experience how are you going to learn anything?

Let me give you an example. At my local bank a number of weeks ago I attempted to make small talk with the cashier and she completely ignored me. Last week I was in the bank and tried my small talk routine again, and again I failed. She ignored me again!

There are a number of ways to view this situation:

  1. My communication strategy is not working
  2. I need to change my approach
  3. I will learn from this experience and become better

A number of years ago I would have given this situation a different analysis:

  1. She is rude and ignorant. She thinks I am a moron
  2. I feel crushed by this blatant rejection
  3. My confidence depends on this person liking me

Notice the difference. My old outlook sets me up for pain and frustration and puts the ball in the court of the other person. My confidence depends on how the other person responds. My new outlook puts me in control. I created the results I am getting, I can choose to change my approach and I can decide to learn and grow from every experience.

A second point worth mentioning is that of wanting something from someone versus giving. When your approach (dealing with others) is "get something from them", you will always have confidence issues. Instead, view conversations as giving and you are back in control.

With the bank cashier if I want to get something from her I focus on wanting her to accept me and this neediness will be picked up by her. She is unlikely to respond positively to this. If instead I give what I want then I will decide to accept her. And she will receive my acceptance and likely reflect it back to me. My confidence then is based on giving - something I am in charge of not someone else.

Now it is time for you to take this information and put it into action. Think of a situation where you are typically not as confident as you would like to be. If the reason is due to a lack of knowledge or ability then work on that first. If you do have the necessary skills then decide to take action and learn step by step from every experience. Start with a small challenge and gradually step up to bigger ones.

Remember to use this outlook:

  1. What is working and what is not working?
  2. Change your approach until you get the results you want.
  3. Decide to learn from every experience

Your confidence is under your control and is not controlled by someone else!

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About the Author

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at:

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