Updated: Nov 18, 2018
You’d be surprised at the number of times I get asked the question: “How do I become more confident?”. I get asked this very question: via social media, in emails and even in person. There's always someone that wants to know what my secret is and how they can also develop a certain level of confidence in their life.
Now, while the question itself is not the problem, it does make me feel slightly uncomfortable when I am expected to answer it as I never really know how to. This is simply because I recognise that ‘confidence’ is immeasurable, and while someone may appear confident, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they actually are. For example, to some I might be confident because I am able to stand on stage and speak to an audience, or perhaps because I post up videos about my life on a platform that millions of people have access to. And while to a degree, those things do take a certain level of confidence, what most people don’t take into consideration is that confidence: is not the absence of fear which provides the space for you to do these things; but rather, it is the ability to navigate these situations and do what you want to do even in the midst of fear.
What a lot of people wouldn't know is that just before I go up on stage to host any show: whether big or small, I always get incredibly nervous. You know that sick feeling right in the pit of your stomach? Yeah that’s the one I get every single time! I am indeed, like every human on this planet: I have moments when I doubt myself and question my ability and that’s okay! Just because I am able to step out and do things that are considered intimidating or daunting, it does not mean I am exempt from fear. However, the only difference is my ability to harness those momentary fears or worries and make a decision. Either I let this fear cripple me or I turn this into the adrenalin I need to kill the task set before me... And with time and effort, I have managed to train myself to always do the latter!
Ultimately, I just want you to understand that confidence is not some magical drink that you can buy from the shop, nor is it something that just sprouts out of no-where. Rather, it’s a journey and a process that has personally taken me years to develop; in fact, it's something I'm still developing every single day as I continue to grow in myself and my craft. It's something you have to be intentional about, it's something you have to work on and it certainly is something you have to be willing to dedicate your time to.
Now, while confidence looks different for everyone I do have a few tips that I believe have helped me on my journey, and hopefully will help speed up the process for you:
#1 ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT YOU’RE AFRAID OF
When people ask me questions about confidence one of the first questions I tend to ask them is: “Okay, so, what are you afraid of?” And that’s when the list begins… For everyone that list varies but I believe that it’s necessary to know exactly what you’re scared of, once you've determined that it's a lot easier to tackle it head on.
#2 CONSTANTLY REMIND YOURSELF OF HOW GREAT YOU ARE
Like I said it’s not about the 'fear', it’s about how you deal with it that matters most. Whenever I am about to go on stage and I get that sick feeling, first I pray and I give the entire event/ show to God asking that he’ll calm my heart and take control. Then I literally repeat in my head: “You’re the best, you’re amazing, that’s why they booked you!” Now you might not be someone who believe's in God so perhaps that initial part looks a bit different for you, but just make sure you take a moment to gather your thoughts and BREATH! Once you've done that I suggest you then start speaking affirmations over yourself like I mentioned above. You may not even believe it at first but just keep telling yourself that YOU ARE GREAT! You’d be surprised at how quickly you start to believe it!
#3 REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU’RE DOING IT
I’m sure you’ve heard me say on multiple occasions: “What is your why?!” And I personally think it’s one of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself. Why? Because your ‘why’ will always remind you why you have to keep going! So for me my why is my family and the people I'm here to serve on this earth. So no matter how nervous or uncomfortable I am, I know I have to get up and be the best at what I do because it's not just about me.
#4 PUT YOURSELF IN UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS
Want to skip this step? Well you can’t! When you’re comfortable you don’t grow so you’ll never attain greater confidence. However, when you’re uncomfortable you’re stretched and tested in a number of ways. So stop thinking that you’ll just magically gain confidence doing the same thing you’ve been doing everyday. Dare to try something different! Try going to networking events on your own, take up a new hobby, or go and bungee jump out of a plane for your birthday like Will Smith (personally that's not for me, but if YOU want to do that God bless you and send me pictures when you're done!).
#5 THE BIG ONE: STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF YOU
It’s HARD I know! We live in a society where everyone has an opinion on everyone and everything, and it’s often the thought of how easily people can post or share these opinions of you or your work that scares us most. But if you continue to restrict yourself because you’re afraid of what people will say about you, you’ll never fly! So get yourself together, drown out the nay sayers and FLY!