I see this one a lot. Not necessarily Why is it so hard to build confidence?, but more or less desperate variants thereof. Such as Why is it so hard to be yourself? and even Why can’t I be happy?.
Sticking with the first one here, why IS it so hard to build confidence, then?
The answer is to be found in a variety of different contributing factors, which I’ve gathered into four general points:
#1: Major changes take their time
From a purely logical point of view, if building confidence was easy, everyone in the world would be confident. Making a million dollars isn’t easy, either, but some people do it anyway. Because it’s sufficiently important to them.
I know: Sometimes the world can change within a heartbeat. Like with the Kennedy assassination or 9/11. But chances are, if you’re really down in the dumps you’re not gonna flip 180° and become an action hero overnight.
The reason that the idea of quick fixes is so prevalent is because it appeals to our comfort. Which is, on a basic level, low confidence in disguise.
Whenever we don’t feel like doing [X] even though it’d be supportive for us, we look at it as being “too hard”, “too tough”, “too much”… Et cetera.
So, from a reverse perspective, we don’t consider ourselves strong, persistent, and altogether capable of doing [X]. And as an added bonus, we might not consider ourselves worthy of the supportive outcome that doing [X] would bring about.
Seeking quick fixes is our non-fidence at play. Nurturing our patience, then, is the key to confidence.
#2: You’re not putting your back into it
This whole “quick fix”-mentality can lead us to believe that hard things are easy. And this is a belief that leads us to only do what’s easy.
For example, in the case of building confidence, many people will tell you that you need to do positive affirmations — writing down a couple of new, supportive ideas about yourself, which you then repeat several times a day. Such as, “I love myself, and I can do whatever I want”.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing positive affirmations in and by itself. (In fact, I have an entire page of them which I read 3-4 times every day.) But the thing is, if all you do is this ONE, easy thing, it’s not gonna have much of an effect on you.
And so, it’s only a matter of when your patience runs out, and you give up and become even more discouraged and non-fident.
Now, I’m not saying that you should spend hours of your waking time every day doing confidence-building exercises galore. We all have daily lives to go about, and confidence is what supports us in going about said daily lives.
… But we NEED to do things that support our confidence, and we CAN’T count on a 30-second affirmation to turn us into Alexander the Great (or, optionally, Joan of Arc if you’re female).
This includes stuff like socializing, eating healthy, practicing meditation and physical exercise, sleeping 7-8 hours every night, regularly evaluating yourself by keeping a journal, and, not the least, working towards a goal that brings meaning and purpose to you and your life.
Do as much of this as you possibly can. And keep in mind that while one’s actions are critical, one’s thoughts matter just as much. We wanna do the right things, yes; but thinking about them in a confident manner helps us do them.
#3: You give up too fast
Giving up on things, abandoning projects, and altogether going about life half-assedly is often seen in non-fident people. And, like I was getting into before, it kinda makes sense in this regard.
Think about it. You’ve been shown an alleged quick and easy path to the promised land of confidence, and after weeks you still feel like you’re going nowhere. Would that make for even more encouragement?
And what’s one more failure if you’re already used to giving up?
The tricky thing here is that generally, confident people don’t give up. So if we wanna build confidence, we have to get into the mindsets and habits of not giving up.
Basically, if we wanna learn not to give up, we do it by not giving up.
This brings me to the final point…
#4: You’re not sufficiently confident yet
Whenever we ask, — or, indeed, think — Why is it so hard to build confidence?, it says a lot about the way we think.
Because, we’re impying that building confidence IS, necessarily, hard.
It’s circular reasoning, really. The conclusion is part of the premise. Like when you teasingly ask someone, Have you stopped wetting your bed yet?, or, Do you still go around setting cats on fire?
“But isn’t it just as much circular reasoning that I need to have confidence before I can have confidence?“
Yes. Fortunately, though, that’s not what I’m saying. The gist of it all is that while it might be hard right now, it really does get easier. And the reason for that is because we steadily become more confident.
Some people would talk about “faking it ’till you make it” in this regard. I’d say it’s a simple matter of learning to crawl before you can walk.
And, like I’ve written about before, it might not be easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s complicated.
In summary, building confidence is highly an inner-game thing. It’s about what we do, yes, but it’s just as much about how we think.
And if we think in terms of life and its many challenges being hard, we’re not only thinking non-fidently; we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
Conversely, then, when we think in terms of life and its many challenges being endurable, we’re thinking confidently and setting ourselves up for success.
Therefore, do not ask, Why is it so hard to build confidence? Instead, ask questions like…
– How important is it for me to be confident? Do I genuinely want to live my life with confidence?
– How can I find the patience in me to let great change happen in its own time?
– Am I trying to force something which might not respond positively to being forced?
– Do I consider myself worthy of steadily building confidence and never giving up no matter what?
– Am I doing the right things? Could I possibly be doing even more? And if yes, what?