Back in the ’90s, when I was studying to become an actor, my acting coach would repeatedly tell me that I lacked the necessary confidence and courage to succeed. He was right.
Patiently, I kept waiting for the day when I finally felt confident and courageous enough to audition for the roles I wanted. That day never came. I was too afraid to even try.
Have you ever been in a situation where you really wanted to do something but stopped yourself from taking the necessary steps because you felt you didn’t have enough confidence to try?
Maybe you want to quit your job and start a fresh new life? Ask someone out on a date? Ask for a raise, write a book, or build a new business? Perhaps you just want to follow your heart.
Whatever this might be for you, there is something you want badly, but somehow you end up talking yourself out of it. “If only I was courageous enough to go after what I want,” you tell yourself.
What if courage and confidence are not prerequisites to success, but rather the result of repeatedly doing what you’re most afraid of?
Courage and confidence are muscles, and, like any of your other muscles, you must exercise them if you want to grow them.
To act with confidence means to work “with faith.” And, acting with courage means acting “despite fear” or the rage you feel in your heart.
If you want to grow your courage and confidence muscles, the only way to do this is by doing things that scare you. There are no shortcuts. No hacks.
If you want to learn how to swim, you start being afraid of the water and drowning. As you face your biggest fears each time you enter the water, little by little, you develop the capacity to swim, and with it, the confidence in your ability to swim. Each time you immerse yourself in the water, despite your fears, you grow your courage muscle. Each time you become more competent at swimming, you boost your confidence muscle.
You don’t need confidence and courage to learn how to swim. What you need is to get in the water, face your fears of drowning and start moving your arms and legs until swimming becomes second nature to you.
How to Grow in Confidence and Courage
If you want to grow in confidence and courage, here are the steps to take:
Step 1: Find out what are you most afraid of doing.
Step 2: DO IT!
Step 3: Breath deeply and into your heart as you DO IT! (Remember, your heart is the key to helping you neutralize or surrender the feelings of anxiety and fear that may arise.)
Step 4: Celebrate that you did it!
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until you become confident or have ‘faith’ in your ability to do what you fear.
Step 6: Find something else that scares you.
Step 7: Repeat steps 2-7.
Going after what your heart truly desires means you repeatedly face your biggest fears along the way. You do what you’re most afraid of doing, say what you’re most afraid of saying and ask for what you’re most afraid of asking. Each time you do this, your confidence and courage muscles grow.
Success as an actor finally came for me once I started to audition and finally faced my fear of being seen and heard. The more I faced my fears but took action anyway, the more courageous and confident I became. Confidence and courage came after, not before.
Now that I’ve reminded you of this, let me ask you:
What is the fear you’re going to face starting today?
From my heart to yours,