Throughout my life, I have felt my confidence drop suddenly—after receiving the news I hadn’t been accepted into the college of my choice—or gradually—after watching the failure of my daily efforts to promote one of my programs.
Every time I felt a lack of confidence, I lost precious time second-guessing my next step and feeling sorry for myself. That’s why I learned that regaining my confidence must be a priority if I want to succeed.
Here are the 5-steps I followed to regain my confidence after a failure, which might help you when you feel unsure about your ability to achieve what you want:
1. Become an objective observer
When things don’t work according to plan, it’s easy to let your disappointment take over. You might start visualizing doomsday scenarios and decide that success is out of reach forever.
To assume an objective perspective, imagine that your current life events are part of a movie you’re watching in your living room. What seemed to be the end of the world might become “interesting.”
In my case, when my business efforts failed, I took a step back and realized I was feeling defeated by the failure of only one out of my many programs. That’s when I also noticed the progress I had made throughout the years, and started to feel my confidence return.
When you become more objective and less emotionally attached to what has happened, you might also experience the ability to see “the silver lining.”
“The physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world.” – Deepak Chopra
2. Remove your focus from what’s wrong
If you tend to obsess over what is NOT working, you’re not alone. We’re drawn to place our attention on what isn’t working in hopes to get rid of the problem.
However, the more time you spend thinking about your failure or problem, the worse you’ll feel about yourself and the less time you’ll have to devise a solution.
When things go wrong, ask yourself the following 2 questions:
- What have I learned about myself / my career / my business?
- What can I do today to avoid the same result in the future?
The answers to these questions will help you shift to problem-solving mode. I personally learned a great deal about what doesn’t work in marketing as a result of my business failure.
3. Take inventory of what you do well and celebrate it
There isn’t a better time to give yourself a pat on the back than after you have failed at something.
Take out a notepad and list your top five accomplishments in life. Then, list your top 5 skills. Your skills may include anything from being a great writer to knowing how to bake delicious brownies. Anything goes!
Feel proud of your accomplishments and skills, and you’ll realize that you have the ability to succeed again.
I said to myself that although I had failed, I still had skills and knowledge that were changing the lives of many people. Most importantly, I reminded myself that I would always have my integrity, perseverance, and passion for what I do.
Just as you feel most confident when you have studied for a test or rehearsed a presentation, you will feel a boost of confidence when you learn as much as you can to avoid a repeated failure.
Your preparation could include pursuing further training or education, connecting with people who might be able to help you, or even mentally rehearsing what you will do next time a similar situation arises.
I sought advice from my business mentors and implemented new strategies to fix what hadn’t worked in my business. The harder I worked, the more confident I felt. Competence brings confidence!
5. Visualize success
Daydreaming isn’t a waste of time when it allows you to feel more confident and when it inspires you to take positive action.
Imagine you were given a magic wand so that you could fix what didn’t work and experience continued success. What would happen? How would you feel?
Next, determine the first step to make your dream a reality. If your first thought is that what you imagined will never happen, then take action anyway and return to the visualization process a few days later.
In time, your visualized future will feel more attainable to you, and like it happened to me, you’ll feel the high confidence level you need to succeed.
“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.” – Robert Collier
Be patient as you follow this process to regain confidence. Acknowledge your emotions but remain grounded. Most importantly, remember that your value isn’t dependent on what you achieve or don’t achieve. Always honor your magnificence!