How to develop confidence: Expand your comfort zone

Women’s Assembly

Just as leadership is a skill that must be learned, self-confidence must be developed. But how can we develop self-confidence? By doing hard things, uncomfortable things, and things that push you out of your comfort zone. That’s when good things start to happen. That’s how to develop confidence.

Dispel the myth that comfort is safe. It isn’t. Comfort is where trouble will find you no matter what. Push yourself to leave your comfort zone or you’ll get pushed out of it against your will at some point. Better to train and step forward on your own. Here’s how to develop your confidence. Start with this question, “What is it that you’re afraid to try?” What weaknesses can you identify and improve? What scares you into stagnation and doubt? Do that. That’s step one in how to develop self-confidence.

“But what if…?” That’s the question that stops people in their tracks. But “if” doesn’t exist. That “if” is only the fear built up in your own mind. That’s your ego kicking in. Check your ego and be humble – there are going to be ups and downs. Embrace setbacks and mistakes as opportunities to learn. This is the answer to how to develop confidence.

How can I develop self-confidence? As you learn to do hard things, you start to believe in yourself more. But you have to practice on purpose. Knowing is not the same as doing. Reading about your strengths is not the same as using them. Reading about the principles of leadership is not the same as applying them. The hard work comes from the doing – moving from knowing to doing.

Believe in the process and the mission. Don’t quit. Make sure your strengths are working for you, not against you (or against the team). If you’re here to find out how to develop confidence, this is the path. You can do the hard things you don’t feel confident about. And once you master that fear and gain the competency of experience, you’ll discover that your comfort zone has grown to include what you were at first afraid of trying. Doing is how to develop confidence.

Don’t stop there. As soon as you’re mastered a little more ground and are feeling comfortable again, it’s time to ask, “What else can I do?” You can do hard things. Be confident in the face of uncertainty. Expand your bravery. Expand your comfort zone. That is how to develop self-confidence.

Maureen Monte, author of Destination Unstoppable and Win Like a Girl, covered this topic and much more in her August live session of the Women’s Assembly. The next session, “Leveraging a Female Skillset in a Male Dominated Workplace,” with special guest Casey Glass, takes place Thursday, September 29th. Register online to join.

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