Ah, confidence.

The magical holy grail that will enable you to achieve all the important things in your life: that great* job, that wonderful** partner, that incredible leap of faith.

* actually rather pleasant
** actually rather pleasant

Here’s what I believe:

1.) You’re not alone. Everyone – and that includes me – struggles with confidence, particularly when speaking in front of people. Open up and you’ll see how many people identify with your pain.

2.) You can learn it. We’re born with a set amount of confidence that can be slowly eroded by parents, teachers and peers. Watch a three-year-old doing any task: they don’t hesitate or doubt themselves. They execute with pure self-belief, and may boss you about in the process!

3.) You restore it by putting yourself into slightly uncomfortable situations, discovering they’re not so bad after all, and then doing it again, repeatedly. I think of it as a magic trick; the secret to the moment of wonder is actually something simple and obvious that you knew all along but don’t apply anymore.

So: get outside, take some deep breaths and gain some perspective on what you need to do next. Choose the uncomfortable situation that will help you grow, taking steps towards your holy grail of confidence. It may not give eternal life, but it will certainly give a much better quality of life.

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