I carried out an experiment.
One that I didn't plan for.
You see, I usually use Buffer to schedule my tweets (No, I'm not always on Twitter). Buffer shows me analytics of the tweets once they are shared.
On February 18th, I posted a tweet sharing a link to this post: "8 Ways to Appear Confident Even When You Don't Feel It." It got 18 clicks.
Highest clicks I've probably ever gotten for a link.
So I decided to post something else on self-confidence two days after that - as the experiment. It was yet another Lifehack post: "63 Ways to Build Self-Confidence".
It got a whopping 285 clicks!
Now, you need to know this. Normally, I get anything between 0 to 2 clicks on the millions of links I tweet everyday (and I still don't know why I keep at it :)). So you can understand why I was surprised.
Self-confidence, huh? Who would have thought?
Remember self-confidence is not to be confused with self-esteem.
People wouldn't be looking to learn more about self-confidence if they were good at it, would they?
And if that many people clicked, why were there no retweets and likes? Perhaps people are even afraid to show that they are reading about this stuff?
I thought about it.
So its true. Me, you and they next guy are struggling with self-confidence. The only difference is that some people hide it better than others. Those same people even hide the fact that they are hiding it. That way, everyone else thinks they are invincible when they really aren't.
I believe everyone oscillates between a lot of self-confidence and zero self-confidence. It's a continuum. Sometimes things change within the same day. Sometimes they change over a longer period of time. You feel great about your abilities and skills and after a while, you don't. Sometimes its circumstances that determine how your self-confidence will score.
But there's one thing that works for me beyond all the personal development links and self-help advice I can get. Just one thing. And hopefully it can help you too if you are in search of that magic trick.
It's simply to talk back to that voice that keeps telling you are not good enough.
Ignoring the voice doesn't doesn't work for me. Acknowledging its presence does.
You know it. It's that condescending voice at the back of your head that gets scared when you are on to something big. It's that annoying voice that tells you you can't do what you've planned to do this year. Sometimes it's called the lizard brain. Seth Godin talks a lot about it in his epic book, Linchpin. But the lizard brain is also a lot of other things.
So let's just call this one that I'm talking about- a voice.
And there are a couple of things you need to remember about it.
It's not an elder that you need to listen to.
It's not an important old sage giving you life advice.
It's there to stop you from being your best self. It's there to make you feel shitty about your self.
And shitty you are not. So talk back to it and tell it what you are capable of. Tell it that you are enough.
I usually fall into that voice's trap once in a while too. It makes me feel silly for wanting to achieve anything worthwhile in life. But talking back to it is a constant thing I do. Sometimes I manage to shut it up and sometimes I don't. But I keep at it. It's the only thing I can do.
So go on, read all the books and all the posts you can but if you keep listening to this voice, your struggles with self-confidence will be a long long way from being manageable.