June 21, 2016 by Angus
How your wish for more confidence feeds anxiety

Many of us wish we had more confidence. If only we were more confident, we’d be able to start that project quicker. We’d be able to achieve our goals more easily. Hell, we’d feel less anxious about so many things we do each day! We’re convinced our lack of confidence is at the root of our daily dose of anxiety.

Building up confidence to overcome anxiety and go further is a common topic for self-help and personal development books. We eagerly rock up to the local bookstore or logon to Amazon to purchase the latest promising tome. An immediate rush of relief overcomes us when we see those titles:

“10 steps to a more confident life!”

“30 Days to overcome your lack of confidence and achieve success!”

“7 simple steps to become the confident you for success and happiness”

The promise is large. If we had just a little more confidence, we’d be able to work more effectively. We’d reach our goals. Our needs would be met. We’d feel less anxiety about who we are and what we want to do.

Or so we believe …

Confidence Mountains Feeding Anxiety

Every day we face challenges where “ the lack of confidence” makes us feel anxious. Clouds rumble in when we’re preparing to:

  • deliver a speech at work
  • begin language or dance lessons
  • walk up to a stranger in a social situation
  • ask the boss for a pay rise
  • be assertive when someone is trying to manipulate you
  • maintain a conversation
  • start a new business
  • stop procrastinating with that recurring task we’ve been putting off, day after day

Often we hold back when it comes to starting something important to us. Ever heard that voice inside your head saying, “Not yet, I don’t feel confident enough”? We plan to work towards a goal. We prepare ourselves to chase the dream. It’ll all come together, we promise ourselves, when “I get more confidence”.

A lack of confidence and self-belief is a major roadblock. It stops us achieving what we truly desire. It’s often such a deep self-belief it feels like a fact.

But is it, really?

A Productive Life Without Confidence

When we think about it, this scenario is really about avoiding anxiety.

And here’s my take on that …

You don’t need confidence to do anything!

Now, that might sound like a radical idea to you. But I don’t think it is. I believe you don’t need confidence to start achieving your goals. You don’t need more skills to kickstart the process. More competence isn’t required to take the first step.

How to start your journey …

When you want to move forward, hold ideas about how to get there “lightly”.

At the start of your journey, don’t worry about what you don’t know yet. Try, instead, taking random action in a vaguely “right” direction. How fast should you move? Well, don’t push yourself past a 5 out of 10 level of anxiety. Use that as a rough guide so you don’t get overwhelmed or push too hard. In the upcoming Optimal Mind book we call this “find a 5”. We will talk a lot more about the details of how to do this in future.

Don’t worry about what you don’t know, either. You’ll learn what you need to learn along the way. You will learn what you need to learn, when you need to learn it. Knowledge and insight will come, in fact, at an optimal pace.

Here’s a “reality” check. You only need to see 10 metres ahead in a fog to make progress.

In our clinical work, we’ve refined this process with hundreds of face-to-face clients over the years. Soon we’ll be releasing key insights gained from this successful work as part of our upcoming Optimal Mind book. Want to be the first to get your hands on it? Drop your best email here and we’ll let you know when it’s available.

Until then, try dissolving your expectations that life will get easier if you only had more confidence. The reality is, you don’t need more confidence to achieve your dreams.

Get started by taking the next (small) step to your best life, today.

Like to take that path with our accompaniment?

Contact Angus Munro Psychology

We offer face-to-face help in Sydney, Australia, and sessions online via Skype.

Clinical Psychologist Sydney

We specialise in evidence based treatments for relieving psychological distress such as anxiety, stress and depression. We also excel in helping people create lasting, powerful change in career, business and life. Find out more

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