Lack of confidence, fear of failure and doubts about oneself are feelings that assail us at different times in our lives, preventing us from giving the best of ourselves.

Why do they arise? Is there anything we can do to overcome them? And more importantly: what would we be able to do if we were not afraid?

Loss of confidence

There are many reasons that can foster insecurity in people, causing them to lose confidence in themselves and their abilities. However, five of them are more common. They are described below.

1.Expectations too high

Perfectionism, like any other human quality, is adequate in its proper measure. Although it is good to try to increase our achievements and improve ourselves as people, being satisfied with our results can never be a problem .

2. Judging oneself too harshly

Many people have a tendency to judge and criticize, find the negative and make bad predictions about their own abilities. As a result, they may sometimes convince themselves that they are not good enough at what they do, or that they lack the qualities necessary to achieve such competence.

3.Worrying about fear

Everyone has fears and dreads. However, this is not a problem. Giving excessive importance to our fears or worrying excessively about them can, however, limit our life .

4.Lack of experience

The scarce practice in a certain field reduces the probability of feeling calm at the time of carrying it out. If we do not have confidence in our abilities and capacities we will feel a strong fear of carrying out a certain activity.

5.Lack of skills

As is intuitive, it is not natural to feel confident about doing something unless we consider ourselves good at it .

Improving Self-confidence

While our skills and previous experiences forge the “trust mattress”, it will be our actions (despite being unreliable) that gradually offer us peace of mind and certainty in our competition. What would we be able to do if we were not afraid of failure?

The trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Russ Harris reveals four steps in the cycle of trust to achieve its consolidation:

1. Practice the skills

You learn to swim by swimming. To fish, fishing. It doesn’t matter if you know the theory, in order to become skilled in a field you have to practice it. If you avoid situations that challenge you, you will never be able to test or improve your own skills.

2. Apply them effectively

To be able to develop adequately in what we are doing we need to be able to focus on it , which in psychology is called full attention. If we get caught up in our thoughts or feelings we will not get fully involved in the task, so we will lose effectiveness in the task and our results will get worse.

3. Evaluate the results

The human tendency towards perfectionism leads us to want to do everything quickly and well. Uncritical self-examination and comprehensive self-motivation are the right way to give feedback .

4. Introduce the necessary changes

Modifying actions that lead to errors , depending on the results obtained, helps us to improve our results, thus increasing our performance.

Basic Rules of Trust

The confidence gap is the place where one gets trapped when fear gets in the way of our dreams and ambitions. Is fear bad then?

We often hear that this is a sign of weakness that reduces our performance in what we undertake. However, this is not true. Trust is not the absence of fear, but a different relationship with it . As Eleanor Roosevelt points out : “We gain strength, courage and confidence from every experience in which we decide to look fear in the face. The danger lies in refusing to face it, in not daring to”.

As the first rule of trust of Harris states, acts of trust come first, feelings second. If we want to grow and develop as human beings we have to take risks outside our familiar territory (known as comfort zone) and go into the unknown.

Despite what we may think, we must not wait to feel confident to act, or we may wait all our lives. What about you? What would you dare to do if you were not afraid?

Bibliographic references:

  • Harris, R. (2012). A matter of trust. From fear to freedom. Santander: Sal Terrae.