Confidence is something all of us have struggled with at some point in our lives. Whether it's confidence in our looks, our abilities or our value, insecurity and self-doubt are bound to haunt us.
While I was abroad in Costa Rica, I met a couple of young women on the farm I was staying at. The three of us would spend our afternoons having conversations about life, love, and our relationships with ourselves.
When the topic of confidence surfaced one day, I admitted how I still tend to compare myself to others' and their artistic success and doubt my own abilities as a writer. I shared how this self-doubt hinders my writing for days, even weeks.
This seemed to resonate with Grace, the youngest of the three, a talented photographer who understands the struggle of artistic apprehension. She shared with me a lesson about confidence she herself has learned as an artist:
Confidence is a simple two-step formula:
1. Set a goal.
2. Meet that goal.
This goal can be as small as just getting out of the house and going for a walk. Your goal can be to raise your hand during class and ask a question. It can be to finish a book or an art project you've kept putting on the back burner. Whatever it is, accomplishing a goal of any size or stature will immediately remind you of your own autonomy and ability, motivating you to set and scale the next objective.
One of my biggest goals was to travel solo and when I returned to the states, I was brimming with confidence. I remember arriving in JFK airport comfortable in my own skin, physically carrying myself with more certainty than when I had left. But even that subsided after a few weeks of being home. I'm starting to learn that confidence needs to be exercised routinely, like a muscle, in order for it to grow.
But regularly setting intentional, reasonable goals is by far the easiest and most fool-proof way to shake off hesitation and reclaim your power.