Focus On What’s Important To You

Having a good reason to be confident, brave, and courageous can be a huge help. We’ve already looked at how reflection, gratitude, and even doing the things you’re scared of helps you do them anyway, and how it starts to build this habit of being courageous and confident.

Today I have another helpful concept to share with you. We make time for and work on the things that are important to us. We can use that concept to our advantage when it comes to courage and self-confidence.

In other words, I want you to start creating these new habits by focusing on what’s important to you. It’s much easier to work on courage and increase self-confidence with tasks you enjoy and that have meaning to you. Don’t worry about feeling like you “should” do something. That can come later. For now, let’s start with what you’re passionate about.

Let’s say you would like to become a better cook, grow more of your own food, lose some weight, and get back into running. That’s a long list of positive changes, and it will take some time and effort to build up your courage and confidence to make them all happen.

What if you focus on the one thing you’re passionate about? Choose something that’s fun and important to you. For this example, let’s say you’re most passionate about gardening. Just start there.

Build those new habits and focus your time and effort there first. Seeing your garden flourish and having that delicious, fresh produce to work with will give you a huge boost in confidence.

Knowing you have delicious produce to use may inspire you to cook more from scratch to use up the food you’ve grown. From there, you can branch out and make smarter food choices that will help you lose weight.

Do you see how focusing on what’s important to you can help motivate you to get started? While gardening isn’t particularly difficult, it did take some effort to plant, nourish and harvest it. You had to take action, and that’s all I’m really asking you to do.

Perhaps you want to improve your marriage, become a better parent, go back to school, or save up enough money to get out of debt. It doesn’t matter what your most important goal or task is. You can use it to get started on this journey of building courage and increasing your self-confidence.

My challenge to you for today is to think about what’s really important to you. Make sure you realize there’s a big difference between something being urgent and something being important. We often focus on the things with the tightest deadline, the stuff that needs to get done “right now.” While it may be important, it’s often not the thing that’s most important to us overall.

Make the choice of what’s truly important to you, and then focus your efforts of being courageous and building those new good habits there.

Pick Something You’re Scared Of And Do It Anyway

So far a lot of what I’ve shared in this “Reward Your Success™ Confidence and Courage Challenge” series has been theory and mindset stuff. Don’t get me wrong, that’s important, and I will continue to share more throughout the month. But there’s also something to be said for simple, actionable tips or confidence hacks. That’s what today’s blog post is all about.

It’s simple and something you can, and should, do today. While it’s simple, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. The idea is to pick something you’re scared of (or worried about, or putting off because you’re not sure you can do it) and do it anyway.

I challenge you to start doing this today and then continue it as often as possible. Going forward, you should be doing something that scares you several times per week.

Obviously what you pick to do will be very individual and different from person to person. That being said, it helps to look at some ideas to get started. This will give you a feel for the type of stuff I’m talking about and the scope of it.

Maybe you thought it had to be a big scary thing that I’m asking you to do, and by looking through the examples below, you realize it can be something much smaller that you can actually see yourself doing. Maybe you like the idea of doing something you’re scared of, but can’t think of a single thing you could do today. The list of ideas may spark a thought for something unique to you that you can do.

  • Fast for a day or until dinner.
  • Skip coffee and other caffeinated drinks for the day.
  • Don’t let yourself hit the snooze button. Get up as soon as your alarm goes off.
  • Ask a friend to go for a walk with you once a week.
  • Go introduce yourself to the new neighbors.
  • Ask your boss for a raise.
  • Let your child go on a sleep-over.
  • Go out to dinner by yourself
  • Book a surprise weekend trip for yourself and your partner.
  • Sign up for that class you’ve always wanted to take.
  • Try a new cooking technique or a new food.
  • Fix that toilet yourself with the help of YouTube.
  • Share a picture of yourself and your weight loss or fitness plans on social media.
  • Invite a friend over for coffee even though your house is a mess.
  • Ask that cute guy/ girl out.

I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration to make your own list. Now, go make it a habit to regularly do things that scare you a little. When you make yourself do them, and work through that fear or resistance, you’ll come out stronger and more confident on the other side. Doing what you’re scared of is a great courage building habit.

Look Back and See How Far You’ve Come

Realizing how far I’ve come and how much I can actually accomplish when I put my mind to it is always a HUGE confidence booster for me. I’m sure it’s no different for you. To be honest, there’s a lot each and every one of us has done over the past few days, weeks, and even years that we can be proud of. Yet we often don’t see it. There always seems to be so much left on the to-do list, the stuff we didn’t do, or the things we failed at often stand out much more than our successes. It’s time to change our perspective and focus on the wins and how far we’ve come already.

Reflection and Gratitude

The simplest way to make sure you see and notice what you’ve accomplished and how far you’ve come is to get in the habit of spending a few minutes either in the morning or right before bed for reflection and gratitude.

When you wake up in the morning, before you jump out of bed, while you’re drinking that first cup of tea, or even while you’re taking your shower, think about what you’ve accomplished and what you’re grateful for. I like this morning habit because it sets a positive and confident tone for the whole day ahead. If that doesn’t work for you, try it at night, before you fall asleep. Make it a daily habit and watch your confidence grow.

Journaling And Habit Trackers

If you’re the type of person who needs to see it in black and white to believe it, give journaling a try. Spend a few minutes each day writing down your wins. If you’re trying to establish better habits, try a habit tracker. You basically set up a grid with the habits you want to establish and little check boxes next to them. Grid paper and excel spreadsheets work well for this. Then, as you complete your habit for the day, you get to check it off. It can be very motivating to see a month’s worth of little checkmarks on your habit tracker.

With the journal, make it a point to go back and review your wins on a regular basis and of course whenever you need a little boost of self-esteem and confidence. Look online for plenty of journaling and habit tracker ideas. Give the ones that look good a try and come up with a system that works for you.

Your Own Personal Cheerleader

Last but not least, consider getting your own personal cheerleader. No, I’m not suggesting you hire a person with pompoms to follow you around everywhere. Instead, find a good friend or family member who’s encouraging already and ask them to cheer you on. Give them a call whenever you’re feeling low, or don’t want to do something so they can encourage you and cheer you on to give you that boost of confidence to do what you need to do. Of course they should also help you by pointing out how much you’ve accomplished already.

Courage is a Habit

Today I have great news for you. In yesterday’s post, we talked a little about the relationship between courage and self-confidence. One aspect of that was that we can use courage and doing things that scare us a little to boost our feeling of self-worth and confidence. In other words, we can increase self-confidence by being courageous or doing something that takes a little courage more often.

Why is this such great news? Because courage is a habit. It’s something that’s completely in our control and a habit we can cultivate. All it takes is a little awareness and the drive to make it happen. We just need to get the ball rolling for a little while. Over the course of this 30 day challenge is a great time to do that. If you can take small steps towards courage every single day for the remainder of this challenge, you’ll be well on your way to creating this new positive habit.

It doesn’t have to be anything big. Small acts of courage will work just fine to build this habit. Remember that as you take each next step your self-confidence will increase. That bravery will make it easier to take another courageous move. Remember, it will become easier with each day as you practice this new habit.

You may be wondering how you can start to cultivate this new habit. Habits take practice, so try not to let 24 hours go by without doing something that scares you.

We’re creatures of habit and comfort, and we don’t like venture outside of our comfort zone unless we’re forced to. To make courage a habit, you have to actively look for daily opportunities to practice. What can you do to make that happen?

Make A List

Sit down right now and start making a list of things you can do to be courageous. Start by thinking of things that scare you or challenge you. Keep adding to this list as you go along. Refer back to it often and use the items on the list to keep you moving forward.

Look For Opportunities To Be Courageous

Start paying attention as you go about your busy day. Get in the habit of not shying away from challenges but embracing them and doing things anyway. You’re probably encountering a lot more challenges throughout your day than you realize.

Make Friends Who Will Challenge You

Step out of your comfort zone and make friends, or spend time with people who will challenge you. You can also encourage your loved ones to help you face your fears and step out of your area of comfort on a more regular basis. Ask for their assistance to help you fight the fear.

Get A Coach

Last but not least, you can get a coach. Find someone that can help you in the area you need help in. In life, business, sports or anything else you can think of, coaches are great at forcing you to test your limits, face your fears and help you to find your inner courage.

The Connection Between Self-Confidence and Courage

Today let’s take a look at the connection between courage and self-confidence. Trust me, there’s an important reason why we’re exploring this idea so early on in the challenge. Take a moment to think back on a time when you were scared to do something but you gathered up your courage and did it anyway.

Maybe it was walking away from a bad situation. Maybe it was working through a problem that seemed impossible at first glance. Maybe it was overcoming a fear of yours, facing it, and coming through okay at the other side. Maybe it was overcoming a big physical or mental challenge like running your first 10K race or acing a big exam. It doesn’t matter what it was, as long as you think of something that took courage to do.

Think about how you felt after you did whatever that courageous thing or act was. It felt pretty amazing, didn’t it?

Maybe you were a bit exhausted from the effort, or relieved that you did make it through to the other side. Mostly though, that adrenaline started pumping through your system and you felt incredibly proud of what you’d accomplished. That in turn made you feel elated and good about yourself and your own ability to do other courageous things.

In other words, you gave yourself a big boost of self-confidence. That, right there, is one of the connections between self-confidence and courage.

We can boost our confidence and feeling of self-worth by getting into the habit of doing courageous things. Establishing that habit is something we’ll work on throughout the challenge. There’s also a second connection. Once you’ve gotten that boost of self-confidence, you start to feel more courageous and are ready to tackle the next hard thing on your list.

In other words, self-confidence and courage work in a self-propelling cycle or spiral. Do something courageous and your self-confidence increases. As your confidence goes up, it will be easier to do something courageous. And on and on it spirals. This is an important concept to grasp and it’s something that you can use to your advantage. What it means is that by simply getting in the habit of doing something that scares you or that seems hard at first glance and having the courage to give it a try anyway, you can put this self-propelling spiral of increased self-confidence into motion. From there on out, every little thing you do that’s either courageous or increases your confidence in yourself, will make it easier to keep going and keep improving on both counts. The only hard part is getting started, and frankly, that isn’t all that hard or scary, is it? What can you do today that takes a little courage?