There are how to articles on building confidence that list things to do to build up your confidence. That’s the scientific way. How does faith help us build our confidence? Can we build our confidence in a scientific manner while also considering the place of faith in building confidence? Let’s consider how to grow confidence through science and faith.
Lessons on Growing Confidence
In last week’s article I shared where I am in building my confidence through two very important insights. If you missed last week’s article you can read it now: Is There a Secret to Confidence? | Growing Confidence
In this week’s article I want to highlight a few practices from science and faith that can assist in building confidence. In my experience, the faith practices that assist in developing confidence are those that help me persevere. The scientific practices I am just beginning to learn. I want to share what I am learning
Confidence: The Science
Let’s start with the science. You can get that list of ways to boost confidence if you just want some quick tips. Y’all know me though. I want the podcast that goes into detail on how to act on those scientific tips. I listened to a podcast the other day that interviewed a high performance psychologist Dr. Michael Gervais. The topic was performing under pressure and performing with confidence.
Dr. Michael Gervais works with top performing athletes, musicians, Olympians, and others that are faced with maintaining their confidence under pressure. This brings an interesting focus to building confidence. Dr. Gervais speaks of training our confidence, in a similar manner to how we train for a sport or activity that we love.
Train Your Mind
The emphasis is on training your confidence in low pressure, calm environments. You then work your way up to what Dr. Gervais calls progressively more aggressive environments. You might think that the process to actually doing this would be complicated. It’s not. It’s actually something I’ve been sharing with readers on this blog from the beginning. You need to rid yourself of your negative thoughts…they are holding you back .
According to Dr. Gervais, it’s not preparation or past success that affects your confidence. It’s those things that you tell yourself. If you don’t train and practice your confidence in the calm places, you might freeze under pressure when it really matters.
For several weeks now I have been considering how much I hold back when there are important things to say. I started to wonder if I could help myself by starting to say more of what I think even when it’s a small comment. I realized that I wasn’t practicing speaking out with the little things, so of course I lacked the confidence to speak out when it really mattered.
That’s what Dr. Gervais is talking about. For us to gain our confidence and keep it when things are more intense, we need to be working at it all the time. He suggests writing out the bad thoughts and replacing them with good thoughts. Those negative and limiting thoughts are important to address and replace. However, this article is looking at confidence through science and faith. What about faith practices?
Confidence: The Faith
How do faith practices fit into this athletic training image of how to work hard at building our confidence?
At first glance you might not see it. Let’s look back at my article that I wrote last week: Is There a Secret to Confidence? I share how taking action and perseverance are ways that help me grow more confident. This relates to the struggle of the athlete on the field and not shrinking back when the spotlight is on you or you find yourself in a difficult situation. In those places you have to take action and you have to persevere. Faith is the same way.
You start small and take small steps to practice your faith. But you have to build it up. If you stay at that first step, that starting level, you will not deepen your faith. If you give up when it gets difficult you will not deepen your faith.
Confidence in life comes from training our minds as well as training our hearts.
Train Your Heart
When I am working to train my heart I do it through prayer and building a community.
Prayer and building a community around you of those that share your faith are important for confidence building. I know that this is a different angle than you hear at church, but don’t worry. I understand that in terms of growing your faith prayer brings us closer to God and a community helps us grow closer to God also.
Yet look at it from the angle of how prayer and community building affects your inner being, which therefore affects your confidence.
Open your heart
If I am closed off to prayer or to the community around me, I might be so caught up in myself that I miss the message that I am to give to the world. If I open my heart, however, I can see the needs around me. I can see how my gifts can serve the world and I can act confidently.
Confidence through Science and Faith
From looking both at science and faith we can see that they work together to build confidence by building and training both the mind and the heart.
Where is your current focus, mind or heart, in terms of how you are working to increase your confidence?
Behavior Challenge: Take some time this week to decide how you can better train your heart and mind to improve your confidence.
This is just the beginning of my posts on science and faith. I’m excited to share that I will post about science and faith once a month. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to my email list.
Listen to the Podcast: Your Ultimate Guide to Performing Under Pressure and Unleashing Confidence – Dr. Michael Gervais is BACK – Science of Success Podcast.