Success in Life and Daily Living

Self-confidence and Goal Achievement

Author: Curtis George Norton Jr.
July 15, 2019

Self-confidence and Goal Achievement
Our willingness to set and attempt goals might seem to simply come down to our confidence in our own abilities and how achievable we think the goal is. However, for a great many people risk aversion, or fear of failure places road blocks all along the way to success.
This manifests as not creating goals in the first place, procrastination and self-sabotaging behaviors that prevent completion of goals and tasks. These behaviors occur as the subconscious mind seeks to keep us in a safer place free from (mostly emotional) risk.
Conquer Your Fear of Failure
As the famous politician and orator William Jennings Bryan once said, “The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you." 
Your fear of experiencing failure can be a huge obstacle when trying to improve your self-confidence. However, failures make you stronger and wiser, even if it doesn’t feel like that at the time.
This is because recognizing this fact is a mental construct, whereas the experience is a powerful emotional one. It takes effort to use the rational mind to train the emotions.
It is by experiencing failures that you become a learned person, far more learned than other individuals who haven’t had the same ‘failed’ experience.
Unfortunately, your fear of failure can paralyze you and restrict you from leaving your own comfort zone, and in staying comfortable, you are not able to conquer your fears. You will not boost your confidence either.
Hush Your Negative “Inner Voice”
A major obstacle that hinders an individual from achieving their goals is what is often referred to as the inner voice. Many people may not actually “hear” the voice, but may experience their self-talk as text or imagery or even simply a feeling.
Whichever way you personally manifest it, you know the one I’m talking about, the one that says, “You can’t do that…” or “Stop dreaming, that’s impossible for you to do…”.
If you constantly listen to your own negative thoughts, without challenging them, you are seriously diminishing your self-confidence. Each negative self-thought adds power to the next. Unfortunately, allowing yourself to wallow in a pit of negativity can be habitual, feeling normal and even comfortable.
It can take great mental effort to break these patterns, but it can most certainly be done. As you conquer your negative inner voice and replace it with positive self-talk, you will find that “things” just happen more easily, more in alignment with your goals.
Set Small Goals to Begin
Goal setting and achievement is a habit. It requires training our minds to expect that our goals will be achieved, and this happens by … doing them. This is known as a positive reinforcement loop and our subconscious minds thrive on them.
The best way to keep our confidence in our abilities high is to make small tasks or goals achievable and then complete them on time. This behavior reminds us constantly that we can achieve anything and as a result we achieve more and more.
Many people feel frustrated if they are trying to achieve what seems an out-of-reach goal. They feel like they are failing, even though they are still on the path to achieving it. Having a big, ‘final’ goal can be very disheartening.
Cutting your major goals into bite-size chunks helps tremendously. Let’s look at an example of someone wanting to lose weight. Their goal is to lose 50lbs of excess weight. If they break that down to only 1lb per week, they’ll be feeling very confident if they lose more than their original target any week. Weekly achievements can be real confidence boosters.
Achieving Goals Gets Easier
Once you start to feel more confident, this does not mean that you will no longer fear anything. However, you will soon realize that it is just that. A natural emotion. Your fear, you own it, recognize it and can simply work past it.
You can look back to your past successes, where you worked past the fear or discomfort, to realize achievement. Through achieving your goals and mastering your fears, you will also have improved your self-confidence. This will make you want to set more goals, and help you take the steps to achieve them, with far less emotional effort than before.

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