Overcome Fears, Build Confidence... A Win Win

"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
-Nelson Mandela



I always get inspired when I watch a show like American idol. Why? Because it's about people taking a risk, doing something scary, and who are giving it their all to live their dreams.

It's always interesting to see what brought them to that moment. The sacrifice, the countless hours of work, and pressures they went through. It takes determination to go through a competition week after week, where you are being judged and picked apart. It's a roller coaster ride challenging yourself, learning new things, and having the world watch as you go through it all.

When you do something that scares you, it helps you grow and develop confidence. Doing something that scares you is risky because you may have never done it before, or you may have doubts about your capabilities of doing it.

Just like Nelson Mandela said in his famous quote, the bravest people are those who conquer their fears, not those who say they do not feel afraid. At the end of all these reality voice shows (Idol, The Voice, The X Factor), it's safe to say most of these individuals come out wiser, more confident, and less fearful of something that maybe initially scared them.

You may not be thinking of auditioning for the next season of Idol, but I'm sure there are some things you may be hesitant about pursuing in your own life. The thing is, when you only stick to what you know, you will only get what you already have. How can you get new opportunities if you don't conquer your fears, and take some risks? Taking risks builds self-confidence.

Here are some things you can do today to gain confidence.

1) Think of some of the things you have avoided recently, not because you didn't want to do it, but because you doubted yourself and because it scared the living day lights out of you

2) Imagine what would happen if you had the guts to face these fears you have

3) Imagine the great things that can happen, how things can be different

4) Think about the pros of taking this risk

5) Think about the cons of taking this risk

6) Make a plan. What can you do today to work on this? Small steps lead to bigger ones. Steps 1-5 make you think about confidence, risks, and overcoming fears. Step 6 is about making a plan. You need to act on these thoughts to make them a reality. A plan addresses how this is going to happen.

If you don't challenge yourself, and do the things you're scared of, the outcomes won't be life altering. Things will stay the same because you never took the risk to find out what could have happened.