How does one achieve the kind of confidence that turns heads and jump starts spectacular careers? I think the keys are … and yes, there is more than one … having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and what you need to reach your goal, and then committing yourself to working towards that goal every single day, rain or shine, refusing to accept anything less. Vision and repetition will take you very, very far in life. In his popular book “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Malcolm Gladwell writes about how doing something for 10,000 hours ultimately leads you to mastery of any skill. Let’s put that into numbers we can relate to: 10,000 hours = ~20 hours/week for 10 years, or ~40 hours/week for 5 years. That is one hell of a lot of commitment. But if you desire to the best of the best, then that is likely the kind of commitment required. But what if you are only interested in developing more self-confidence? Not everyone wishes to be an Itzhak Perlman (world-renowned violinist), Michael Jordan (Hall of Fame basketball player), or Arnold Schwarzenegger (bodybuilder with 5 Mr. Universe and 7 Mr. Olympia titles). How many hours a week do you think they spent fine tuning and practicing their craft? How confident do you think they felt when they performed? How many of us have the same genetic makeup or IQs as any of those three icons? How would you know if you did? Do you think when Itzhak, Michael, or Arnold were children that they knew they had that kind of greatness in them? Probably not. But they had dreams of becoming someone very special, and that is something that many of us have in common with them. They had a vision of what they wanted to achieve, a plan for getting there, and the personal commitment and resolve to work at it every single day. If you break down your goals into daily tasks or lessons … a list of skills and sub-skills … necessary for you to master to reach your goal, you will have a plan you can begin executing. And with each sub-skill and skill you master, your confidence and belief in your abilities cannot help but grow. But no amount of vision, planning, or execution will bring you the success and fortitude you seek without believing in your dream. So to achieve your goals: (1) identify your dream; (2) believe in your ability to manifest the outcome you desire; (3) develop a scaled plan for achieving that outcome; (4) set up a timeline for your intermediary goals on a calendar; (5) work your plan every single day, hitting your calendared goals on schedule; and (6) keep a journal in which you make daily entries documenting your efforts and what you have learned so far. And as you tweak, experiment, learn, and progress, your confidence will grow naturally. You know, stepping outside a comfort zone is never easy, but it is absolutely necessary to challenge yourself if you truly want to change. The conversion of self-doubt to self-confidence takes time, planning, and effort. Are you up for the challenge?

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