How to stay confident when you’re new at something

Today we’re talking about confidence.

One of you sent in the question, “How do you stay confident and stay positive when you’re learning a new job because of a career or life transition?”

This is such a great question because when we’re brand new to something, we fumble around it. We’re not very good at it. And if we’re not careful, it’s really easy to get frustrated or get down on yourself when you’re brand new to something and trying to figure it out. It can send us down a pathway of negative spiralling.

So, how do you stay confident when you’re trying something new? 

When we're brand new to something, we fumble around it. We're not very good at it. And if we're not careful, it's really easy to get frustrated or get down on yourself when you're brand new to something and trying to figure it out, sending us into a negative spiral.

The first thing I believe that’s important is to give yourself permission to be a beginner again.

When we’re kids, we’re constantly in the newness. We’re learning how to ride a bike, we’re learning how to write, we’re learning math, we’re learning new sports, and we give ourselves permission to be in a beginner’s mind.

If you’ve gone a whole career in a certain task or job, chances are you got really good at that, and you were at a level of mastery in that position or in that job. And now, here you are starting over again, so put on that child-like curiosity and give yourself permission to be a beginner again, remembering that this is new to me. There was one time what you were doing before was new to you, and you had to figure it out.

Just by relaxing yourself and giving yourself permission to be a beginner again is a very important mental move.

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The second strategy that I have found very helpful when I’m starting something new is to remember that I have a lot of experience behind me.

Chances are you have some past success or some past experience that’s going to help you learn this new skill, this new job, this new position.

So instead of saying “I don’t know anything,” take some time and remember, what are your transferable skills? When was I in a similar situation before? Rely on that past experience and expertise so that you can leverage that learning in what you’re doing now.

Instead of claiming I’ve never done this before, I don’t know anything about this, I’m totally new, it’s now claiming, “I’ve done some great things before, I have experience and I have past successes.” And as you remember those and build those up in your mind, apply them to the new thing that you’re doing, and it will help accelerate your learning and increase your confidence.

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The final thing to remember around confidence, is the way we build confidence, and that is through competence.

When you have competence in something you become much more confident, but in order to be competent in an area, we have to learn it. And competence gets built through trying new things, by failing, and by trying again.

It’s about not waiting until you feel confident in order to do something but just remind yourself that that confidence is going to come through competence. And the only way to build competence is by putting yourself out there. By trying new things, having that beginner’s mind, and the confidence will follow.

So if there’s any area in your life where you’re saying “When I feel more confident, then I’ll put myself out there,” it’s actually by putting yourself out there, by trying new things, you’ll build your competence, and you’ll build your confidence.

So to the person who wrote in this question, I want to say good job. It’s not easy to make a career transition, not easy to put yourself out there and to try something new. But just by doing that, you’re on your way.

Keep having that beginner’s mind. Give yourself permission to fail. Remember those past successes and keep in mind that the more you put yourself out there and you take the action steps, your confidence will follow.

Here is to you living a life you love,

Stacey

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About Stacey

Stacey Berger

Stacey Berger

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, mentoring entrepreneurs in marking, operations and finance, I made the decision in 2014 to teach success principles full time, combining my love of business and personal development.

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