Baby Steps to Regain Confidence

In 1991, Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss did a movie that became a culture icon for the decade, called What About Bob (Synopsis). For several years afterward, “Baby Steps” became the catch phrase in answer to the question of “how to” conquer any situation that seem insurmountable.

One of the most common problems we find ourselves dealing with after any sort of a traumatic event is a lack of confidence. This can happen due to a temporary or permanent debilitating illness or injury, to any sort of a mental “break down,” or extended period of depression, to the loss of a job or a dramatic career change, or to the loss of a loved one – either through death or divorce.

After any of these events, we find the world keeps turning, but we may no longer feel we are able to keep up with it. To make matters worse, as our confidence wanes, so does our ability to handle subsequent challenges, leading to what often becomes a series of failures which becomes a vicious, confidence-destroying cycle.

So, what do we do?

We do the only logical thing, of course. We Google, “how to regain lost confidence,” and read through the 111,000 results.

OR…if you’re busy, and don’t have time for that, you can just go back and take the advice give to Bob by his psychologist in 1991, long before “Google” was a thing, and just take baby steps. Most of the Google results say pretty much the same thing as Bob’s psychiatrist anyway, namely:

  • Figure out what caused your lack of self confidence. Chances are if you have the wherewithal to Google “How to regain lost confidence, you probably already KNOW what caused you to lose your self confidence.
  • Reassess your goals for moving forward. Maybe you want to get back on the horse and ride the same trail you were on before, or maybe you want to stable the horse and take the bus…whatever, just formulate a plan, realizing that your new plan, just like the old one, is subject to change.
  • Baby steps. Remember, you probably didn’t lose your confidence all at once, and you’re not going to get it back all in a day. Set yourself up to succeed by setting small, attainable goals that you can achieve, and build on for future success.

Grab that low-hanging fruit, and lay a foundation for setting higher goals. If you’re lacking experience, get some experience by doing volunteer work or making yourself useful in the field you want to be in.

Just keep moving forward. Even if you’re so scared your lips feel numb, just be like Bob – take baby steps, and pretty soon you’ll be sailing.

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