The 4 D’s for Gaining Confidence

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Confidence is a feeling, it is a deep felt trust and belief that is shown through actions. Confidence is not necessarily a trust in the outcome, but a trust in the process – that no matter what what happens – you have the ability to endure, survive, and then thrive in any given situation. Where does confidence come from? Confidence grows from preparation, action, and belief.

I remember a time while living Hong Kong, I was given a task that I felt I was not qualified for. I was not confident. My lack of confidence was evident to others and my results/work started to suffer. A mentor stepped in, and gave me some advice that I will never forget: “Do what you can, relax, ask a million questions, and believe in your work.”  The light-bulb went on, a door was opened for me. Once I got my mindset corrected, the actions changed, the confidence came, the results improved, and I built a trust in abilities.

So, how do we gain confidence?

1. Develop Expertise


Fear is the opposite of confidence. Preparation erases fear. The most prepared are usually the most successful. Experts are prepared. They have prepared for years. In order to become an expert you must spend huge amounts time on deliberate practice and then have the ability to maintain this effort when facing obstacles. Overcoming obstacles builds confidence. Knowing you have overcome obstacles in the past helps you face new challenges going forward.

2. Distance Yourself From Stress

One huge factor that can reduce confidence is stress. When stressful situations arise our thoughts become focused on the negative rather than the positive. Dr. Travis Bradberry wrote a breakthrough article that outlines the 10 things that successful people do to stay calm and reduce stress:


1. They Appreciate What They Have

2. They Avoid Asking “What If?”

3. They Stay Positive


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. They Disconnect

5. They Limit Their Caffeine Intake

6. They Sleep

7. They Squash Negative Self-Talk

8. They Reframe Their Perspective

9. They Breathe (breathe in the moment, focus on breathing)

10. They Use Their Support System     

3. Duplicate the Actions of Those Who Have Confidence

How do confident people act? Dharmash Shaw, the founder of Hubspot, teaches us what the 9 Traits of Truly Confident People are:

1. They take a stand not because they think they are always right… but because they are not afraid to be wrong.

2. They listen ten times more than they speak.

3. They duck the spotlight so it shines on others.

4. They freely ask for help.

5. They think, “Why not me?”

6. They don’t put down other people.

7. They aren’t afraid to look silly…

8. And they own their mistakes.

9. They only seek approval from the people who really matter.

Practice: do one of those 9 items each day. Focus on one area until it becomes part of your normal habits. Then switch to another of the 9 actions, and then keep going until you master all 9 actions.

4. Decide to Believe

Decide to believe in yourself. Decide to believe in your ability. Decide to believe in your potential. Decide to believe in your experience. Decide to believe in your support team. Decide to believe in your success. Our mind controls our thoughts. Our thoughts our actions. We determine what we believe. We can all choose to believe in ourselves as well is in those in our lives in give us strength. Our ability to choose is the greatest power we have. We we choose to believe in ourselves, we then are deciding to choose actions that lead to true confidence.

By following the 4 D’s of Confidence – Developing Expertise, Distancing Yourself from Stress, Duplication of Confident Actions, and Deciding to Believe – you can gain true confidence, not “fake until you make it” superficial confidence (useful in the beginning, but not a long term solution), but real, honest, self-belief that will allow you to become as successful as you are meant (or want) to be.


– Mareo McCracken