Lesson 65: Act the part, and the rest will follow

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, March 18, 2010

Confidence can be developed by acting as if you already have it..

Brian Tracy

If you act as if youre confident even if youre not real confidence probably wont be far behind. I know that sounds crazy, but it works. Lets consider it together, and I think youll agree.

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Think about your first day in high school. If you were like most freshmen, you felt nervous and more than a little intimidated. But you tried to act cool and confident because the last thing you wanted was for other kids to see how scared you were.

But Ill bet that as time went on, your act became less of an act and more of a reality, until you reached a point where you were completely comfortable walking the halls. Virtually every high school kid goes through this process. You can probably think of other examples as well.

Not only does this concept make sense, its completely natural. The more you do something, the better you get at it. The concept works with just about anything, which is why great athletes practice and great entertainers rehearse.

Some people appear to be naturally confident, but like anything else, confidence is developed over time. The more you do, the more you accomplish. And the more you accomplish, the more confident you become.

The great Dale Carnegie put it this way: Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.

Of course, anything can be taken too far. Try to be aware of the image youre creating.

We are what we pretend to be, Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.

I once knew a young assistant principal who tried to project an image of confidence, but it came off as arrogance to some people. As his pretend confidence evolved into genuine confidence, that negative impression faded.

The point is this: dont be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Throughout your adult life, youll need to do it again and again. Thats what personal growth is all about.

Excerpted from “The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School” by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.