People think you’re born with it.

You can buy it.

You either have IT or you don’t.

But the secret is….

People are wrong.

Confidence is something you LEARN

Something you PRACTICE.

The only way to build confidence so that it LASTS, is step by step. @ishitagupta (Click to Tweet!)

We want it to last, don’t we?

I practice confidence all the time. All. The. Time.

One way I do it is by going back to one of my favorite books, “Think and Grow Rich,” which has stood the test of time not just for me but for millions of people since Napoleon Hill wrote it in 1960. It’s one of the most influential tools I’ve used to build a career and life that’s focused on service, wealth, and sustainability, i.e. creating a life for the long haul, not just a few years. I am very picky about my resources and this book is no joke.

I can just see my clients rolling their eyes now; I never fail to mention the book if they’re feeling stuck.

One of the most helpful parts of the book – the reason I go back to it again and again, is because it is highly specific; it has MEAT and doesn’t skimp on the “how to.” The strategy to create enormous opportunity and wealth is laid out in front of you so you don’t have to think about – you just have to believe, feel it, and TEST IT OUT.

One of the most used strategies is the Self-Confidence Formula.

It’s a systematic, 5-step formula to go back to whenever you need to build up your confidence. It’s something I wanted to practice, so I wrote out the formula on a giant notepad where I keep my affirmations, and I read it daily. I’ve re-written the formula over the years, but one thing remains the same, I go back to it again and again. It shows me just how useful it is to trust in my own competence, which comes in handy every minute of every day as an entrepreneur.

I want to share the formula with you so you can test it out for yourself. If you’re visual, like me, write it out. If you’re an auditory learner, read it out loud. However you do it, do it. Make it your own. If you feel doubtful, scared, or anxious, it’s worth the test. See below for the formula.

My morning tools: Copy of “Think and Grow Rich,” my affirmations notebook, dreams notepad, sharpies. Not pictured: hot cuppa tea and a candle to the left.

Check out the top right corner of my copy. I even highlight for MYSELF how it works.

SELF-CONFIDENCE FORMULA (straight from the book)

  • FIRSTI know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose in life; therefore, I demand of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.
  • SECOND: I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore I will concentrate my thoughts for thirty minutes daily, upon the task of thining of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture. [Note: This is one of the most legit parts of the formula. It works.]
  • THIRD: I know through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence
  • FOURTH: I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying, until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.
  • FIFTH: I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore, I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, jealousy, selfishness, and cynicism, by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can never bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself. I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a self-reliant, successful person.

Nice, right? I love how the emphasis is on respecting others AND knowing how capable and competent YOU are.

If you don’t have a copy of the book already, please grab one. They’re $7 used on Amazon. Let me know how the formula works for you when you try it. I’m confident (see what I did there? 😉 it will help you like it did me. Most importantly, if you’re feeling doubtful, don’t just read this and not do anything. Do something. Start with the formula.

Ishita Gupta is the publisher of fear.less magazine. She worked at The Domino Project, runs the Potential Project, and helps people overcome fear and design their best lives. She also consults for authors and businesses on marketing and publishing. You can also follow Ishita on Facebook or Twitter.

Image courtesy of Kim Daniel.