Can confidence be learned? Well more to the point, how can you unlearn how to be un-confident??
No one is born confident. It is something that we learn along the path of our lives. Humans all start out exactly the same, you wouldn't see a small baby and think it was 'confident' or not, would you?
Confidence is something that is made or broken, usually when we are children. Different experiences teach us different things. We have different persona's in different areas of our lives also. Someone may be confident with their close friends, but unconfident in groups of new people, others may be confident all around.
This comes down to our experiences of life so far. The people that have learned to be unconfident in some area, have usually had a negative experience that has taught them not to be, and that it is 'safer' to be unconfident in this area.
Think of a student having to get up in front of their peers to give a speech. That student has a terrible time, stumbling over their words and becoming confused as to where they are up to. The peers start laughing and the student feels embarrassed.
From then on the student has learned that speaking in front of a group = embarrassment, so therefore has learned to be unconfident in that area. Fast forward a few years later when the student is now in the work environment, and the boss asks "will you give this presentation to the team", the student falls back on the learning, and replies "no I am not confident in speaking to groups". This person has now missed a great opportunity because they learned to be unconfident!
So can confidence be learned and unlearned... YES it can.
What needs to happen is for your mind to go back to the very time you learned to be UNCONFIDENT. Your mind needs to re-learn and recode the way that it does confidence.
1. Try looking at that time/event as if it is on a movie screen, and you are watching yourself as a character (this allows you to see the event as third person - taking away the emotional response to the event)
2. Ask yourself what is the LEARNING that you can take from that event? (from the example above, the student may learn that they needed to spend more time rehearsing the speech, and perhaps starting off by reading it front of a few friends or family members first to get it right)
3. Then play through a movie on that screen of the way it could have turned out if you had have done XYZ.
4. Then play a through a movie of a future event, that is similar to the initial event and see how different it would be when yo implement the LEARNING before hand.
5. Check in with yourself about how different you feel about this future event now?
Give it a go and let us know how you get on!