Building confidence through learning

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…” 

We conjure the confidence we need in so many different ways. Sometimes, it seems to pop out of nowhere, or we push ourselves to engage in an activity that we know will increase our self-confidence.  However, other times we might struggle to build that confidence within ourselves. Luckily, we can fight off the imposter syndrome and reach goals that we initially thought were too far out of our reach. 

 

Fake it ‘till you make it? 

Confidence goes a long way! You’ve probably heard the phrases, “fake till you make it,” or “visualize your highest self…” And these are usually meant to encourage us to go ahead and start something before the confidence kicks in — with the understanding that eventually, it will, and it usually does. But what if there was a way to start building confidence as you prepare for a change? So that we didn’t necessarily have to fake it. 

Making a change takes a lot of guts! Especially when one of the steps to making that change is learning something new. Many times, we look at the people around us who have already made a successful change, and we perceive them as being innately more confident than we are but, this is almost never the case! 

If you’re considering enrolling in a continuing education program or currently enrolled in one – you’ve already started something that you can use to build your confidence, and that’s exciting! Here are a couple of ways that you can use the time that you’re spending in school to start seeing yourself as capable and competent, and therefore more confident! We’ll also take a look at how others feel about education as a confidence booster. 

 

Define your goal(s)!

Knowing what your end goal is can be really helpful as you embark upon a journey of learning new information and skills. Especially as adults, when you reenter a realm where you’re no longer the expert, it can feel unnerving – you might feel somewhat out of control, but remembering our goal or “why” can recenter us. If you’re in a program that you hope will help you land a new job, start thinking about how the information that you’re learning might be utilized in that environment. Find out how others have navigated jobs in a similar career path to the one you’re targeting. Try to find information about your desired career to read up on – start to put the pieces together. Remembering what we’re working towards ultimately, can help group us as we step out of our comfort zones.

 

Networking

School is a great place to start asking around and making connections in a low-risk environment. After all – it’s the place to learn, and that doesn’t need to be isolated to solely learning the information you need to graduate – start thinking about your program and learning provider in a broader sense. Networking is a great way to start building confidence — and through your learning provider, you have access to a diverse community. There’s a good chance that one of your instructors or classmates has experience or knows someone who understands the job that you’re interested in. See if you can connect with them on LinkedIn, or send them a few questions over email. They might be willing to meet up and talk! 

Networking and pushing yourself to talk to people you may not have otherwise is going to build that confidence, too, as will hearing good things about yourself from others! Try asking a good friend or classmate to make a list of things they think you’re good at and admire about you – you’ll be surprised! Many times, other people see us in a more positive light than we view ourselves. Change that perspective and allow yourself to think about what you are already good at. Then start noticing the little things that you are picking up on in your program, and the good grades that are rolling in – you can shape those into a strong foundation of confidence for the changes ahead.

 

Let’s see what others have to say!

We asked people enrolled in school to tell us how they think the experience might change them and it’s really encouraging to see the results!

 

“Working towards my bachelor’s shows that I’m striving to improve myself. Definitely increases my confidence when I can tell my supervisors, my boss, like, ‘Hey, I’m getting my bachelor’s.’ I’m literally learning the newest stuff out there and applying it!”

-Ivan P.

 

“With technology today … I feel like it’s hard to keep up. I saw a data analyst certification through my employer and I am in it, I’m loving it, and it’s really helped me grow and give me confidence in my own abilities.”

-Kevin L.

 

“Tell your advisor what your goals are.” “It like gives you a confidence boost when someone else says, ‘This is good.’” 

Alkali S.

 

“I refused to end January without applying for school. And I did. And when I filled everything out, it was like relief – we’re starting out a new month with more confidence…”

Laura M.

 

“In the future, if I ever have to send my resume somewhere …I do have an education. I think it’s just more so for my confidence. I can go into applying for jobs one day knowing I have an education.”

Brandy B.

 

I had to take a competency test … I was taking this test and I thought, ‘this is gonna be way too hard.’ In the end, I was like a 98%. And I thought, ‘Wow, I guess I know more than I knew.’ So that really helped too – realizing I could do more.”

Loretta T.

 

“…if I can continue to stay focused on myself and just keep doing my schooling and see where it takes me from where I’m at right now. It helped me feel like … you can do things and you are equal. …it lifted me up and it made me feel more confident in myself.”

Nellie F.

 

Like this post? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiring stories and helpful tips. If you’re interested in sharing your own story, you can tell us about your education journey right here.

Written by Guild

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