“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted…Do it now.” –Paulo Coelho
When it comes to making decisions, do you tend to hesitate or take action? Do you find yourself second-guessing everything? If you live in analysis paralysis mode, you’re not alone.
I’m a Gemini – the sign of the twins and duality – so needless to say, indecisiveness comes with the territory. Imagine how much time I could save if it didn’t take me 10 minutes to decide on a latte versus a cappuccino every morning. Or the time it takes to rehearse difficult conversations in my head, simultaneously playing out all the possible scenarios.
In all seriousness, it’s exhausting when you don’t know what you want.
Thankfully, I’ve become more decisive as I’ve gotten older. How did I do it? By developing my confidence. I stopped hesitating and started taking action.
About five years ago, I hit a breaking point. I was tired of caring so much, wasting emotional energy on all the wrong people and holding back what I really wanted to say. I resented myself for being the one thing I hate most in other people: inauthentic.
Everything changed for me when I started focusing less on impressing other people, and more on connecting with them.
And trust me when I tell you – it is SO liberating when you can make this mental shift. Not only will you start feeling more confident in yourself, but you will also start attracting the right people into your life.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding confidence, what it means and how to get it. First of all, confidence is not a personality trait; it’s a skill, and one you can strengthen with practice.
The Power of the 5-Second Rule
Our minds are designed to protect us from doing things that are new, scary and uncertain. This is the real reason why change is so hard; our brains are wired for short-term satisfaction, and have a difficult time processing long-term gain. As a result, we overthink and doubt ourselves.
The good news, however, is that you can outsmart your brain with the 5-second rule. The way it works is simple.
“If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea,” says Mel Robbins, motivational speaker and author of The 5-Second Rule.
Research shows you have five seconds until your brain takes over and the self-doubt starts creeping in. You have five seconds to get back in the driver’s seat. The second you start hesitating, you’ve already lost and your brain starts working against you.
To put it simply, stop waiting. Start doing. Replace your habit of hesitation with a habit of taking action.
Practice this daily with the decisions you make and you will start to develop core confidence. This means the next time you’re in a meeting and have a great idea, speak up. The next time you see a cute guy or girl in a coffee shop, smile. Over time, fear and self-doubt will no longer be your default. You will learn to trust your instincts and believe in yourself.