Confidence and How to Build It
Confidence- belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance
In this essay, I hope to cover the subject of confidence to the best of my abilities. This will include building the amount of confidence you have in yourself, building this confidence, and what to do with it once you have it.
First off, you have to build up your confidence. There are many ways of doing this, and I’m sure the majority of them work just fine, but there are some that I have found really work, and yes, I will share them with you.
Before you begin building your confidence, you mush have good people skills. To get good people skills, I have a little “exercise” for you. First off, I do not want to claim originality to this, I got the basic idea from another essay.
To get good people skills, start to approach complete strangers you come across in public, introduce yourself, and starting a conversation. The conversation can be about anything, but please be sure it’s nothing cheesy like the weather.
If you’re a guy, which I’m sure many of you reading this are, try approaching girls your own age. Sure, you’ll be nervous, heck, they’ll probably tell you to go away the first couple of times. But don’t let that get you down, it happens.
Also, I recommend starting off with smaller groups of people… even one person at a time. After you have done this for a couple of days, or even weeks in the case of some people, start approaching larger groups. Do you see where I’m going with this? The larger the groups, the more confidence you have.
One last thing on this subject… don’t be scared or nervous. Sure, they’re strangers, but 99% of the time they will be open to talking to you, and won’t turn you down. So go out there and meet some new people!
The second thing I want to talk about that has to do with building your confidence actually has to do with magic, and should be done only after you’re sure you have good people skills.
The next step to building your confidence is performing every change that you get. Of course, when you’re performing a lot, you want to make sure that your performances are absolutely spotless. This includes both your actual presentation and your technical skills. I will cover both of these performance aspects, but I will not be able to go over everything… I’ll save that for another essay.
Obviously, to make your performances great, you will have to practice your butt off. But, I highly recommend scripting your routines and/or each individual effect. Then, practice your performances, following your script, so that your presentation will seem very prepared and professional to the audience. However, be prepared to change your performance on the spot, because you cannot possible script everything that may happen during any given performance.
To improve your technical skills, it will take just as much, if not more practice than it takes to improve your presentational skills. When you are working on a particular sleight or effect, I recommend setting a minimum amount of practice for yourself. This may be a certain amount of time, or it could be how many times you practice the move/effect per day.
A very quick, yet harder way to gain a great amount of confidence is to perform more often when popular, well-known, or even “powerful” and/or “influential” people are present. Obviously, being more well-known, performing around these people will make you more nervous than normal, and who can blame you? These types of people can sometimes be arrogant, cocky, and rude, but the majority of the time they are pretty nice. The key to succeeding when performing for these types of people is don’t mess up. And of course, the keys to not messing up are to not be nervous, and, even more importantly, make sure that you only perform a material that you have practiced and performed a lot, and are therefore very comfortable with. A performance that could mean your reputation is not the time to “break in” a new effect.
The rule of performing only material you are comfortable with and not messing up I think, should honestly apply to all your performances if you want to succeed and therefore build your confidence.
One last thing I can recommend you doing is performing at charity events, fund raisers, hospitals, etc. More than likely, if you do well, you well receive many compliments on your performance(s), and this will help you become confident with yourself.
Now that you have your confidence, what do you do with it? First of all, know the difference between being confident and being cocky. Please, don’t play God and act like you can’t mess up… everybody screws up sometime, even the pros. And if it hasn’t happened to you yet... it will. However, when it does, it is key to know how to handle it (which may be the topic of an upcoming essay), and don’t let it make the confidence you’ve worked so hard to gain disappear.
And yet another essay comes to an end. I have really enjoyed writing these essays, and I would like to thank everyone who has enjoyed reading them. Thanks for your support!