I first became alert to the idea that confidence could be an antedote to worry following a comment to this blog from ‘Cher’ (thanks). I wondered at the time, just how do you grow confidence? Now, I’m beginning to find out.
One way I’ve unexpectantly become more confident is by learning to tolerate uncertainty, which is the second stage of the cognitive behavioural therapy protocol for generalised anxiety disorder by Dugas and Robichaud (2007). Cognitive-behavioral treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: From science to practice.
Here’s how I think it works: Firstly, I’ve been deliberately putting myself in situations that are uncertain and that I would normally avoid or overanalyse. The aim has been to find new ways of dealing with uncertainty; I’ve learned that I often overestimate how difficult things will be, and that I can deal with far more situations than I thought I could.
Secondly, I’ve been tolerating anxiety without receiving reassurance from people (accept by accident). The two things together add up to more confidence. I’ve learnt that I am more resilent than I thought and that I can face uncertainty in my own strength. I’ve even had some whole afternoons in which I have not felt at all anxious, which really is a step in the right direction.