Confidence is important, but if it’s not based on a realistic appraisal of who we are and what we can do, it’s counterproductive at best and smug delusion at worst. There’s a big difference between growing and swelling.

That’s why we can’t build self-esteem by merely thinking the right thoughts or saying the right words, but only by continually working hard at things we’re no good at until we are. And that takes courage—looking in the mirror, deciding what we really should be doing, and then doing it.

Sometimes, then, we have to ask ourselves hard questions. 

“Do I lack talent or do I just need to focus?”

“Do I need more help or education or do I just need to stop procrastinating?”

“Do I need more motivation or do I just need to decide that not accomplishing my goals simply isn’t acceptable?”

My point? If you wait until you feel good to get going, you’ll never get off the mark and never feel good. This is why so much self-help advice comes down to “just get going.” 

You don’t need confidence to start. You need to start to develop confidence.