The ability to see life as a classroom with a learning mindset can turn obstacles or setbacks into opportunities to grow and gain confidence. Try these five steps to uncover confidence within.

1. Notice any limiting beliefs that say you can’t do something.

2. In that moment, notice you’re awake and have the ability to see and do things differently.

3. Notice if there is any fear there. Meet it with self-compassion, and say to yourself, “Breathing in, I’m aware of this fear. Breathing out, may I be at ease.”

4. Respond with a learning mindset. You might say, “I’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked for me, but this is a new moment, and maybe I can learn something from it.”

5. Keep trying. Just like riding a bike, as you intentionally practice and repeat this, your confidence will continue to grow.

A learning mindset isn’t about achieving; it’s about aspiring to keep getting better and better. When obstacles arise, instead of falling prey to our limiting beliefs that we “can” or “can’t” handle what life throws at us, we can be curious and open. We can use our experience as our teacher. You can’t pass or fail, because life is a continuous process of growth.

Elisha Goldstein

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and conducts a private practice in West Los Angeles. He is author of Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion (Atria Books, 2015), The Now Effect (Atria Books, 2012), Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler (Atria Books, 2013), and co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger, 2010).

Stefanie Goldstein

Stefanie Goldstein, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the director and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Living in West Los Angeles. She specializes in mindfulness while working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She is also the co-creator of the Good Morning America featured popular teen program CALM: Connecting Adolescents to Learning Mindfulness, an 8-week program that teaches mindfulness and social-emotional learning to teens.


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