An effective way to grow your confidence permanently is to try to create a positive self-reinforcing feedback loop of success. You’ll recall that success is one of the pillars of authentic confidence.

A self-reinforcing feedback loop is a cycle that feeds on itself and causes it to either continue to grow or makes it stop. These feedback loops exist in the natural world, in mechanical systems (your thermostat has a negative feedback loop), and even in attempts at self-improvement.

These feedback loops can be positive (growth) or negative (decline/stop). Here’s an example of a positive self-reinforcing feedback loop for confidence and success.

If you feel confident about something, you’re more likely to succeed. If you succeed, you become more confident. This makes you more likely to succeed at the next thing you try. This makes the two -success and confidence -reinforce and support one another.

Do this often enough, and you can create a positive self-reinforcing feedback loop in which you continuously spiral upwards into higher levels of both success and confidence. It’s fairly easy to start one once you know how to do it.

And all of this starts simply by feeling confident that you can succeed at something. It doesn’t have to be something big, either; in fact, it shouldn’t be, as you want to maximize your chances of success. A single, small goal that you achieve or a simple task that you complete can be all that’s needed to start the positive feedback loop.

Select a goal that you’re sure you can achieve, then select another that you’re fairly sure you can reach, and so on. Maximize the number of steps you take to help increase the number of successes you have on the way. Again, make each one as simple and achievable as possible so that you’re less likely to fail.

This latter is important because negative self-reinforcing feedback loops also exist, and you can get stuck in one if you’re not careful. If you try something and fail, you’re likely to feel bad about yourself. This will shake your confidence. Less confidence equals less chance of future success, which can quickly cause you to spiral downward.

If you do fail, even if you fall into a negative feedback loop, don’t despair. You can pull out of one. If the failure hasn’t rattled your confidence, figure out what went wrong and try it again, incorporating what you’ve learned. If it has, start back at the beginning and create a new feedback loop.