Do you wish you had more confidence? Do you sometimes look at other people and wish you were as confident and self-assured?
What is self-confidence? One definition is an individual’s trust in his or her own abilities, capacities, and judgments, or belief that he or she can successfully face day to day challenges and demands.
Reflect for a moment on how self-confident you think you are. How confident do you feel around your work? What about your confidence when you are with friends and your family? How confident do you feel about making a presentation at work or talking to a stranger?
Being self-confident will help you achieve your goals and go after the things you want out of life.
If you lack confidence and want to build your self-confidence, it is important to keep in mind that it is a process and it can’t be built overnight. I have put together steps that you can take to help you increase your self-confidence and the more you practice those steps the better your end result will be.
The first thing and most important one is to understand that your thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all interlinked. Understanding this connection will help you stop that inner voice in your head that stops you from achieving your goals.
Before I give you some tips on how to learn to have more confidence I want to give you an example how your inner voice can undermine your confidence.
Imagine you are walking into a room at a networking event and think “I don’t know anyone here, I will look stupid, everyone will look at me, I don’t know what to say”, your feeling will be anxiety and your behaviour will be that you might not talk to anyone or try and hide in a corner.
On the other hand, if you think instead “I don’t know anyone, but I will pick out one other person on their own and go straight over and introduce myself”. That way you may still feel a bit anxious, but nothing like in the first scenario. As a result, instead of trying to hide, you go to a person and introduce yourself.
Below are some tips on how you can start working to improve your self-confidence. I found from experience they work very well with my clients. The key is to keep practicing them and the ore you do each exercise the more confidence you are going to build.
Tip 1) Before you are going to face a situation where you want to feel more self-confident, work through it in your head, like in the above example, and ask yourself what are you thinking about the event/situation and how can you think about it in a more helpful way.
Tip 2) Use positive affirmation. Get some index cards and write a positive statement about yourself on it. For example, “I am a kind and helpful person”, “I am worthy”, “I am a great coworker/boss/friend” and so on. The key is to read them every day. Leave the cards somewhere where you can see them, so you don’t forget.
Tip 3) An easy way to immediately boost your self-confidence is to dress smartly. Get your nice clothes out, and feel fantastic.
Tip 4) Practice speaking out loud. Often when someone lack confidence they speak very softly and therefor may lose an audience when they are speaking, which reconfirms unhelpful thoughts such as “No one is interested to talk to me”. Practice speaking a bit louder in front of a mirror. Again, don’t do it just once, do it daily, over a few weeks.
Tip 5) focus on your strengths rather than your shortcomings. This is again related to how you think.
Tip 6) Write down 3 things every day that you did well, and you are proud of.
Carrying out those steps will require some perseverance on your part. It’s learning new habits and the best way to learn new habits is to take one small step at a time and practice that for a while before you introduce the next step.
And finally, I would like to leave you with this quote from John Eliot:
“Confidence is not a guarantee of success, but a pattern of thinking that will improve your likelihood of success, a tenacious search for ways to make things work.”
From “Easy Steps to Build Your Self-Confidence” by Susi Lodola on Women’s Inspire Network