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Self-Confidence can roughly be described as the ability of a person to have faith in his or her abilities and competence. Confidence comes from a latin word fidere’ which means “to trust”; therefore, having a self-confidence is having trust in one’s self.
How to Believe in Yourself and Build Self-Confidence
When it comes to success, nothing is more important and powerful than self-confidence and belief in oneself. In fact, if we want to be successful, self-belief is more important than intelligence, talent, background, or just about anything else. In addition to this, people who have self-confidence and believe in themselves are healthier, happier, have better relationships, and are more motivated and resilient.
Everyone admires a self-confident person. Self-confident people seem at ease with themselves and their work. They invite trust and inspire confidence in others. These are attractive characteristics.
There are many factors that affect our self-confidence, including our parents, our upbringing, our environment, our beliefs, past failures and successes, society, how other people treat us, the media, and our experiences at large.
A lack of self-confidence is not directly related to a lack of talent, skill or ability. It is more related to our perception.
It’s not always easy to be confident in yourself, particularly if you’re naturally self-critical, or if other people put you down most times. But there are steps that you can take to increase and maintain your self-confidence.
Why Is It Important?
Self-confidence is understanding that you believe in your own judgment and abilities, and that you value yourself and feel worthy, regardless of any imperfections or of what others may believe about you.
Doing what you believe to be right, even if others mock or criticize you for it.
Being willing to take risks and to go the extra mile to achieve better things.
Admitting your mistakes, and learning from them. Working hard to fix your mistakes.
Accepting compliments graciously. “Thanks, I really worked hard on that prospectus. I’m pleased you recognize my efforts.”
Behavior Associated With Low Self-Confidence
Staying in your comfort zone, fearing failure, and avoiding risk.
Governing your behavior based on what other people think.
Waiting for others to congratulate you on your accomplishments.
Thinking you are not good enough to complete a certain task or good enough for anything or anyone.
As these examples show, low self-confidence can be self-destructive, and it may manifest itself as negativity.
Self –confidence brings peace. People that self-confident are generally more positive – they value themselves and trust their own judgment. But they also acknowledge their failures and mistakes and learn from them.
All of us have made mistakes, experienced failure and felt disappointment in our lives. I know I certainly have had more than my fair share. Realize that you are human and that nobody is blemish-free. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Do not let your mistakes and regret weigh you down. By forgiving yourself, you unburden yourself and get rid of the excess luggage you have been carrying around all these years.
Some of us have also been subjected to hardships and injustices. All these experiences affect a person’s self-confidence and faith in his or her own abilities. Thankfully, there are ways to develop a strong self-belief even though it does require some time and effort. You deserve better. It is important to remember that our past does not have to dictate our future. What matters is today.
Confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their co-workers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways to succeed.
How to Gain Self-Confidence and Start Believing in Yourself
Look at what you’ve already achieved.
It’s easy to lose confidence if you believe you haven’t achieved anything. Think of things you’re good at. Everyone has strengths and talents. Set some goals. Talk yourself up. Get a hobby.
Most of us are unduly hard on ourselves. We tend to recall our mistakes and failures more than our successes. Sure, we have fallen short and blundered as everyone has at one point. But we also have managed to overcome difficult situations successfully and accomplish things that we can be proud of. We tend to focus on our shortcomings rather than what we have achieved.
Make a list of all the things you have achieved in your life, both big and small. You will be surprised how many things you have accomplished that you overlook and do not give yourself credit for.
Seek positive feedback from others
Ask the people closest to you to tell you about your positive qualities, talents and skills. Since we tend to be extremely critical of ourselves, get positive feedback from others who are better able to see your virtues.
You may be surprised by what you hear and may learn that you have more going on for you than you realized. Positive reinforcement from others can be very powerful and empowering. Always surround yourself with people that bring you up , make you feel good about yourself and push you to do positive things.
The kind of people we surround ourselves with affects how we think, feel and act. This affects our self-belief. Make it a point to spend most of your time with people who are positive, non-critical, and have an optimistic view on life. These people will support and encourage you via their words and actions.
Rid yourself of toxic friends, or at least limit the time you spend with them. Misery loves company so stay away from it.
Body Language and Grooming
Adopt an open posture. Keep your head upright and level. Don’t lean too far forward or backward, sit or stand upright and place your hands by your sides. And be sure not to slouch!
Proper grooming makes us feel better about ourselves and increases our self-pride and confidence. The way we dress also affects our self-confidence. While it does not mean that you suddenly become Mr. Confident the moment you put on your suit, dressing well makes a difference by boosting self-confidence.
Most of us know one or more negative people in our lives. These are the negative Bettys who find fault in and whine about almost everything. When we complain, we are in essence underlining things that are wrong instead of focusing on what is right. Pay attention to your mindset and stop complaining about circumstances because it only amplifies negativity and does not help your self-confidence. Speaking positively and optimistically helps to change our mindsets and provide us with the confidence that things will get better.
When we practice gratitude, we are taking stock of all the good things in our lives. As we know, we spend too much time focusing on what is lacking or wrong.
Question your current negative beliefs and replace them with positive ones
One factor that determines our level of self-confidence is our beliefs. Many people with low self-confidence hold limiting beliefs that are not based on reality. For example, you might believe that nobody likes you when, in actual fact, there are many people who love you and cherish your company. Or you might believe you don’t deserve someone when in fact you do in every sense, you are worth it.
I have questioned the accuracy of many other limiting beliefs in my life and now realize that they were wrong. Take the time to write down your limiting beliefs and question their accuracy. Just as people once believed that the world was flat, acknowledge that many of your limiting beliefs are flat out wrong.
Think of a fear you have overcome
When we lack confidence and self-belief, we become fearful that we are not good enough or worthy enough. We fear the consequences associated with failing so we do not try. Very often, our minds exaggerate possible negative consequences and replay them over and over in our heads. Most of our fears are unwarranted. There is not one person in this world who has not failed at something. It is a natural part of life.
Many of the most successful people in this world have failed numerous times. The difference is that they did not give up or allow themselves to stay down for too long.
They kissed their wounds, dusted themselves off, and learned from their failure. The only people who do not fail are those who do not try, and not trying is the ultimate failure. Look at your past failures as valuable lessons. Be grateful for them because they have taught you what does not work.
Trust the process Take tiny steps and make small changes
Many of us look too far into the future and forget that a journey starts with the first step. When we take tiny steps and make small changes in our lives, we slowly start to believe in our ability to take action.
If you want to read 50 books a year, start by reading for 5 minutes each day. The point is to do small actions which you can slowly increase over time.
Do your homework and prepare
One way to overcome a lack of self-confidence is to prepare diligently. For example you lack confidence in public speaking, what will help bolster your confidence is doing your research by looking up your topic, practicing in front of a mirror, and rehearsing in front of a small number of trusted friends or family members who support you and give you positive vibes.
Practice and preparation go a long way in helping you to build confidence in your abilities.
Focus attention on the solutions and not the problems
When we lack self-confidence, we tend to focus on all that can go wrong instead of on all the things that can go right. We get daunted and overwhelmed by problems rather than trying to come up with solutions.
Celebrate the wins/give yourself credit
When you take small steps and accomplish small wins, celebrate them. If you made a small profit today, celebrate it and give yourself credit. Focus on what you accomplished rather than what you did not. You deserve it.
Make the effort to improve your skills through constant learning. If you want to start your own business, enroll in a small business class at your local college. If you want to write a novel, then read good books, read writing blogs every day, and take a writing class. We should always be learning and improving our skills and competencies.
Even the most outwardly confident person can find themselves doubting their abilities sometimes. For example, you may have a talent for coming up with great ideas or solutions but struggle to make your voice heard in meetings.
To address short-term dips in confidence, first try to identify the cause of the problem. Other people’s attitudes or behavior may contribute to your lack of confidence. If you’re being bullied, if you’re subjected to macroaggressions in the workplace, or if you feel that people are making unfair assumptions about you, you need to call this behavior out.
Learn to love yourself. Each of us is unique and there is nobody in the world quite like you. You are worth it and you deserve the best. When we love ourselves, we treat ourselves better and speak to ourselves more warmly.
Everywhere you go and everything you do, self-confidence is needed for your accomplishment of what you did. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to do. But for a few people it comes naturally ,but they still improve it.