Table of Contents
What is Self-Confidence?
Self-Confidence – Security or self-confidence entails being confident in oneself and one’s abilities, not arrogantly, but realistically. This security does not imply a sense of superiority over others. It is about knowing, internally and calmly, that you are capable.
- Feel safer than insecure
- Knows that his talents and abilities can be relied upon to cope with whatever may come his way
- Feel prepared for everyday challenges, such as an exam, presentation or competition
- Think “I can” instead of “I can’t”
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Why is Self-Confidence so Important?
Self-assurance makes us feel more prepared to face life’s challenges. When we are confident in ourselves, we tend to gravitate toward people and opportunities rather than away from them. And if things don’t work out the first time, self-assurance allows us to try again.
When a person lacks self-confidence, just the opposite happens. You are much less likely to try new things and try to communicate with a stranger. If he fails at something the first time, it is very unlikely that he will try again. A lack of security or self-confidence can prevent a person from reaching their full potential.
How to Increase Self-Confidence?
We are tired of hearing hackneyed phrases that invite us to love and accept ourselves, to fight for our dreams and believe in ourselves, without ever being told how to do that. How am I going to love myself from one day to the next after years hating my flaws ? How to do it if deep inside I don’t feel that I am a valuable person?
Well, there is no magic wand capable of making your self-confidence increase in a second. The only one who has the key to open that door is yourself and to achieve this you have to generate several changes . However, with motivation and perseverance you can increase your security and you will see how your life changes radically. Here are some guidelines to achieve it.
Believe in Yourself
When people praise us or recognize our talents, it increases our self-confidence, as long as we believe their words. If you were to doubt or question the good things that people say about you, that would be the opposite of self-confidence.
To feel truly confident in yourself, you need to truly believe that you are capable. The best way to develop this belief is to use your talents and abilities through learning and practice.
Confidence in ourselves helps us move towards the discovery and development of our abilities. When we see what we are capable of and take pride in our achievements, our confidence grows stronger.
Change Your Inner Dialogue
Through our thoughts, people send messages to ourselves. We recriminate or congratulate ourselves, we judge ourselves, we comment on our actions. This internal dialogue is often automatic and we do not realize the amount of negative communications that we send to each other throughout the day.
If you want to increase your self-confidence you have to change the way you talk to yourself. Be indulgent, understanding and loving with yourself . Start talking to yourself about what you do well and focus on your mistakes as opportunities for growth. If you constantly beat yourself up and punish yourself mentally, it is impossible for you to believe in yourself.
Act As If
One of the most effective tools to create change is to start acting as if what we want is already a reality. Begin to behave as a person with high self-esteem and security would:
Walk upright and look straight ahead when you walk down the street.
Accept challenges and carry them out as if you fully trust your abilities . If you continue to be stuck in insecurity, you will never give yourself the opportunity to fulfill your potential. Instead, each time you try it you will discover that you are much more capable than you think and your self-confidence will increase.
Start setting limits even if you feel afraid . You may be afraid that others will reject you if you refuse their requests or express your opinion. Likewise, do it and tell yourself that it doesn’t matter if the other gets angry, it’s your right to take care of yourself.
Reinterpret Your Fears
Believe it or not, fear and excitement are caused by the same substance: adrenaline; and although psychologically both emotions are experienced differently, both have a similarity at a biological level.
This means that it is tentatively possible to psychologically re-evaluate our anxiety responses and transform them into enthusiasm . This was confirmed by a study published in the Journal Experimental Psychology, where Dr. Alison Brooks separated a group of students into three subgroups and subjected each member to an activity that usually generates anxiety (an individual presentation while a jury evaluated them).
However, prior to the activity, a different instruction was given to each participant. In this case, the members of the first group were not told anything; while the second and third groups were asked to repeat aloud “ I am calm ” and “ I am excited ”, respectively .
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Self-Confidence is Built
Finally, keep your actions consistent and persistent. All changes take time, and you will need to adapt before these actions become automatic. Remember that walking makes the path, and practicing makes it secure. Talk to yourself in a optimistic and constructive way, give yourself opportunities to grow, and always prioritize yourself.
Avoid the Trap of Arrogance
As you begin to express yourself more confidently, it’s natural to worry that you might become arrogant in the process. However, according to Houpert, arrogance is not out-of-control confidence.
“Arrogance stems from insecurity rather than overconfidence.” Arrogance requires external validation to feel good, whereas confidence is self-satisfying. That is why some people brag in order to gain the attention of others. Someone who has genuine self-confidence is capable of asserting and defending themselves, but is unlikely to adopt an arrogant tone. “Interestingly, developing true self-confidence is the best defense against arrogance,” he said.
If you begin to doubt yourself, it will take some time for you to realize you are in the right place. Meanwhile, your ingrained self-doubt may be telling you that feeling good about yourself or being assertive is arrogance. Recognizing that this is a symptom of insecurity (and that being aware of the symptom is a way to protect yourself from it) may help you get through the situation.
Many people begin exercising in order to lose weight or gain muscle, but exercise can also significantly boost your self-confidence. According to the American Psychological Association, exercise improves mood and, when combined with consistent therapy and treatment, aids in the treatment of depression and anxiety. If you keep doing it for a while, it can also help boost your confidence. Consistent exercise necessitates a certain level of commitment, and maintaining that commitment is an accomplishment. Maintaining a new, healthy habit not only boosts your confidence, but it also allows you to see long-term physical improvements in your body and health.
Stop Chasing Confidence
Before starting I would like to remind you of something fundamental, but that we often forget:
- It is impossible to always feel confident.
- Our confidence level fluctuates. The same person can feel very self-confident upon finding her dream job, and downright depressed if she gets fired. And it’s normal.
- No one escapes this. Even people as successful as Hollywood actresses have confessed to feeling like a failure on many occasions!
- So don’t try to always be confident and sure of yourself. It has been scientifically proven that the more you chase after it, the more insecure and sad you will feel .
Find Reasons to Trust You
Many people have a habit of belittling their achievements. This is known as impostor syndrome . They attribute their successes to luck, convincing themselves that they are a fraud and do not deserve what they have achieved.
If you think this is the case for you, you should be more aware of your achievements and the personal qualities that have made them possible. That will help you value yourself more. To do this, make a list of 3 successes that you have achieved in your life , whether in the workplace, academic or personal, and identify the quality you needed to achieve each of them.
If, for example, you finished a degree while working, surely that means that you are determined and persevering, right? Well don’t forget it.
Make Smaller Decisions
In the same way that taking action is the source of confidence, making decisions is also a great booster. Making a decision, no matter how small, has been scientifically proven to activate your prefrontal cortex, reducing your worry and increasing your confidence.
If you make decisions regularly, you will feel more in control in your life. Starting with small daily decisions is enough, such as:
Choose the movie you are going to see with your partner.
Decide the restaurant where you will dine with your friends Little by little you will feel able to make more difficult but important decisions for you, such as joining a choir when your partner thinks it is a waste of time.
Learning to trust yourself is essential to get out of your comfort zone and live a fuller life.
The first step is to understand the golden rule of trust . Stop trying to feel confident before facing any challenge, because that is impossible. You will only feel confident later, once you have acted. Remember: acts first, and then feelings of trust. It’s something you already do several times a day.
Then, there are several tools that can give you an extra boost of confidence when you need it most, such as remembering your values, reinterpreting your fear as enthusiasm, or striking a power pose, but above all, avoid making confidence a goal .
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