Confidence comes from our inner selves. It’s shaped by the perception we have about ourselves and the belief in our abilities, skills, and experience. You don’t have to be the best in everything to be confident. All you need is to accept your body and your mind! Luckily, this can be learned with well-designed techniques and strategies. Some of them you can even try at home!
Why Is Self Confidence Important?
Before we get to those techniques, we’d like to amplify why building self-confidence is important. Confidence and self-love go hand in hand. And you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself first. This means taking pride in your accomplishments and recognizing your flaws. Healthy self-confidence is also necessary for developing new skills and reaching your potential (for your professional and personal life too).
Building confidence will also help you stay on track with achieving your professional and life goals. After you accomplish a small step towards your goal, you will feel more confident which will then make you feel more motivated to continue (even if things get tough). Think about all the things you did well and embrace your strengths!
Confidence will help you create an action plan and actually stick to it. Whether you strive for business success (maybe get that dream job) or personal fulfillment (learning a new language, teaching yourself to play an instrument, etc), you’re much more likely to stay motivated if you believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish great things.
Stop Being Afraid
People with low self-esteem feel that their dreams are impossible to reach. Not only this but they question every decision they make and criticize everything they do every day. Self-doubt stops a person from moving forward. Even ordinary tasks become impossible because of increased fear and anxiety. The lack of confidence makes you feel you’re not good enough for anything.
Building confidence can help you calm this voice in your head that hurts your well-being. Confident people have learned to stop overthinking and accept themselves for who they are. They’re not afraid to explore new things and follow their ambition.
As you become more confident you’ll ask different “What if” questions. Instead of “what if I fail”, you’ll ask yourself “What if I succeed”, “What if I can do more”, etc. You’ll stop with the constant criticism because you’ll remember the things you did great! Changing self-talk is crucial for easing your fear and anxiety so you can feel good again.
Having confidence doesn’t mean you’ll never fail. It just means you’ll have the strength necessary to learn from your mistakes and keep moving. Why should you be paralyzed with fear of failure when you can view your setbacks as an exercise and a way to gain experience? Having this in your mind, do you see now how important confidence and self-love are?
To add just one more thing on the importance of confidence – connecting with people. When you have low self-esteem, you also have trouble talking to new people and expanding your social circles. When you’re confident and feeling good about yourself, you can hold genuine conversations with others. Constant self-doubt won’t be there to worry you about what kind of impression you’re making so you can really enjoy all your interactions.
Hence, building confidence will help you improve your networking skills necessary in every profession. It will also help you make deeper connections with other people. When you stop worrying about yourself all the time, you’ll be able to notice others, see if someone needs help or a shoulder to cry on. You’ll have more empathy and care.
Raising Your Self Esteem
Self-esteem is basically your self-image. It’s the opinion you have about yourself. People with low self-esteem see only the negative sides and criticize themselves all the time. On the other hand, having healthy self-esteem and confidence will help you feel good about yourself and look on the positive side of life in general. That way, you’ll have the ability to deal with life’s ups and downs.
What Causes Low Self-Esteem?
Note that low self-esteem is caused by various things. People often hear negative messages in their childhood and they start to think about how they aren’t good enough. Others simply put impossible goals in front of them and value themselves according to very high standards. Once they can’t reach those goals, their self-esteem becomes much lower.
Self-esteem and our self-imagery can change daily! On top of this, it can be connected to certain domains of our lives. For example, a professional cook will be hurt much more from negative comments about dinner than someone who only cooks occasionally. That’s because chefs connect cooking to a huge part of their identity.
How to Overcome Self-Doubt?
To overcome self-doubt, you need to get to the root. Identify the problem (the thoughts that are causing your low self-esteem) so you could solve it. For example, if you’re always setting unrealistic goals for yourself, try to set small achievable ones. Maybe you’re triggered by certain situations, like a work meeting where you need to present something. Then, work on your presentation skills.
The most important thing is to recognize what kind of thoughts are holding you back. Low confidence and self-esteem are often based on irrational fear which you need to expose. A good method to check whether your thoughts are healthy is to ask yourself “Would I say the same things to my friend”. If you wouldn’t, why do you say this to yourself?
Put effort into adjusting your thoughts and beliefs. Replace negative and destructive thoughts with more positive ones, even if you don’t mean it at first. Try treating yourself with compassion and encouragement, just like you would treat your friend. Forgive yourself for mistakes. They don’t define you! And always focus on the good things you’ve done. That’s the best way to slowly build up your confidence and raise your self-esteem.
Naturally, as much as low self-esteem is bad, too high an opinion of yourself isn’t good either. Narcissists often can’t take any kind of criticism because their self-esteem is too high so they can’t grow as persons nor make any meaningful progress. That’s why moderation is important.
Having a Clear Achievable Goal
We all have goals. If we don’t, we won’t know where we’re going. However, those goals shouldn’t paralyze you. Instead, they should encourage you to grow. That’s why it’s so important to take small steps. Make sure your goals are achievable so you don’t set yourself up to failure by holding yourself to impossible standards.
You can make grand improvements in life if you start making small steps over a period of time. Look for the long term, but focus on day-to-day goals you can handle. When you do something good, celebrate it and when you don’t, just move on.
It’s tempting to start overthinking your moves and mistakes but don’t do it! This will just suck you into a vicious circle of negative thinking which will then hugely damage your self-esteem. Just make a clear cut and move on. Learn what you can learn from those mistakes, pick yourself up, and start going towards other steps in life. Eventually, you’ll form a habit and your confidence will increase.
Confidence Building Techniques for Every Person
So what are the strategies you can apply for building confidence? There’s always something you can try so here are some ways to build confidence.
Use Positive Affirmations in the Right Way
Forget about lying to yourself and start saying positive things in the right way. For example, change the generic sentences such as “I will be successful” or “I am the best” to the realistic ones “I am going to try until I succeed” and “I’ll do my best”. This will put you on the right path because you’re acknowledging that success is a process. It’s all about the journey you go through. You’ll be taking a leap to success and stepping out of your comfort zone which should be praised!
Embrace and Nurture Your Qualities
Since confidence is essentially faith in your abilities, it’s a good idea to identify your strengths and nurture them. To build confidence lay down the things you do great and develop them further. For example, if you’re great at solving puzzles and quizzes, go to a trivia night or host a dinner party and create quizzes for your friends.
Or if you enjoy running and you’re quite good at it, sign up for the local 5k. Note that you shouldn’t sign up for a marathon because you don’t want to set a very high goal. Train for the 5k, then 10k, and half-marathon so you can slowly build momentum. Soon enough you’ll have the confidence to sign up and finish the entire marathon race.
Visualize Your Confidence
Try to create mental imagery of yourself being confident. Think of a time when you were confident or imagine how would it be like if you were confident. Every day, you can take a few minutes to close your eyes and create a positive scenario in your mind. It’s very important to see yourself doing at least one thing with confidence. Once you open your eyes you’ll be more motivated to take action.
Learn to Accept Compliments
Compliments can be great for building confidence but only if you accept them. People with low self-esteem and low confidence often brush off compliments because they feel uncomfortable. Instead of batting away compliments, learn to embrace them. If you don’t know how to respond to a compliment, start with automatic responses such as “Thank you”, “You’re so kind to say that”, etc. Slowly, you won’t have to fight the impulse to deny the compliments or minimize them because you feel people are being honest.
Practice Using High-Power Body Language
Certain body postures can help you feel more confident. When you stand tall, pull your shoulders back, or sit up straight, you’re more likely to think positively, which directly influence your confidence levels. “Power poses” will improve your decision-making skills too! Likewise, slumping or slouching will generate negative thoughts and increase the number of stress hormones you’ll receive.
For example, you can practice and improve your posture with yoga. Take a yoga class or follow online videos to take control of your mind and body with yoga techniques. Note that exercise in general is very helpful for improving your posture.
Prepare for Challenges in Advance
Knowing what you can expect and how to tackle uncertainties is crucial for building confidence. Being well-prepared for, let’s say a presentation at work, will help you deliver it more confidently. When you practice a presentation, a speech, or something else, you’re transforming the scary unknown territory into something familiar. Hence, your faith in your ability increases.
Take control of unknown situations by breaking your responsibilities into small achievable tasks and goals we mentioned. It’s also good to have a safety net, a backup plan, you can rely on. This will assure you that everything will be okay, even if things don’t go according to the original plan.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
One of the most effective techniques of building confidence actually reflects on what not to do. Simply stop comparing yourself to others. This will hugely boost your sense of worth and increase the faith in your own abilities. Remember that you only see a fraction of one person, no matter how good you know him/her. You don’t know what’s going on in people’s minds.
Trust us when we say that no one is perfect, especially on social media and television. You only see the best, most filtered versions of people. To compare yourself with such imagery will naturally lower your self-esteem and self-confidence so don’t do it. Remember that everyone is different and unique. There’s only one of you on this entire planet and you should do things your own way.
Finish What You Started
Building confidence relies on accomplishing something, even if it’s the smallest task. Tie all your loose ends and finish what you started. That’s why we’re amplifying the importance of setting small goals that you can achieve. There’s nothing better for your confidence than crossing things off your virtual to-do list.
Make sure to reflect on your progress every once in a while to see just how much you’ve done. You need to stand and think “Wow, I did all of this!” You can measure it by writing down and organizing your day in a planner for example. This helps many people stay on the right path but it might not work for you. You can instead just reflect on the good things in your mind. No one can tell you that you’re not good enough if you know what you’ve accomplished!
We hope that you’ve realized the importance of self-confidence so you can try to improve the quality of your life and consequently make a difference in the world. We, at BigImpactHQ™, know how important confidence is, especially for women that are constantly put down throughout their lives. That’s why we are providing coaching services focused on female empowerment. We want to boost the confidence of women so they can take more leadership roles and guide us towards a better future.
Are you a woman executive looking to find support and a community where you can build and develop your leadership skills? BigImpactHQ™ can equip you with a skill-set that allows you to distinguish yourself as a leader in your industry. Learn more about their COMPASS program and join over 3,000+ women leaders in the art and science of persuasion and influence. Let’s change the world together!