From the quietly confident doctor whose advice we rely on, to the charismatic confidence of an inspiring speaker, self-confident people have qualities that everyone admires.
Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious circle: people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful.
After all, most people are reluctant to back a project that's being pitched by someone who was nervous, fumbling, and overly apologetic.
On the other hand, you might be persuaded by someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits when he or she does not know something.
Confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their peers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.
The good news is that self-confidence really can be learned and built on. And, whether you’re working on your own confidence or building the confidence of people around you, it’s well-worth the effort!
How Confident do you Seem to Others?Your level of self-confidence can show in many ways: your behavior, your body language, how you speak, what you say, and so on. Look at the following comparisons of common confident behavior with behavior associated with low self-confidence.
What is Self-Confidence?
Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.
We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we'll succeed; and it's this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.
This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem, which is a more general sense that we can cope with what's going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we're competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.
Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. There's some truth in this that helps you stay positive, but more important is building self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don't have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all the issues, upset and failure that this brings.
So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence, founded on a firm appreciation of reality?
Unfortunately there’s no quick fix, or five-minute solution, but the good news is that becoming more confident is readily achievable, just as long as you have the focus and determination to carry things through. And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do to build your self-confidence will also build success – after all, your confidence will come from real, solid achievement. No-one can take this away from you!
So here are a few steps to build self-confidence and accelerate towards success.
Think what's important to you, and where you want to go. What are the things that are really important to you, and what do you want to achieve with your life.
Setting and achieving goals is a key part of building real confidence. Goal setting is the process you use to target and measure your success. Set goals that exploit your strengths, minimize your weaknesses, realize your opportunities, and control the threats you face. Identify the first step in each goal for attainment, and make incremental movement with activities that drive you forward. Goal setting is arguably the most important skill you can learn to improve your self-confidence.
Managing Your Mind, learn to pick up and defeat the negative self-talk and self limiting beliefs which
can destroy your confidence. Pay attention to your internal dialogue and start thoughts with positive verbiage like; I can, I will, I am, instead of I can't, I don't, and I'm not.
Take it a step further and use mental images of what you'll feel and experience as you achieve your goals – there’s something about doing this that makes even major goals seem achievable!
And Then Commit Yourself to Success! Make a clear and unequivocal promise to yourself that you are absolutely committed to your journey, and that you will do all in your power to achieve it.
Self-confidence is about balance. At one extreme, we have people with low self-confidence. At the other end, we have people who may be over-confident.
If you are under-confident, you’ll avoid taking risks and stretching yourself; and you might not try at all. And if you’re over-confident, you may take on too much risk, stretch yourself beyond your capabilities. You may also find that you’re so optimistic that you don’t try hard enough to truly succeed.
Getting this right is a matter of having the right amount of confidence, founded in reality and on your true ability. With the right amount of self-confidence, you will take informed risks, challenge yourself and try hard.
So, how self-confident are you? Start looking at specific strategies to improve your confidence level beginning with small, easy wins, you’ll put yourself on the path to success – and start building the self-confidence that comes with this.
Build the Knowledge you Need to Succeed by looking at your goals, identify the skills you’ll need to achieve them. And then look at how you can acquire these skills confidently and well. Don’t just accept a sketchy, just-good-enough solution – look for a solution, a program or a course, a mentor that fully equips you to achieve what you want to achieve and, ideally, gives you the skills you can be proud of.
Focus on the Basics when you’re starting, don’t reach for perfection – just enjoy doing simple things successfully and well to move forward toward each goal and, little by little, start piling up the successes!
Managing Your Mind and stay on top of that positive
thinking, keep celebrating and enjoying success, and keep those mental images
strong. On the other side, learn to
handle failure. Accept that mistakes happen when you’re trying something new.
In fact, if you get into the habit of treating mistakes as learning
experiences, you can start to see them in a positive light for growth.
Remember to keep yourself grounded. Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives in order to become happy and successful.
Get the support you need and book a complimentary coaching session at Business and Life Management Coaching to start your self-confidence journey!