How to Build Self-Confidence
I was visiting a friend the other day and we were talking about confidence in young people. But then, I had a look at the general figures for adults as well. There are some crazy statistics going around which if true, tell us that well over three quarters of all people suffer from a lack of self confidence and self esteem. This is turn most definitely has an impact on our happiness and success in life and how we interact with those around us.
Self-confidence is the single, most important attribute to personal success.
It is one of the major topics in self-development that is believed to be relevant to most people. This is not surprising since confidence is needed in every aspect of people’s lives. A person would not be able to successfully finish a race or perform on stage without a fair measure of self-confidence.
Self-confidence is a state of being, a state of the mind and body, where a person believes in him/herself, in what they can do and in what they can achieve. Without this self-belief, they cannot accomplish their dreams. If you believe it, it will have a good chance of coming true. For sure if you don't believe it, it will also be extremely difficult to achieve.
Self-confidence is not only limited to one’s beliefs.
It affects behavior and actions. It affects the way a person moves and speaks. It affects the choices that a person makes. A common image of a self-confident woman is one who stands tall, holds her head up high, and freely speaks her mind. She has an aura of positivity and optimism that affects the people she interacts with.
While this is true, self-confidence is also shown is other ways. A self-confident person also does the right thing even if he/she is criticized or ridiculed. A self-confident person is open to try new things and take on new opportunities. A self-confident person is humble enough to admit mistakes and accept compliments. Many successful leaders have self-confidence. People follow leaders who are confident and those that are sure of their cause or stand. It takes confidence to be a great leader.
A lot of self-development studies and articles have connected or linked self-confidence with success.
Confidence begets and leads to success.
Those who lack confidence or have low self-confidence struggle with success. Renowned author Brain Tracy says that those who absolutely believe in themselves can overcome barriers and do what it takes to succeed. He believes that real obstacles are in the mind and not in the external or outside world. Winning internal battles is important because it is a huge step to success.
Is confidence learned, or is it something that a person is born with? There are coaching and self-development articles, books and services that talk extensively about self-confidence. The good news is that it can be learned and developed. Where do you start?
Well, it all starts in the mind.
The first step is self-assessment. Take a good look at yourself – what you have done and what you have achieved so far. You have to know where you are to get to where you want to go. Part of self-assessment is to know your strengths and accepting your weaknesses. This is important because this can help you identify and anticipate future drawbacks and difficulties and can help you avoid them.
The next step is goal setting. Plan, research and write down your goals. It is important to set deadlines since these push you to get things done in a timely manner and help you move on to the next step. Without deadlines, it would be easy to lose track of what you want to achieve.
Another important step to building self-confidence is managing your own mind.
Negative self-talk is counter-productive and may sabotage your chances of succeeding in life. People sabotage themselves all the time. They work hard to improve themselves, they read self-development books, and they get on a program or set course on a certain action. Then after a while, they stop and go back to their old ways. You can avoid this by having positive self-talk and by feeding your mind positivity and optimism.
After the first three steps, it is time now to commit. Commit to your goals and consistently build habits that help you attain them. Write down any doubts that you have and challenge them rationally. Committing also provides motivation. It motivates you to stick to your goals in spite of difficulties and trials.
Sometimes, a person has low confidence because he/she lacks the knowledge or skills needed to accomplish a task. Increase your knowledge and skills by reading books and articles, by attending workshops and seminars or by getting coaching lessons.
It is important to start small at first. Start with your easy or small goals. Once you have achieved them, you can move on to bigger goals. Remember, a self-confident person gets out of his/her comfort zone and takes on new opportunities to learn and grow. In taking on new opportunities, he/she gains more chances and ways of succeeding.
As E.E. Cummings said “once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
Don’t be afraid. Live and be self-confident.