Why Self-confidence Matters
People who are self-confident acknowledge their capacity to do something and then proceed to do these things. They do not rely on the approval of other people in order to affirm their existence. It is enough that they know they have the capacity and the potential to do something, and the guts to do it no matter what others may say. People who are self-confident take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. This is why developing confidence to act is a critical development milestone on the path to success.
What does it take to gain self confidence?
People begin to develop confidence while growing up. The role of parents in instilling self-confidence in their children cannot be overestimated. Parents who are always critical of their children without acknowledging their strengths may unknowingly inhibit the development of their child’s self-confidence.
On the other hand, parents who are always willing to give support while encouraging their children to take a step forward increase the odds of raising self-confident children.
While the process of attaining self-confidence starts from childhood, an adult can still gain self-confidence through her determination and through the support of her loved ones. If you are lacking self-confidence, then you’ll need to regularly do the kinds of things that will help you gain back that confidence.
5 steps to self-confidence as an adult
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses and capitalize on them.
- Acknowledge your abilities and talent and take stock of them.
- Overcome your fears.
- Fake it until you make it.
As part of a complete self-inventory, this is one of the core steps towards financial freedom you take in our flagship product, Converting Your Knowledge and Ideas Into Valuable Products. Recognizing your accomplishments in every area of your life (Think of a difficult life challenge you’ve been through — how did you get through it? What were the steps you took? What was the resolution?) Taking the time to remember and acknowledge those moments are the building blocks of confidently taking on future challenges that come your way.
Like strengths and weaknesses, recognizing specific talents and abilities is also very important. Do not underestimate yourself. Try to recognize every little thing you have done which has become successful. If you find yourself interested in a topic that you don’t yet know well, then try to learn it as a new skill. Successfully learning new things will instill confidence.
This is a big one. The good thing is that while fear is an important primal emotion designed to keep us safe from real, physical danger. When it comes to our ego, pride, etc. fear of failure or looking foolish and other things that pose no real danger can cause us harm, in terms of constraining our life possibilities. The good thing is that fear is usually a product of ignorance (the unknown.) Facing your fears means examining what could possibly happen from all sides and taking action knowing the confidences of action (and inaction).
Other ways to overcome your fear include
being around other people and new situations
inventorying and remembering your accomplishments, talents, strengths, and
recognizing risk as a learning opportunity, that humans are not perfect, and that you too can always bounce back from strong headwinds (like the mighty bamboo!)
Yes, this sounds like a weird trick, but it works. Studies have shown that acting like you have self confidence often produces the desired effect, both in others’ reactions and how you feel internally.
Practical examples of this include
Standing up straight and tall.
Give good handshakes. Firm, eye contact, smile, the works.
Make eye contact.
Change your self-talk. Inventory your thoughts for a day. Notice how many are positive and negative. Commit to recognizing and changing the negative thoughts that percolate up to the surface.
Set SMART Goals. You know the ones — specific, measurable, achievable, results oriented and time-bound. Goals should be tied to timeframes, from longer term to day by day.
Smile more often. It’s hard to think negative thoughts when you smile. Try it!
Use affirmations. If you’re resistant to positive self talk, you’ll just have to trick your brain into it, by reading positive affirmations written by others, until they become a part of your internal DNA.