“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” ~ Arthur Ashe
Self-confidence is an attractive trait; it is trusting in one’s skills, decisions, and characteristics. A good number of people strive to attain a certain level of self-confidence. It provides an avenue for you to maximise your potentials and showcase it. Self-confidence is essential in building and developing oneself as it is needed in almost all phases of life.
Self-Confidence is your attitude and viewpoint towards happenings either past, present or projected. It is how you see yourself, how you behave towards yourself, the belief you have in your capabilities and the level of value you’ve placed on yourself. Self-confidence is expressed in how you speak, what you say and how you respond to certain situations.
How is Self-confidence Built?
It starts with your mind and your thoughts. Understand that you are valuable and that you are more than enough. Know yourself, understand your strengths and start to apply yourself. Below are five sure-fire ways of building long lasting self-confidence.
Self-Knowledge is Key: Know thyself. Be self-aware, understand and analyse your strengths and weaknesses. Carry out deep reflections; find out what motivates you, what you fear, and your belief system. Review your attitude and responses to your career, your social life and your personal relationships.
Stay true to yourself because self-deceit is damaging to personal development. You can start writing about yourself, major highlights in your life. This helps you feel in control as you are more aware of what is happening in and around you and you can choose how to react to them.
Become Skilled: Find what you are passionate about; it might be multiple things but start with the one you are most passionate about and start to train yourself. Get professional training if necessary, practice constantly and sharpen your skills. It is okay to make mistakes during the process.
The more you practice, the better you become and this helps you be more confident. You also start to accomplish small wins which also reinforces your trust in your abilities and increases your self-confidence. Doing something you really like makes the process fun and with each milestone you conquer, you become proud of yourself and have total belief in your abilities.
As you get better in a chosen area, start to look at other areas you are interested in and repeat the training cycle.
Motivate Yourself: Push yourself! There’s a high chance of relaxing and resting on your oars once you start to accomplish small wins and you’re getting recognised for your work. Don’t get lost in the moment, plan for the future and continually put in the work. Don’t allow complacency to find its way in, looks for ways to be better, be innovative, chart new territories and let the comfort zone be far from you.
Affirm yourself daily, say positive words to yourself, look for/at the bright side of things, be proud of your work and let your imaginations project positive. Set goals for yourself, personal goals and career goals and plan the processes and steps you need to take to achieve those goals. Let your plans be time bound so you can have a sense of responsibility and it’s easier to motivate yourself when you have deadlines. Doing what you love is also a good way to naturally motivate yourself.
Stand Up to Your Fears: Once fear kicks in, the resultant effect can be crippling especially for someone who is still finding his/her feet. Fear can come in many forms; it can come through procrastination, through self-doubt, or through external pressure. Fear can cause a stall in progress which may have a multiplying effect on your confidence and personality.
Face your fears head on and be courageous and as written earlier, constantly affirm yourself and build up a brave attitude (brave for the right reasons). Don’t postpone facing your fears, deal with it and move on from it. Also set small short-term goals that are easy to achieve while preparing for the big ones.
Focus on the Good: Surround yourself with positives. Think positive thoughts, socialise with optimistic people, read motivational books, listen to affirmative messages. Whatever you take in is what you would dish out and as the popular saying goes “you can’t give what you don’t have”. Watch what you feed yourself.
Engage in mentally stimulating exercises, play games, engage in sports, socialise and generally have fun. Also when you have low moments and negative thoughts are creeping in, think about your high points, your wins; both major and minor, interesting moments that brought happiness and laughter.