Oasis Living Magazine, May 01, 2011
The subject of self-confidence is discussed in many books and magazines. There is an assumption that people who are self-confident have always had it; they were born with it. There are many celebrities who claim to have been shy or lack self-confidence at some point in their lives, including Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Courtney Cox and Julia Roberts.
So what is it? How do some people develop this self-confidence while others have serious confidence issues? What can we do to improve our self-confidence?
What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence is a belief in yourself and your ability to achieve a given task. It is having that “Can Do” attitude even if it appears to be difficult. Self-confidence can be fluid and contextual. It may vary from day to day and it may depend on the environment you are in: work, home, social group, etc. Self-confidence is one of the most important traits a person can possess because it opens doors, it allows you to take on challenges and create opportunities for yourself. It allows you to expand and grow.
There is a difference between selfesteem and self-confidence. Selfesteem is self-worth, how much you value yourself. Nobody can see it, because it comes from within. Selfconfidence is how well you think you can do something, the thoughts that you have about your own abilities. Your level of self-confidence can be seen in many different ways: your body language, how you speak, your behavior, and your attitude. When you build your self-confidence, selfesteem improves.
Self-confidence is not something we can buy or that we can take medicine to fix, but it is something we can develop.
Self-Confidence Questions –Self-Reflection
Take 5 minutes to write down or think about these 3 questions:
1. Think of a situation in your life when you had no confidence. How did you feel? How did you react then? How would you react now if you had to replay it?
2. Think of a situation when you had complete confidence in yourself. How did you feel? Why did you feel so confident?
3. Think about your current level of confidence (on a scale of 1-10):
a) Where do you see your confidence levels (work, social group, family)?
b) Why do you feel this way?
c) How may you be able to improve these thoughts and feelings?
Building Your Self-Confidence
Confidence is something that we can develop with our thoughts and actions. It is related to how we control our thoughts, our inner dialogue (selftalk), and how we choose to react to situations. Therefore, we have the power to build or destroy our own self-confidence.
Focus on the positive
Set & achieve goals
Keep criticism at bay
Find a role model
Praise & compliment others
Compare yourself to others
Putting yourself down
Hang out with toxic people
1. Act as if you possess traits you would like to have.
2. Set and achieve goals.
3. Eat correctly and work out.
4. Dress sharply. Clothes affect the way we feel; wear the colors and styles that make you feel good about yourself!
5. Walk Faster – walking faster makes you look & feel more important.
6. Good Posture – your posture tells a story.
Thoughts and Feelings
7. Accept yourself! Embrace your flaws and celebrate your uniqueness.
8. Think Positive! This is a key to achieving self-confidence and success.
9. Use affirmations and positive imagery on a daily basis.
10. Gratitude Journal: Every day, write down all the things you are grateful for.
There are many things we can’t control in this world. We can’t control the weather, for example, or the way our colleagues treat us. However, there is one thing we can always control: our thoughts. No one else has the power to control your thoughts; only YOU can do that. Self-confidence is a choice.
We can therefore nurture and develop our self-confidence at any age by adopting new thinking patterns, new behaviors and new strategies. This will lead us to take more risks, cope better with setbacks, and create many new possibilities leading to success. Self-confidence is much more than positive thoughts about yourself…it’s an attitude!