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Learning and Improving Self-Confidence

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Self-confidence is important in almost every aspect of a person’s life and yet everybody seems to be struggling to develop it. Without it, success will be elusive. Self-confidence seen in people who have it inspires confidence in others – peers, bosses, customers, and friends. A person can find success when he or she earns the confidence of other people.

There are two main features that contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem. A sense of self-efficacy is gained when you see yourself attaining goals with mastered skills.  This kind of confidence if learned and used properly will get a person to succeed. And it’s this type of confidence that makes people to meet challenges, and overcome when faced with setbacks.

This overlaps with the concept of self-esteem, which is a more general sense of coping with your life and deserving to feel happy. This comes partly from a feeling or sense of approval from people around you – something that you may or may not have control of. It also comes from knowing that your behavior is virtuous, that you have competence at what you do, and that you can succeed if you put your mind to it.

Affirmations and positive attitude can help build up self-confidence. By setting reasonable, attainable goals and working to reach them you are building your competence, and self-confidence comes with competence. Without it, what you will have is a shallow over-confidence along with all of the issues, failures and frustrations that it brings.

Your level of self-confidence can manifest in many ways – your behavior, body language, manner of speaking, what you say, etc. Check the list below and determine the actions or thoughts which you recognize in yourself and the people around you:

Self Confident Behaviors

  • The ability to do what you believe to be right, even if faced with strong opposition or criticism from other people
  • The willingness to take risks and go beyond what is expected to achieve better things
  • The openness to admit mistakes in order to learn from them
  • Being humble enough to wait for others to congratulate you on your achievements and not bragging about them
  • The ability to graciously accept compliments without sounding arrogant

Poor Self-Confidence Behaviors

  • The mentality of doing everything based on what other people think or expect
  • Practicing self-regulation by avoiding risky undertakings and staying in your comfort zone due to fear of failure
  • Exerting effort to cover up mistakes and finding means to fix the problems getting noticed by anyone
  • Pronouncing your own virtues to everyone as much as possible
  • Returning compliments with arrogance

From this list, one can see that poor self-confidence can be destructive and manifest a level of negativity. On the other hand, people who are self-confident are generally carrying positively inspired attitude – believing in what they are capable of doing and what they are capable of and the need to live their lives to the fullest.

Building Self-Confidence

Fortunately, there are skills that can be learned and practiced in order to improve self-confidence – whether you are doing it for yourself or for other people. The downside is – it cannot happen overnight. It takes time to build self-confidence.

So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence? For anyone who has the focus, will, discipline, and commitment to do what’s necessary, building self-confidence is possible. And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do to build self-confidence will also build success – after all, your confidence will grow with real, solid achievements.

Below is a basic three step approach to self-confidence:

Step 1: Preparing for Your Journey. As the first step this involves getting yourself prepared for your journey to self-confidence. You have to pause for a while to assess your present situation, and where you see yourself moving forward. Getting yourself to have the proper mindset for your mission, and making a commitment to that cause, will be a good way to start your journey.

To best prepare for this journey, it is recommended to do the following:

  • List down your major achievements
  • List the ten best things you’ve achieved in an “Achievement Log.” An example would be when good grades from projects, tests, and other similar accomplishments
  • Think about your strengths and what other people see as your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take time to check your values, what you want most and what you want to be in the future. By setting your goals you have clear directions on what you need to do to achieve them
  • Start managing your mind and mood
  • Commit yourself to success. Promise to yourself and your loved ones that you will do everything in your power to achieve your goals

Step 2: Setting Out. This is where you start moving towards your goal. By doing the right things, and starting with small, easy wins, you’ll put yourself on the path to success – and start building the self-confidence that comes with it.

  • Determine the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary and start to learn, practice, and improve them
  • Focus on the basics. Don’t reach for perfection right away. Remember the perfect can be the enemy of “good enough.”
  • Set small, realistic goals, and get into action to reach them. Don’t set goals which are particularly challenging at this stage.
  • Hone your stress management skills. Continue positive attitude and thoughts. Learn to handle failure, be open and honest with yourself and people around you. Accepting your mistakes.

Step 3: Accelerating Towards Success. By this stage, you should notice your self-confidence improving. Now, you may start stretching yourself to meet bigger goals and tougher challenges. Commit more and extend the skills you need in order to achieve the new challenges.

Self-confidence is a very important asset for everyone – a clear understanding of what you can achieve and a clear vision of what you can become. Believing in yourself, in what you do and in the ideas and dreams that you have –are among the basics of self-confidence.

One Response to “Learning and Improving Self-Confidence”

  1. Karen Minor says:

    I lost my confidence when I lost my job. However, shortly after they let me go; another department in the same company decided to hire me. Such a relief. Life has ups and downs; do not get discouraged just because something goes bad.

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