One can differentiate between a person with high confidence and a person with low confidence. Someone with a healthy level of confidence is confident in their skills and instincts. They believe in themselves – not in an arrogant way (“I’m better than you”) but in a rational and safe way (“I’m able to deal with that situation”). A healthy dose of self-confidence is necessary to collaborate and take advantage of opportunities and challenges.
Unfortunately, this is not the default position for many people. Doubt and shame can come at any time. This is disturbing, because people tend to assume that what they feel is actually fact. So if they think they’re not good enough, they believe it’s actually true. But confidence is not just a perception of your abilities. It is a feeling associated with hope, positivity and the expectation of being able to manage the end results (when your confidence is high). When your self-confidence is low, you may experience fear, shame, or despair.
If you’re experiencing low self-confidence, know that it’s not a life sentence. But before we go about boosting your confidence, I want to highlight three tips common in the mainstream media that, in my experience, can be more harmful than helpful:
• fake it till you make it: This cliché advises you to act as if you have already accomplished your goal, so your brain will believe it is possible. What does this actually mean? Contrary to your own feelings? Pretending that you are not experiencing any reaction? How sustainable is such an approach long term? My biggest problem has to do with the belief that a simple affirmation will help a person achieve a complete alignment of their mindset and emotional state. Instead of fake, start by building self-awareness.
Silence your inner critic: Some people have a particularly difficult time with this because they believe that an inner critic played a very important role in their formative years. If it served a purpose, deleting it is like deleting part of your own history. I usually recommend doing the opposite. Whenever you hear this voice in your head, say “Thank you. You used to be helpful, and I’m grateful for that. But now we need to separate. There are different voices inside me that I just want to hear.” . My courageous voice. My tight voice. My mature voice.”
Build your confidence by impeccable execution: This belief is the first step in a downward spiral of negative thoughts and doubts. People who set their heart out to achieve the best can suffer from constant frustration and disappointment with themselves and others for not living up to those standards. Believing that there is only one way to do something – the right way – makes people self-righteous, angry, and frustrated. What works well at building confidence defines what “good enough” looks like. I also suggest defining the minimum and maximum success criteria and looking at the space in between. There are many different ways to be effective.
So, what are some bulletproof ways to boost your confidence? Given that you believe it can grow, there are a few things you can use to find your own unique approach.
First, focus on the things you can control and make learning a habit. The most accessible approach is self-reflection. Make it a daily habit to reflect on your benefits and challenges. You can answer a question about one thing that you are particularly proud of today. Many people prefer gratitude journals that serve as a personal outlet and a track record they can go back to when they feel anxious.
Decoding your limiting beliefs is another powerful way to learn and grow. Think about the stories you keep repeating to yourself, for example, “I’m a bad presenter.“ Next, ask yourself if this is true. What evidence can you gather? If you compare your performance now with your performance two years ago, how much have you achieved? What helped you to make such progress? Be aware of your habitual opinions, especially if they tend to underestimate your competencies.
Take advantage of more traditional learning methods. Listen to podcasts and read blogs, articles and books. There are lots of online platforms that you can use to upgrade your skills. By learning new skills, you increase your self-assurance.
Some of my clients say that understanding your personal strengths is a great way to feel better about yourself and build confidence. You might want to try an assessment that measures your skills, then work with a coach to plan how to take advantage of them.
Because failures and mistakes have a bad effect on confidence, your leverage point can view them in a broader context. Most errors are far from ending your career or destroying your chance to be successful. Mistakes are part of a feedback loop that tells you when you need to do things differently next time. If you develop the habit of reflecting on problems to understand how to overcome them in the future, it will become a source of confidence for the rest of your life.
You may have heard about research from social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who It shows that assuming certain “power poses” can improve self-assurance. While that may be true, I recommend that you do what you explore, in particular, to feel more confident. When a client felt less confident, he found a location in his building with the most panoramic view. Standing quietly and looking at the distant horizon (or the shapes of buildings), he gained perspective and re-calibrated his emotions. Somehow the task of finding the furthest point in the distance boosted his confidence level because when he put the event in perspective, he was able to deal with it.
And you can do the same. Check out the ideas above, experiment with them, and find your own bulletproof way to boost your confidence.