“Self-confidence is a super power. Once you start to believe in yourself, magic starts happening.”Anonymous
Do you usually dread the moment when you have to do a presentation in front of a group of people? Or hide at the back of the classroom, hoping the teacher won’t see you, and ask a question requiring you to stand in front of the whole class? If you do, these might be signs that you lack self-confidence.
Everyone would like to feel good about themselves in all situations, and this is why it is so important to build your confidence. Self-confidence means having a good feeling about yourself, trusting your abilities and judgments, and believing that you will be successful when faced with challenges. As the name implies, self-confidence comes from within oneself and not from other people.
When you become a self-confident person, you value and know your worth despite imperfections or what others think.
Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky to be born having self-confidence. A lot of people struggle with having low self-confidence and self-esteem. However, like most other skills, there are many ways you can build your self-confidence through learning and practice.
Why do you need self-confidence?
Self-confidence is an important skill in our day-to-day lives, and there are many advantages to being a self-confident person and just as many disadvantages if you lack it . People who possess this ability are an inspiration to others. They view their lives and situations positively and are ready to face any challenge head-on.
When you become a self-confident person, you trust your abilities to perform any task assigned to you and, as such, influences others to believe the same of you.
Even society admires and respects people who are confident in themselves. This ability has also proven to help self-confident people become more successful in both their professional and personal lives. This is why everyone should look for ways to build self-confidence if they want to become more successful.
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.Maxwell Maltz
Factors that affect self-confidence
There are many reasons why you could lack self-confidence. These factors are often either personal or involving other people. Some factors that could affect your self-confidence include;
- Society – It plays a significant role in determining how we think, behave, as well as who and what we should be. Worrying about how others will perceive you could be one of the reasons why you lack self-confidence. We often take other people’s opinions of us too seriously, letting them affect what we do or don’t do. What will they think of me? Will they approve?
- Insecurities about your appearance – The first impression people have of someone is how they look. Unfortunately, this makes your appearance one of the reasons you could lack self-confidence and develop self-esteem issues. Some aspects of a person that could lead to insecurities or feeling self-conscious include, their body weight and type, height, skin color, age, and their overall physical looks.
- Stress and pressure – We all experience stressful moments at some point in life. It could be the bills, your children, work, health conditions, or any other life problems. This could negatively affect the level of confidence you have in your ability to perform particular tasks as you try to balance all your responsibilities.
- Life experiences – In our journey through life, we go through situations that shape who we become. Unfortunately, these experiences are not always pleasant and can continue to haunt and traumatize you even years later. For instance, if you were bullied or abused because of some ‘imperfection’, it could still cause insecurities later in life and make you lack self-confidence and have low self-esteem.
- Upbringing – Were your parents too critical of you when you were growing up? Did you have any supportive adults in your life growing up? Or were you always scolded for small mistakes? How parents/guardians treat their children during their younger years could influence how they view and present themselves in adulthood. Kids are still growing their personalities and will try to act in a way to fit in the environment they find themselves in. Most people who had a terrible childhood often lack self-confidence because they lose their sense of self-worth and don’t believe they should be treated better.
How to build your self-confidence
Everyone has something to offer the world, and it is unfair that your talents and abilities could be held back by a lack of confidence in yourself. The good news is that, even if you don’t have self-confidence, you can learn it. There are many ways to build and boost your self-confidence, including;
- Getting to know yourself better
A peacock that rests on his feathers is just another turkey.Dolly Parton
So what if you are not exactly what society labels as beauty? You still have other things going for you. When trying to build your self-confidence, assess what your strengths and weaknesses are. What is your dream? What talents do you have? What is your passion? What other qualities do you have to offer? Identify and maximize your strengths.
You will recognize what is important to you and your path in life will be clear. This keeps you motivated and gives you the confidence boost to take risks and seize opportunities that will take you where you want to be. As for the weaknesses, identify what you don’t like about yourself and your current life, and then, work on improving yourself and defeating self-limiting beliefs.
- Managing your mind to overcome self-doubt
Self-confidence is psychological. Getting rid of self-doubt by improving how you feel and think about yourself is one way to build your self-confidence. Let go of any negative thoughts and visualize yourself in a way that makes you proud.
Additionally, you could recite positive affirmations every time negative thoughts creep into your mind. Most importantly, to build your self confidence, you have to practice self-love and learn to accept yourself the way you are – imperfections and all.
Your life is your responsibility alone; so do what you think is best for you without worrying about what will please everyone else.
- Working on your body language
Your body language says a lot about you, and that is why it is so easy to spot someone who lacks self-confidence. In most cases, they will exhibit signs such as; bad posture, slumping shoulders, clumsiness, fidgeting, fumbling, or being unnecessarily and excessively apologetic. This behavior tends to irritate and put other people off.
Working on your body language can help you build your self-confidence. You should learn to sit and stand upright, hold your head high, and adopt some power poses. This signals to others that you are confident in yourself, and thus, they perceive it to be who you are and treat you with respect.
ACTING like you are sure of yourself will make you FEEL confident. Fake it till you become it!
- Making lifestyle changes
Your appearance might be the reason why you lack of self-confidence – and in most cases, it is the main factor. Fortunately, some aspects of our looks can be altered with a few lifestyle changes and in doing so give us a confidence boost.
For instance, if the reason for your self-doubt is that you are overweight, you could make efforts to become more fit by eating a healthier diet and exercising, and thus build self-confidence. You don’t have to be stick thin to be fit though. Strive to lose just enough weight to get a healthy body and skin instead.
Confidence comes from having proof of success and being comfortable in your own skin. You will feel proud of yourself for the effort you made after achieving your ideal physique and this will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Have role models to look up to
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.Dita Von Teese
Society will always have an opinion on the things you do or fail to do. Worrying about what people will think about you should not hold you back from going after what you really want and achieving your set goals. If you are scared to do something that you know they wouldn’t approve of, DO IT ANYWAY (of course, only if it doesn’t involve harming others in the process).
To build your self-confidence and gain the inspiration you need to take risks and go against society, you could have role models and other people who have achieved similar dreams. If they made it, even with society against them, why can’t you?
- Consulting a professional
In some cases, getting over your confidence issues by yourself can be difficult and could end up affecting the quality of your life. Over time, having constant negative thoughts and feelings can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. If this happens to you, it might be time to seek professional help.
A therapist can help you identify the root cause of your lack of self-confidence. They can also help you come to terms with past experiences that might be triggering this issue, such as trauma, bullying, and abuse. They can then recommend some treatment options for you and other ways to build your self-confidence.
Self-confidence is all about how you feel about yourself. It plays a significant role in your life and being able to unlock the superpower of being self-confident will make you become successful in life. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves and trust in their abilities to succeed; and this is why we should all strive to learn how to build self-confidence and unlock this superpower. When you feel good and trust yourself, you inspire other people also to be confident about you.
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