Keep you head high, you chin up, and your posture straight.
It's me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
- Paula Cole, 'Me' This Fire
When we are confident, free of worries and self-doubt, even if on the outside, we inspire confidence in others.
1. What is confidence?
Confidence is doing what you believe is right irrespective of what others think. Confidence is being ready to take risk and go the extra mile. It is about readily admitting your mistakes and deciding to change them. Confidence is waiting for others to congratulate you on your success. It is about accepting compliments graciously. You can say confidence is the logical child of being assertive.
2. What is low confidence?
Low confidence is tailoring your behavior based on what others think. It is about staying in your comfort zone, fearing failure, not taking risks, working hard to cover up the mistakes and praying that you can fix the problem before others know about it. Low confidence is praising yourself in front of others all the time, dismissing praise offhand with 'oh, that was nothing'. We just stop trusting ourselves.
3. The best kind of confidence is a 'balanced confidence' (aka 'avoiding overconfidence').
Really self-confident people do not boast. Their confidence is rooted in actual evidence of the reality and your ability.
4. Confidence vs arrogance
Confidence is an understanding that you are OK and valuable. Arrogance is shouting it from the rooftops like you are the most important person in the world, and feeling that you are better than other people.
You do not have to be arrogant to be confident. They are completely different things. Most truly successful people have confidence but none of the arrogance.
5. How to build up your self confidence
- Lead with your name: Every time you meet someone lead with, 'Hi, my name is John Connor.' That will feel extremely uncomfortable the first 100 times you try it. Do it anyway. (Source: Marshall Brain, 'The Teenager's Guide to the Real World')
- Start managing your mind: Recognize and eliminate self-defeating talk (see 'positive thinking' ) that your mind says all the time. Use positive imagery to be in a better mood. Relax. Disarm the negative voice using a clown voice ('oh, you tiny, whiny baby...').
- Focus on the positives: Look at what you have already achieved, look at your strengths.
- Set small, S.M.A.R.T. goals and achieve them, one by one. Don't take on the whole army at one go.
- To get what you want, ask for it: It may not work, but it is very useful. As they say, ' you lose out on 100% of the opportunities that you never go for.'
- Get the basics rights: Continue doing the basic things, the simple things, really well and you will do fine one day. And, work at the skills you need to get ahead.
- Get perspective: Go into the future and ask if what you’re faced with is really such a big deal.
- Fake it till you make it: Assume you are confident. How would you be behaving then? How would you be moving? How would you be speaking? What would you be thinking? What are the things you say to yourself?
- Find someone who is already confident in that area and copy them: Model as many of their behaviors, attitudes, values, and beliefs for the context you want to be confident in as you can
- Visualize that you have already done it: This is very helpful when you are doing something for the first time. Think how you go there - the steps you took.
- Ask yourself, 'What’s the worst that could happen?' : Don't waste your time on the 'what is'. Instead of wasting time and energy on worrying, take action on what you have control over and minimize risks for what you don’t.
Thank you for reading.
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