“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” Golda Meir
Confidence does not come easily to most. Today’s world of social media has become a world of constant social comparison. When you are seeing only glimpses of the personas that people put forth, it may seem like everyone else has their lives together, making you feel inferior. If you are consumed with self-doubt, it is much harder to succeed, creating a vicious cycle. You may think that you have little choice in the matter; you have low self-esteem, and you didn’t choose to, so what are you supposed to do about it? In fact, we have far more control over our self-confidence than you realize. By making certain behavioral changes, you can create confidence.
You cannot control your circumstances or what other people do, but you can control your response. In life, people will achieve your goals before you do. Instead of letting this make you bitter, let it make you better. Use their success to inspire you. They achieved it, so there is nothing stopping you from doing the same. Everything traces back to perception. If you perceive yourself as capable and confident, there is no limit to what you can achieve. If you are trying to enhance your confidence, here are some actions you can take towards that goal.
Believe it or not, visualization can go a long way towards helping you accomplish your goals, including increasing your self-confidence. When you are facing an obstacle to success, instead of focusing all the ways it could go wrong, think of all the things that could go right. Close your eyes and envision success vividly. Imagine that you are transported into the future to the time when you have successfully accomplished your goal. Allow yourself to fully emerge in this fantasy. This will help your goal seem more realistic and possible. By envisioning your end goal, you can make decisions and take action based on this vision, and approach it with greater confidence.
Turn Self-Doubt on Its Head
Next time you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, turn that thought on its head. In our previous blog, we talked in depth about challenging negative thoughts, and when you are trying to become more self-confident, it is essential that you learn this skill. The first step is to identify that you are having these doubts about yourself. When you notice these thoughts, turn them upside down. For example, if you catch yourself thinking, “I will never get that promotion because I am just not good enough,” immediately flip that thought around. Say out loud, “I am good enough, and I will get that promotion.” This simple exercise can be enough to give you more confidence in yourself.
Increase Your Competence
Competence makes you feel confident. Knowing that you are able to do something or you are well-versed in a topic can do a lot to increase your confidence. So how do you do that? By learning and practicing! Whether you are learning a new instrument or mastering a second language, dedicate yourself to becoming proficient. Start with small steps first. You don’t have to become a master flutist overnight; instead, dedicate yourself to practice the flute for at least thirty minutes a day, and see how you get. Once you are feeling more competent, your self-confidence will naturally follow.
Just like anything worth pursuing, building confidence takes time. When things aren’t going your way or you fail at something, it will be tempting to allow the tidal wave of self-doubt to envelop you in its familiar embrace. It’s in your best interest to not let this get you down. To achieve confidence, you need to have patience with the process. You will have to stick out those moments of self-doubt and reassure yourself that the end result is worth the struggle to get there. Stick with it, and you will be grateful to yourself.
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