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What is Self Confidence?

Our belief in feeling self confident comes from within us and it is an important contributor to our feelings of self worth and self esteem in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, many people struggle to believe in themselves and various life events have caused them to view themselves as not deserving or unworthy of love and this has contributed to shaping their mental outlook in a negative manner. There are also many positive people who radiate an optimistic energy but for whom their minds inside tell a different story and they are trying to portray an outward sense of confidence to gain acceptance and approval. So as you can see, self confidence is a multifaceted issue and we are all far more complex than it may first appear. Everyone has to take their own individual journey towards becoming more self confident but there are many tips you can follow to help you achieve this.

Working to improve your self confidence will impact other areas of your life such as how you interact with your colleagues at work, how you push yourself to take on new and exciting challenges in life and how you develop your personal relationships for the better. Therefore, if you are in need of a ‘self confidence boost’ then let’s take a look at 5 of the simple ways in which you can act now to increase your feelings of self assurance today. 

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1.Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

We can all easily get set in our ways if we are not careful. For example with going to the same shops, buying the same groceries and not trying new foods to wearing the same comfortable and familiar clothing each day. However, this attitude and approach to life means that you do not get to explore new places, new flavors, new cultures and other ways of life. It can be very limiting to look at the world in this manner so to increase your self confidence you need to step outside of this comfort zone.

It can seem hard at first to find ways to boost your self confidence in this way but I do not mean you should instantly attempt to embrace lots of changes or ideas all at once. Rather, you could start by wearing something bright and colorful from your wardrobe or try a new food you have not tried before in the supermarket. Becoming more adventurous in your approach to life is the key to learning to take on more small and healthy ‘confidence risks’ and these can really boost your mood and your acceptance of the world around you. 

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2.Learning to Take Compliments

Often a person who is not very self confident will shy away from receiving compliments with gratitude and will instead feel embarrassed and unworthy of them. It is hard for someone to believe these nice things that others are saying about them, but the more it is said then the more chance you have of accepting it to be the truth.

However, frequently this pattern has already happened with more negative remarks to someone and the unconfident person has believed these things. There is a solution and whilst it may be tough at first, you have to develop a thick skin to guard against either the positive or negative remarks affecting you too deeply. Thank people if they give you a compliment and let negative remarks wash over you. Remember that these comments are only the other person’s opinion and are not necessarily facts.

Accept that when someone says something nice to or about you that they are building up your self esteem and wishing to praise you and your character. Although this is the long route to learning to love and accept who you are, the best way forward is to learn to love and appreciate yourself on your own first. We have to believe in ourselves initially before others can too. So take on board those compliments that come your way and give others compliments in return. Let this empower you moving forwards.

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3. Accepting What Others Think

This point relates very much to the one above regarding compliments. In order to truly accept or at least tolerate what others think about you, you have to discover and develop an inner sense of strength. This is so that you are grounded in the knowledge of who you really are as a person. To get to this place of personal peace and acceptance can take years and a lot of hard work. Indeed, most of us will probably go a whole life time being stubborn and set in our ways. Everyone has an opinion and ideas and we have to respect this, both the good and bad ideas, especially when these comments are about us as individuals.

When you are able to achieve acceptance of this fact, then you will grow in self confidence and you will become stronger as a person in yourself. You have to concentrate on what is happening to you in the present and let the rest of the world do the same. Channel your energy into fulfilling your life goals and in following what you believe in and this boldness, sense of purpose and resolution will radiate into other aspects of your life.

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4. Admitting Your Mistakes

No-one likes to admit when they are wrong or have made a mistake. But how humble would you feel to do so, to be the first person to stand up and say you were wrong. Doing this shows a sense of vulnerability and compassion towards others. You will actually feel a great weight lift from your shoulders to relieve yourself of the burden of guilt or worry that you may be feeling. Opening your character up in this manner to others will not only make it easier to gain their respect and admiration, it will also help your growth towards being a more confident individual. Start small and admit a mistake you have made in the past to yourself first. Build from this point and perhaps when you feel ready to, have a conversation with a friend about how they came to accept mistakes in their lives. Take their ideas on board and remember that many other people are experiencing a similar journey.

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5.Developing a Positive Perspective

Some people would say it is inbuilt into our nature to have either a positive or negative outlook on life. I do not agree with this as I truly think that someone with a negative attitude can develop techniques to change into a positive person. In addition, a positive person can have negative days as well. As your confidence grows from the points we have discussed above, your sense of positivity will exponentially increase as well. Positivity stems from accepting what other people may think, admitting your mistakes, learning to take compliments as well as stepping outside of your comfort zone to experience the world more fully. Over time, if you work really hard on these individual aspects of confidence, then you will find that it has a larger and wider reaching affect on the rest of your personality and character for the better.

Below is a video from Doctor Ivan Joseph from the You Tube channel ‘Tedx Talks’. Dr Joseph is an Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University. He discusses how to become more self confident.