Self confidence. You can have it.

Hi Welcome to December. I should have done this week but time just got away from me. This week I want to blog about self confidence.

SELF CONFIDENCE /ˌsɛlfˈkɒnfɪd(ə)ns
a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.
“I feel terribly tired and completely lacking in self-confidence”
synonyms:
morale, confidence, self-assurance, belief in oneself, positiveness, assertiveness, assurance, self-reliance, selfpossession, composure, nerve, poise, presence, aplomb”she took care to build up his self-confidence by involving him in the planning”antonyms:
diffidence, unsureness
Self-confidence is a term that appears in many contexts, from improving mental health to helping people meet business goals and more. Self-confidence is more than a buzz word; it’s a genuine concept linked to mental health, wellbeing, and a positive way of being in the world. Self-confidence includes both feeling and doing.
Self-confidence is not so much a single idea as it is a process that involves how someone thinks about himself and others as well as how he functions despite challenges and uncertainties. Self-confidence applies to someone’s inner, private world and to his outer world around him or her.
The above definition explains what self-confidence is. These examples illustrate what self-confidence can look like. Self-confidence means:
Valuing yourself for who you are regardless of the blunders you make, the type of work you do or don’t do, etc.
Feeling good about yourself; feeling worthy despite imperfections
Being courageous enough to stand up for yourself and be assertive
Knowing that you’re worthy of others’ respect and friendship
Knowing and accepting the whole of you, both your strengths and weaknesses

The Meaning of Self-Confidence: A Quality-Of-Life Issue
How important is it for someone to develop self-confidence? The central issue relates to quality of life. Self-confidence influences the life someone creates for herself.
A lack of self-confidence negatively impacts someone’s quality of life. Having little self-confidence creates feelings of
Self-doubt
Unworthiness
Inferiority to others
Apathy
Loss of enjoyment
Anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges
In contrast, self-confidence creates
An awareness of strengths, limitations, and how to live your life with both
An acceptance of one’s faults; the realization that perfectionism is neither possible nor desirable
A feeling of being complete
A sense of inner peace
An experience of balance between one’s strengths and weaknesses
The ability to create and experience happiness
Self-confidence is experiencing genuinely positive feelings about yourself while accepting your faults and foibles. A definition of self-confidence is acting assertively because you believe in your inherent worth. Self-confidence means that even when you don’t like things about yourself, you love your whole self.

How confident do you seem to others?

Affirmations
Your level of self-confidence can show in many ways: your behaviour, your body language, how you speak, what you say, and so on. Look at the following comparisons of common confident behaviour with behaviour associated with low self-confidence. Which thoughts or actions do you recognize in yourself and people around you?
Doing what you believe to be right, even if others mock or criticize you for it.
Or
Governing your behaviour based on what other people think.
Being willing to take risks and go the extra mile to achieve better things.
Or
Staying in your comfort zone, fearing failure, and so avoid taking risks.
Admitting your mistakes, and learning from them.
Or
Working hard to cover up mistakes and hoping that you can fix the problem before anyone notices.
Accepting compliments graciously. “Thanks, I really worked hard on that prospectus. I’m pleased you recognize my efforts.”
Or
Dismissing compliments offhandedly. “Oh that prospectus was nothing really, anyone could have done it.”

As you can see from those examples, low self-confidence can be self-destructive, and it often manifests itself as negativity. Confident people are generally more positive – they believe in themselves and their abilities, and they also believe in living life to the full.

What Is Self-Confidence?

Two main things contribute to self-confidence: self-efficacy and self-esteem.
We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we’ll succeed; and it’s this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks.
This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem , which is a more general sense that we can cope with what’s going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we’re competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.
Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. I believe that there’s some truth in this, but that it’s just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – thereby building competence. Without this underlying competence, you don’t have self-confidence: you have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings.

Building Self-Confidence

So how do you build this sense of balanced self-confidence, founded on a firm appreciation of reality?
The bad news is that there’s no quick fix, or five-minute solution.
The good news is that becoming more confident is readily achievable, just as long as you have the focus and determination to carry things through. And what’s even better is that the things you’ll do to build your self-confidence will also build success – after all, your confidence will come from real, solid achievement. No-one can take this away from you!
So here are my eight steps to self-confidence,

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” — Maxwell Maltz

1. Visualize yourself as you want to be.
“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill
Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself that you are proud of, in your own mind. When we struggle with low self-confidence, we have a poor perception of ourselves that is often inaccurate. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.

2. Affirm yourself.
“Affirmations are a powerful tool to deliberately install desired beliefs about yourself.” – Nikki Carnevale
We tend to behave in accordance with our own self-image. The trick to making lasting change is to change how you view yourself.
Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. These are normally more effective if said out loud so that you can hear yourself say it. We tend to believe whatever we tell ourselves constantly. For example, if you hate your own physical appearance, practice saying something that you appreciate or like about yourself when you next look in the mirror.

talkingtoself

To get your brain to accept your positive statements more quickly, phrase your affirmations as questions like, “Why am I so good in making deals?” instead of “I am so good at making deals.” Our brains are biologically wired to seek answers to questions, without analysing whether the question is valid or not.

3. Do one thing that scares you every day.
“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — T. Harv Eker
The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So, get out of your comfort zone and face your fears!

4. Question your inner critic.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay
Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with low self-confidence, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate. Strategies like cognitive behavioural therapy help you to question your inner critic, and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”
Find opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes.

As Mark Twain said, “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

5. Help someone else.
Helping someone else often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you are able to make a difference for someone else.
Instead of focusing on your own weaknesses, volunteer to mentor, practically assist or teach another, and you’ll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process.

6. Care for yourself.
“Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer
Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical health, emotional health and social health. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or constantly have low energy. Make time to cultivate great exercise, eating and sleep habits. In addition, dress the way you want to feel. You have heard the saying that “clothes make the woman.” Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs

7. Create personal boundaries.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”– Harvey Fierstein
Learn to say no. Teach others to respect your personal space. The more control and say that you have over your own life, the greater will be your self-confidence.
8. Shift to an equality mentality.
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe
People with low self-confidence see others as better or more deserving than themselves. Instead of carrying this perception, see yourself as being equal to everyone. They are no better or more deserving than you. Make a mental shift to an equality mentality and you will automatically see an improvement in your self-confidence.

I hope you enjoyed this blog on Self confidence.

Next week I will be offering some tips to help you with self confidence.

This blog is using extracts from my book ‘Can I Change?’ available from Amazon in Paperback or Kindle. It makes a nice stocking filler.

Until next week. Be safe and be happy

Jon X

 

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