My Top 3 Tips For Boosting Overall Confidence
Firstly, what is confidence? Well in its purest form, confidence is a belief in oneself, the self-assurance that one has the ability to meet life's challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly. It must never be confused with arrogance, which a lot of unconfident people worry about coming across as, if they show any signs of confidence. Arrogance is an overinflated sense of self – a sense of superiority. A lot of my clients admit they have the fear of coming across as arrogant, but in reality, they’ve been operating from such an unconfident place for so long, that anything out of that zone feels arrogant to them, when it’s really not.
Also, a lot of people think that because they don’t feel confident, that’s how it must be for life. People often assume that confidence is a fixed character trait - you’re either born confident or you’re not. But the truth is, confidence is a skill which can be acquired and improved. There are so many advantages to working on our overall confidence. Projecting confidence helps people gain credibility, make a strong first impression, deal with pressure, and tackle personal and professional challenges. It’s also an attractive trait, as confidence helps put others at ease.
But how do you improve your confidence? Well, like learning any new skill, it takes time, and there are lots of things you can do that will get you well on the way. Here’s my top 3 tips that you can start using today.
Realise that you DO have confidence.
Confidence is not all-encompassing. Often when we feel unconfident in one area, we generalise and tell ourselves that we’re not confident at all. However, I bet you, there’s at least one thing in your life that you are confident in doing or talking about. Even the least confident people do. It can be something as small as feeling confident in your ability to make a great roast dinner, or feeling confident in your ability to know all the facts about that work project, or confidence that you’re a good driver. The truth is, we all have high confidence in some areas and low confidence in others. My first tip is for you to write down all the areas you’re confident in. There will be more than you expect. If it doesn’t come to you at once, take your time, become conscious of what you do well daily. You’ll soon realise you do many things confidently every day. Next, it’s about reflecting on those areas you’re confident in and working out how you built that up. Ask yourself, “what could I learn from that area I grew confident in and how could I apply it to this new area I want to build confidence in?”
Reframe negative thoughts.
If you are having thoughts like, "This will never work, I’m always going to be useless at this", try replacing them with something more realistic, such as, "If I work hard, I'll improve my chances of success." It’s so important to train our brain to think of things which will benefit and serve us, rather than thoughts that will keep us stuck and unhappy.
It's true that everyone has bad days that lead to negative thoughts, but by searching for positive and realistic expectations, you can eliminate these damaging pessimistic thoughts and better equip yourself to manage the bad days.
Do one small challenging thing each day.
Improvement doesn't come about by accident. You need to push and challenge yourself. So have a think about where your comfort zone is in the area you’re not confident in and then choose one tiny, small thing to do each day that will push you outside this zone and into your stretch zone. So for example, if you want to be more confident in speaking up in team meetings and your goal is to be in a position where you eventually lead team meetings, commit to saying just one small comment in the next meeting. Have it prepared beforehand, on a subject matter you know will come up, or as a comment in response to something you know someone will say. In the next meeting, say something different, or maybe set yourself the goal to say two things. Yes, it will be uncomfortable to start with, but so is everything when it's new. The biggest tip I could give, is just to do one small thing at a time, and the big changes will eventually happen. Always push yourself to become a little better today than you were yesterday.