Self Confidence Improvement
Self confidence improvement techniques can be found all throughout the Web.
This is obviously because a HUGE amount of people, in the world today, are battling to trust in themselves and their potential.
It may be hard to believe this because when we look around, what we see - for the most part - is a world of individuals who mostly all exude the impression that they doubt none of their words, nor do they have issues with their appearance or abilities. This is because we are taught to ACT as though we're confident in ourselves, but we're not taught to HAVE confidence in ourselves. In other words: people are generally far better at faking self confidence than feeling it (and therefore believing it).
Now it's true that I've mentioned, quite often, that merely acting as though you believe something will help make that a reality for you, but you have to also 'think it' for it to take effect. If you present yourself as being completely confident (by dressing in a certain way, speaking in a certain way, handling people and situations in a certain way), but you don't actually believe it, then your goal to become truly self confident will amount to nothing.
It's not about acting as though you're self confident; it's about acting as though you're self confident AND believing you're self confident.
It's these slight differences in details, concerning our human psychology, that make all the difference.
You can tell a million people that you LOVE your work and you're particularly good at it, but if - at the same time - you're thinking you actually hate what you do and don't feel you're at all able to contribute more-so to this particular 'field in question' than anyone else, then it's your THINKING that will create your reality, not your words. As powerful as words can be, thinking - I think - is more powerful.
So... self confidence improvement. Where to start?
Start with consistent positive thoughts about yourself.
'When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.' - African Proverb
Don't dwell on your weaknesses, let alone your potential weaknesses.
Acknowledge certain short-comings you have (or may have) but remember...
* EVERYONE has short-comings of their own, so, in this respect, you're luckily not at all unique
* short-comings can often be changed for the better
* short-comings can sometimes help you as much as they can sometimes hinder you
* dwelling on them will only make them grow into overwhelming and thus crippling aspects of yourself
So instead, dwell on your 'long-comings' (sorry, I couldn't resist it) and how you can further work on strengthening these strengths. And dwell on how you can create new strengths because there's no end to the amount of skills you can acquire and there's no end to the amount of knowledge you can attain. If you're wishing to learn a new language, then learn a new language. If you're wishing to learn how to play a new instrument, then learn how to play a new instrument. And so on and so forth.
How you see yourself is thoroughly important. Firstly, it's important to yourself (because, as stated in an above-mentioned paragraph, it's what gives you an inward sense of self confidence, which it TRUE self confidence); secondly, it's important to other people because they will further trust your abilities as a result, and feel that much more secure in your presence if they feel you trust in yourself too. And in business, as well as personal relationships, it's often highly beneficial that people trust that you trust yourself. It's important for a child to trust his/ her parents, but it's also thoroughly important for clients to trust those they're in business with. Which brings me to my second point...
'Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.' - Eleanor Roosevelt
Never let others control you and how you feel about yourself.
And if you follow the point above this one, other people won't be able to control you if you're the one who's mostly, at least, controlling your feelings in regards to your own sense of confidence.
YOU be who you want to be.
YOU take control of your own inner power to control yourself.
YOU live the life you want to live.
Never be, or become, the person others see you as being. Unless that's the person who you WANT to be.
I once had a friend who associated with a group of people who demeaned him at every opportunity. I always wondered why he subjected himself to this sort of abuse, as he already had a very poor self image, yet he couldn't seem to see the situation was only making him, more and more, less and less of a confident person. At first I thought his choosing to be around these 'friends' was helping to create his poor self-image, but then I realised his poor self-image was actually leading him into choosing to be around these people. He was, and very likely still is, stuck in a rut, and he can't get out of it because he doesn't realize it's not normal.
When you feel exultant about this world, then you'll see the best this world has to offer.
Why Else Is Self Confidence Necessary?
'Self confidence gives you the freedom to make mistakes and cope with failure without feeling that your world has come to an end or that you are a worthless person.' - anon
You NEED to move in life.
That's the first thing.
However, if you move, you risk being hurt.
That's the second thing.
But if you have no fear of being hurt (because you have such a strong sense of self confidence), then it's not a big deal anymore because when (or if) you become hurt, you'll be able enough to deal with it. Now it's true that human beings can generally adapt to MOST situations (no matter how horrific or traumatizing), but most people - in adapting to terrible situations - adapt in negative respects. People become especially sour, and particularly paranoid of others, and the sort who are quickly angered, etc; but to adapt in such a way to terrible situations that you're able to hold onto your positive outlook means being (knowing) you're strong. Having that self confidence to stay strong through self-induced optimism - for lack of a better term.
That's the third thing.
The End-Goal Of Self Confidence
'Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.' - Bruce Barton
Self confidence leads to one attaining every sort of wonderful life you can imagine AND it leads you into accomplishing every sort of feat you can think of (within reason, of course). That said, just as having no self confidence could be to your detriment, having too much self confidence could also be to your detriment. As with possibly everything in life, remember 'balance'.
Amongst other things, and as an example: a person with too great a deal of self confidence can take on too much, and, as a result, can burn out, or hurt himself/ herself/ others. He/ she may even kill himself/ herself as a result of having such an over-abundance of self confidence. For instance: If a man were to believe he were so incredibly tough and unbreakable that he could bench-press a truck, he would quite likely wind up being crushed under its weight. This is an extreme example of one person having too huge a volume of self confidence, but it's to illustrate a point...
Come the end of the day, we're all still human, and our bodies and minds can only be pushed so far, because we ALL have limits. Limits that can be extended, yes, but not INFINITELY extended.
So how do you know if you have too much self confidence?
Test yourself in different ways.
And start with small tests, then get bigger.
So, to return to the above-mentioned example: if that man who believed he were tougher than a truck had to start off by bench-pressing average-sized weights, then work his way up to the weight of that truck in greater and greater increments, he could SAFELY come to realize how tough he truly is, and get tougher in the process. This example can be applied to everything in life.
So have all the self confidence in the world, but occasionally be careful how you implement what you think your FULL abilities may be. Because you may be wrong, and the consequences might likely be quite severe.
How To Use Self Confidence When You Have It
'Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.' - Earl Grey Stevenson
The above quote could be interpreted in many ways, but how I choose to think of it is like this...
When you achieve a healthy enough dose of self confidence, don't become lazy in your thoughts and behaviour. Continue building up your skills, or adding to your group of friends, etc. Basically, keep your mind open to new ideas and opportunities. You might have all the self confidence in the world, but then find yourself in a traumatizing situation where all that changes. I have periodically been surprised to have to learn the same lesson more than once, and this is never easy when it happens.
I wouldn't go quite with the old saying 'Expect the worst, but prepare for the best.' I'd tweak it instead as being 'Anything can happen anytime to anyone, whether it's good or bad; so while you should expect the best, know that life frequently doesn't go exactly according to plan.'
The Roots Of A Lack Of Self Confidence
Why does one person have no self confidence while another has plenty?
I believe it's all (or mostly all) got to do with our respectively different upbringings.
Sometimes we pick up on the behaviours of our parents or other guardians, meaning: if we're exposed to people who have a lack of self confidence, we may sometimes take on the same sort of persona as them. But sometimes a lack of self confidence comes from our parents or guardians having bullied us. And sometimes we have 'secrets' that we're ashamed that, in acting with confidence, we might expose, so we keep to ourselves, doing nothing that will draw attention to us. And the list goes on. But often it's not very obvious where this aspect of our character may develop, because humans don't always respond the same way to the same situations. On a good day, a friend may irritate you, but you'll think nothing of it, so let it go. On a bad day, that same friend might irritate you again, but because of your already ill-feelings towards the world, you'll lash out at your friend, and maybe that friendship will never be quite the same again from that point on.
What's interesting is that self-confidence is one of those behaviours that come from the same internal source as a lack of self confidence.
One person might be terrified of doing some sort of extreme sport due to a feeling of intense dread, and another person may THRIVE on that very same feeling as they've interpreted it not as dread, but rather as a 'rush'. In the same vein: some people may feel a feeling of extreme negativity when walking into a room full of people, making them too scared to relax, whereas another person who also walks into that room may have the same feeling in the pit of their stomach, but they interpret that feeling as excitement, and - as a result - all they want to do is let everyone know they've arrived and are ready for action. What pumps one person 'up' is the same thing that pulls another person 'down'.
So while the 'where' is the same, the 'why' is different.
WHY a person is either self confident or not is more complicated than where either of those feelings come from, and sometimes it's therefore not necessary to delve into the 'why' issue. You might never find an answer. But it is important to know that if you can feel 'without self confidence' in an almost physical capacity, then you can feel 'with self confidence' in that same 'almost physical' capacity too.
Both of these feelings come from the same point. And you learn to make the feelings that come from this point one thing or something else... excitement or nervousness... a negative sensation or a positive one.
Getting To That Feeling Of Self Confidence
Firstly, remember that self-confidence grows with good experiences.
So, act the part, believe the part, and realize that WHEN something good happens in life as a result of your self confidence, it may just be one small victory, but many small victories will lead to your not having to act and believe the part. Eventually you truly will be self confident.
1) Don't let people rush you into making hasty decisions. And think before you speak. Take your time, in other words. Some situations call for speed, but many situations in life, I've realized, are handled too impulsively when there's no need for such hastiness.
2) As strange or terrible as it may sound... judge other people. But don't condemn them. And when I use the term 'judge', I mean 'learn from other people's mistakes, but also learn from their successes.' Being objective about where another person may be going wrong (or right) in their life is usually easier than trying to be objective about your own life. So if somebody seems extremely lacking in the self confident department, try and understand why; if somebody is TRULY self confident, put the pieces together. See if you can apply what you ascertain to your own life. We walk around this world amidst thousands of other people, but we don't really examine each other... learn from each other. Ethologists study animals in the wild, and learn amazing things from all manner of creatures, but we never think to do this with other people. With the people in our everyday lives. We should.
3) Write your thinking down about what situations in life you battle the most with in regards to self confidence. Write down possible methods of dealing with the problem, and list the worst of what COULD happen as a result of trying these methods out. When you put your thoughts on paper (or 'on computer monitor'), you will gain a more clear understanding of your mind and you will additionally find that you have less fear about your lack of self confidence, because when you look your problem 'in its face', often it's not as daunting as it has grown to feel in your heart over a period of time. This makes tackling the issue of having a lack of self confidence easier too. One last note about the value of writing/ typing your thoughts down: you'll also more likely follow a set of methods if they're written down as a plan of some sort. Typing or writing thoughts out sets the ball rolling. Yes, it's a small thing, but everything starts small.
4) Be your own cheerleader. I'm not saying you should dress the part, but - in the recesses of your mind - chant some glory to the epic human being you are. We occasionally see characters on TV silently cheering themselves on, and because it's used for comic effect, it's easy to overlook the fact that it actually works. We don't need others to 'get us going', we only need ourselves. That said...
5) The easiest way to get others to help you build up your self confidence is by building up theirs first. This might require some thought, but everyone really has something to offer. So don't lie to people about what qualities you revere in them; consider their uniqueness, recognize their strengths, and then be honest, but with no expectations of them complimenting you in return. Some people won't care what you say about them (whether it's good or bad, and those are the people who're generally the most 'together', by the way), some will be very gracious and then go on their way, but others will make a point of telling you also about what good they see in you. So aspire to be inspired, but inspire others too.
6) Lastly, whatever methods you may incorporate into your wishing to improve upon your self confidence, make a point of putting these methods into practice every day. This is what I refer to as being The Heart Of Self Improvement.
Identifying Aspects Of Self Confident People
Self confident people...
* do what's right, regardless of what others think; those without self confidence behave according to the dictations of others.
* aren't afraid to take calculated and profitable risks; those without self confidence are too scared to take risks, regardless of how much they might hate themselves or their lives.
* admit their mistakes, don't beat themselves up about it, learn from their mistakes, move on; those without self confidence take little or no responsibility for their mistakes, and sometimes struggle in forgiving themselves for 'messing up', thus often battle in moving on from past blunders.
A General - But Important - Note On Self Confidence
I don't think people are either entirely negative or entirely positive in this world.
I suspect, however, that people either REMAIN positive or BECOME negative.
To begin with, you see, none of us have any reasons to be negative. Therefore I often wonder if, when you're a newborn, that's when you're your most positive. We become, I fervently thus believe, the people that we believe we are when we're still quite young. This is one reason I feel self-improvement should start in childhood. But that's a topic for another article.
In the broad sense, children often wonder what they will like to be 'when they grow up', but children are also constantly creating themselves... constantly telling their unconscious minds 'who do you want to be?' or 'who do you not want to be?' with almost every decision in life. And for every negative decision they make, they'll become more negative, and therefore be more likely to be more negative with every following decision they have to make in life. Children just become more of what they are... in their interests and dislikes, in their habits, in their beliefs. But as I previously said... that's the topic for another article though.
A Last Note On Self Confidence
Articles like this one - concerning self confidence improvement techniques - usually list steps you can follow to get to the point of eventually feeling good about yourself in whatever the situation. That said, I hate articles that list SPECIFIC RULES TO BE FOLLOWED. I wrote this article as a guideline to help you become more self confident, but hope that you take what you think is useful, and discard what you think isn't. Tweak the ideas that you don't quite feel apply to you as they're written, and change the order of things around as much as you see fit.
This article was not written to TELL you how to become self confident; it was written to inspire you in how you might go about being successful in this area of self improvement.
Self confidence is about trusting yourself (your general intelligence, your common sense, your perceptiveness, your abilities, etc), so any article that tells you 'how to do it' is, in a sense, contradicting the whole idea of what self confidence is about.
Ultimately, self confidence is about you living your life how YOU see it's most fit to be lived.
Now usually when I create a heading that has the words 'a last note' in it, then the article's about to end. That said...
An Absolutely Last Note On Self Confidence
We accept our friends and family for their quirks far more easily than we accept ourselves. This is a shame.
And not only should we accept and cherish ourselves, but we should believe in people to believe in us too. You'll likely get hurt sometimes having this attitude, but mostly you mostly won't.
This self confidence improvement video is a three minute talk on the topic at hand, but not exactly. It's to do with the words 'thank you' and I highly recommend you watch it because it's profound and interesting.
OTHER RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
* Self Fulfillment
* Self Improvement Made Easy
* Self Improvement Quotes
* Self Hypnosis
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