Self-confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment. Self-confidence is important to your health and psychological well-being. Having a healthy level of self-confidence can help you become successful in your personal and professional life.
Throughout our lives we grow and go through many things. Since childhood we are taught one thing in school: how to be confident. There is a fine line between confident and overconfident. As children the concept of confidence is very vague to us. In 2019, I had conducted a workshop for underprivileged children to teach them about confidence. It's as simple as one tagline that we taught them "I can do this"
Confidence is as basic as that. However, while most kids have the right amount of confidence needed, children who grow up in a negative households have great self esteem issues. They are silenced when they attempt to speak or they are neglected. This makes its way through the school life of the child. For example, even if the child knows the answer, they hold back for the fear of being wrong. And that's how low confidence starts. Other aspects that contribute to fear and low confidence are public speaking, lack of emotional support and not being informed enough. It's necessary that schools have sessions for confidence building so children learn to believe in themselves and not be afraid.
When you feel confident in yourself, you’re able to devote your resources to the task at hand. Rather than waste time and energy worrying that you aren't good enough, you can devote your energy to your efforts. So ultimately, you'll perform better when you feel confident. For example, if you feel confident about a presentation you’re going to make, you’ll focus on delivering your message to your audience. If however, you lack confidence in your ability to communicate, you may worry that no one is listening. You might struggle to concentrate and you may stumble over your words—which may reinforce your belief that you are bad at giving presentations. As much as confidence building starts in childhood, there are ways by which the damage of low confidence can be undone. The most important thing is to:
1. Stop comparing- yourself to others. We need to understand that everyone has their own journey and is special in their own way. One thing I've grown to believe is that you are as special as the person you compare yourself to. However, sometimes people just have access to resources more than you do. In such circumstances you need to work harder and provide for yourself. A classic example of such a case is nepotism. You could be as skilled and talented as someone else but they might get the job or seat because of personal connections. In such cases you should realise that it's NOT your fault. Infact this should be taken up as a challenge. Pay attention to times when you compare your wealth, possessions, skills, achievements, and attributes. Thinking that other people are better or have more will erode your confidence in yourself. When you notice you are drawing comparisons, remind yourself that doing so isn’t helpful. Everyone is running their own race and life isn’t a competition.
2. Groom Yourself -
If your body is healthy your mind is healthy and vice versa. Confidence is about how you perceive yourself. And all this comes from your mind. It’s hard to feel good about yourself if you’re abusing your body. Skipping sleep, eating an unhealthy diet, and refraining from exercise will take a toll on your well-being. Studies consistently show physical activity boosts confidence. When you’re feeling at your best physically, you’ll naturally feel more confident about yourself.
3. Cut yourself some slack -
Most of the times we tend to talk very harshly about ourselves. In our mind we call ourselves unworthy or useless. It's even worse when we hear this from someone else, like our parents, teachers or friends. The human brain tends to believe negative comments faster than positive ones. Therefore rather than believing what others say, it's necessary that you give yourself positive pep- talks and be compassionate with yourself. Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness when you make a mistake, fail, or experience a setback. Speaking to yourself harshly, won’t motivate you to do better. In fact, it tends to have the opposite effect. Rather than beat yourself up or call yourself names, try speaking to yourself like you’d talk to a trusted friend. Cut yourself some slack, laugh at yourself, and remind yourself that no one is perfect.
4. Be spontaneous -
Sometimes, people put off doing things like inviting someone on a date or applying for a promotion until they feel more confident. But sometimes, the best way to gain confidence is by doing. Practice facing some of your fears that stem from a lack of self-confidence. If you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself or you think that you’re going to mess up, try it anyway.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare or practice, of course. If you have a big speech coming up, practice in front of your friends and family so you’ll gain some confidence. But don’t wait until you feel 100% confident before you proceed. You might never get there.
5. Challenge Yourself -
Most of the times we're too afraid to do things because we afraid being ridiculed. This can be something as simple as getting a haircut that's different from your usual ones. We're constantly thinking of "what will people say". However, when your brain tells you that you have no business speaking up in a meeting or that you are too out of shape to work out, remind yourself that your thoughts aren’t always accurate. Sometimes, the best way to deal with negative self-talk is by challenging those statements. Try doing things that your brain tells you that you can’t. Tell yourself it’s just an experiment and see what happens. You might learn that being a little anxious or making a few mistakes isn’t as bad as you thought. And each time you move forward you can gain more confidence in yourself.
It's important to know the difference between confidence and over confidence. The right amount of confidence can do wonders but overconfidence can be a downfall. It will bring down everything you believe in and be a massive blow to your self esteem. Once again, over confidence is also simple to identify. Someone who thinks they're extremely good at driving might want to drink and drive because they're over confident about their skills. However, after one accident, they might be phobic to even sit in thr passenger's seat, let alone hold a wheel. Thats how bad overconfidence can get.
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face"
Aircrews Aviation Pvt Limited
@Kassandra Dias, HR Manager Aircrews Aviation Pvt. Ltd.
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