Many people would like to feel more confident, but it’s often tough to develop self-confidence. The reason for this is confidence is not something you can gain by ticking a couple of boxes. True confidence is a state of mind. So, one must first work on the developing the mindset that allows confidence to follow. The easiest way to describe this would be to use the word acceptance. Its about accepting who you are and being comfortable in your own skin. Once you achieve this, confidence will follow.
What is Self-Confidence?
If I had to sum up self confidence in an easy to understand way, it would be to have faith in yourself. However, this is easier said than done as the way we think about ourselves is often shaped by our upbringing, the interactions we have with those around us and other personal experiences. So if you were a child and you did something and you failed, and your parents told you not to do it if it is hard and people made fun of you for failing, its likely you would lack self-confidence. Likewise, if you failed and your parents encouraged you to try and try again until you succeeded and were surrounded by those who praised you for persevering you would likely have higher levels of self-confidence. A lack of self confidence almost always stems from feelings of what others may think and judge us, criticise us, laugh at us and so on. This naturally then leads to us not feeling confident enough to do what it is we wanted to do out of fear of embarrassment or shame. But there are ways to overcome this.
There are two main ways to help develop more confidence and over time they will help you to develop a mindset that enables confidence to be your default mindset. The first is working on ways to project more confidence even if you are not necessarily confident and the second is to develop skills and knowledge that allow you to feel more confident. One of the easiest ways to project more confidence is to focus on adopting what is known as “power poses”. This is essentially standing / sitting a certain way that will make you feel more confident. This may seem silly, but it has actually been proven to work. For example, if you stand in a superman pose you will feel more confident as it’s a pose that projects strength, opens up your body language and so on. If you simply Google power poses you can find dozens of examples and with a bit of practice you will find one or more that work for you.
The other way to project more confidence is simply to ensure you are the best prepared person in a room. You may be very nervous before a big presentation or interview and not feeling very confident at all. But by preparing in advance, you will have the confidence that you have all bases covered and that will come across in the meeting. By taking control of as many elements as possible, you will be able to feel more confident. But without a doubt though, the best sustainable long-term solution to self-confidence is to invest in yourself. By learning new things and building your knowledge, you become more confident in your own abilities. You will also develop an understanding that even if there are things you do not know or are not good at, you can develop them over time. This leads to you not feeling insecure about not knowing or being good at something. You learn to become OK with your flaws and weaknesses as much as your strengths.