How to boost your Self-confidence
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“Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.”
“The concept of self-confidence relates to self-assuredness in one’s personal judgment, ability, power etc.”
What is self-confidence and how does it relate to finding meaningful work and a better quality of life? We’ve all met highly self-confident people – they radiate self-assurance and evidently believe in everything that they do. Self-confidence gives people the belief that they can pursue a particular course of action and have the skills and abilities to make it successful. Self-confident people appear to see every interaction and eventuality as an opportunity, and every challenge as a learning point. Confidence is infectious and other people tend to believe and support a confident leader with little question. Importantly, self-confidence diminishes our fears and helps us to overcome our challenges. When we’re in a confident mindset, the path ahead seems clear and obvious and the Less Ordinary seems attainable.
So having understood self-confidence, how do we enhance our own self-confidence? I’ve struggled with my self-confidence over time and its natural for everyone to do so. Answering this fundamental question is something man has always pondered and your personal formula is as valid as anyones.
I’ll offer a few suggestions based on my experiences, but please comment on this article with your thoughts on self-confidence.
1. Stay Positive – everyone has negative thoughts, fears and doubts from time to time. For me, I’ve found they can quickly dent my self-confidence and hold me back from pursuing my goals. Particularly at the start of this year when I was getting my coaching practice up and running I would find myself thinking “you’re not good enough to run your own business”, “you don’t know the first thing about working for yourself” and countless similar thoughts.
My response was to start monitoring my thoughts and noticing this negative thinking. I created a “thought police” and made sure that I answered every negative thought with a positive thought. I found it powerful to logically dismantle the negative thought, identify why it was nonsense and then address it with a positive counter-thought. Developing this discipline has helped me develop really strong positive thinking and it has boosted my self-confidence.
2. Avoid regret – Living in the present is a powerful way to boost self-confidence. The past truly is history and cannot be changed, however much we agonize over it. I find it difficult to avoid replaying past events in my mind and wondering what I could have done differently or better. I try to analyse past events to look for the learning.
For example, when I first moved back to the UK from San Francisco there were some tough times in the transition when I found myself thinking “If we were in San Francisco now…..”. Over time I’ve recognised that my time in California was a perfect period for me to learn and develop and that moving back brought a world of new challenges and excitements. Overcoming the challenges was part of the point of making the move. Living with regret about moving back home dented my self-confidence and left me second-guessing myself. Now I try to boost my confidence by learning from experience and trying to make things even better next time.
3. Count your blessings – I have been guilty in the past of taking life for granted. I didn’t show due appreciation for how fortunate I’ve been.
To be able to post this blog, I am fortunate to be one of the 25% of the world’s population with access to the internet. I’m also in the 20% of the world’s population that makes more than $10 a day. I’ve started to recognise that I’ve been incredibly lucky to receive access to an education and opportunities that have allowed me study at excellent educational establishments, live in some of the world’s great cities, and have the chance to do work that I truly love.
My recognition of how fortunate I am to live on this planet in 2009 is a real boost to my self-confidence and a spur to action. We all have the potential and opportunity to do something extraordinary and if we can’t do it, then who can?
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