It often seems that confidence is elusive, like a smoky mirage. Sometimes, it feels magical and wonderful; other times it can be frustrating.
Something I have learned and continue to work on: you can build up your self-confidence without having to resort to any crystal ball.
‘How?’ I am so glad you asked.
It’s really quite simple.
It starts with changing your perspective, recognizing that confidence is a skill you can learn. It starts when you set a goal and choose to take small steps each day to work towards it.
What Is Self-Confidence?
Self-confidence isn’t tangible. You can’t touch it and say, “This is confidence.”
It’s something we get a feeling for when we, or others, have it.
By the same token, we can recognize when someone lacks it. Even when they try to attempt to compensate for it, we sense it within them.
The good news is that self-confidence is a soft skill, which means you can learn it and apply it to your daily life. It’s not fixed, like your height for example. It’s mainly based on your mindset and the actions you do to follow through.
You can boost your confidence and self-esteem by trusting in your abilities. The first step to making better decisions is to begin seeing yourself succeed in your mind. Speak it out loud. Take note of how you are speaking to yourself. Henry Ford is credited with saying “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”. Over time as your decisions make your life better, your confidence gets a nice little boost. And round and round it goes.
Bear in mind that confidence is infectious. Even though we can’t see it, we still sense other people’s confidence levels in the way they behave and speak.
When someone is confident, they exude excitement and energy. You’re motivated to work hard and feel that same energy.
The downside is it goes both ways. When one person lacks confidence, it can deflate everyone around them. They just get the sense that there’s no point in trying.
Your self-confidence and that of those around you, is powerful.
Why Does Self-Confidence Matter?
There are different reasons why being confident can improve your life.
Allows You to Take Positive Risks
We all need confidence to bring balance and a sense of direction in our lives. Making a conscious decision to develop your confidence will allow you to take positive risks. It gets you out of your comfort zone and puts you on the path to success.
The trick is understanding your own strength. You have to believe that you can master whatever skill you’re striving towards. Yes, it’ll be weird and difficult in the beginning. Yes, you’ll make mistakes along the way. So what?
That’s what life is about. This is what boosts your self-esteem and makes you better at everything you do.
Empowers You to Embrace Your Failures
We all make mistakes. We all fail and meet obstacles in our lives. The attempt or the project may fail. That does not make us failures.
The key is to understand that failures are a necessary part of progress. Read that again and really take it in.
Often, we feel that when we fail, it’s the end of the journey. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
To fully embrace your failures, think of them as detours. When you’re forced to change lanes or take a detour that doesn’t mean the entire journey is over. It just means you’re taking a different path, but you’ll get there eventually. And the detour may offer a more scenic route.
Then, why do some people succeed after failing and others don’t? The difference is being willing to learn from their mistakes. They go over what went wrong and find a way to fix it.
In other words, they use their failures to their advantage. They use them to prop them up and give them the push they need to keep going on their path.
Let’s take a second to think about Thomas Edison and Michael Jordan. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of these two names? Success? Fame? Glory? All of the above?
How about failure? You’re probably saying to yourself, ‘These are two of the most prominent members of society. They haven’t failed.’
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but they have—many times, in fact. Yet, they’re smart enough to use their failures as stepping stones to aim higher and work harder. Imagine how much our lives would have been impacted if these two men had given up every time they failed!
One of Edison’s quotes about refining the light bulb is, “I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Enables You To Trust Yourself
Often, we can be our own worst enemies. We critique every move, every word, and every thought over and over again.
In moderation, it can be a great incentive to do better. But, this only works if we treat ourselves with the same kindness and empathy, we show others. Sadly, it doesn’t happen very often.
The best way to break out of that negative self-talk is to begin to look at yourself from a new perspective. Decide to have faith in your decisions. Own up to your bad decision, embrace it, and move on. Choose not to let past mistakes hold you back from future successes.
Imagine it being part of your arsenal or a superpower. Now, you’ve turned your mistake into something that can make you more resilient and less anxious.
A Final Note
Self-confidence is an integral part of who you are. Understanding why it matters can mean the difference being happy and being miserable.
Having that self-assurance can help boost your relationships and career. You’ll also be able to inspire others to become happier, more fulfilled individuals.
Are you ready? It’s time to change your PERSPECTIVE, explore new POSSIBILITIES, and notice the PATHWAYS opening onto which you can choose to PROCEED with confidence.