Improve Your Confidence
All my life I have been in awe of people that just seem so confident. How are they out there not completely freaking out about how other people are judging them?? Your life experience may play into the level of confidence you have, but I also believe it has to do with your natural tenancies. Regardless of your starting point, you can make some changes to increase your confidence!
Importance of Mindset
Confidence is one of those aspects that we struggle with. Without the confidence to try, we often fall short of what we want to accomplish. Growing up I rarely felt confident. What was worse, when I did feel confident, I would look for something bad to happen to prove that I shouldn’t feel good about myself. I had a very negative mindset until my early thirty’s.
Luckily I started coming across a ton of resources telling me that my thoughts were a big factor in the way I was feeling. I began doing small things to help me increase my confidence with quick wins. One of the best ways I have been able to increase my confidence is to monitor and update my thinking. As an introvert, I am in my head ALL DAY LONG! Imagine the damage I was doing when the majority of that thinking was negative? When I started noticing the negativity, I re-framed the negative thought into a positive or neutral one. Over the last five years I have transformed the way I think and as a result am much happier and confident.
Letting Go of Perfection
According to Ryan Howes, a psychologist and writer from California, “Deep down we’ve all constructed an idea of who we ‘should’ be: how we should look, act, think, feel and be regarded by others.” If we have a mismatch in what we think we should be in this regard, it can make us feel bad about ourselves.
I am a super ambitious person and definitely fell victim to what Howes was writing about. This was a big part of my negative thinking.
“If you were smart, you would have that promotion by now.”
“If you had more self-control you would be thinner.”
“You could speak up if you were such a loser.”
So harsh! But that was my dialog. I was super hard on myself all the time. What I didn’t realize that was holding me back instead of motivating me to push forward. I had to get myself to a place to realize that I was doing the best I could. I changed my dialog to one that was more encouraging. I focused on being grateful for where I was and making reasonable goals for where I could get next. This was key to me staying motivated. I couldn’t put my goals too high or it would stall my progress.
Practice to Improve Your Confidence
Remember the cliched saying, “Practice Makes Perfect? How about changing it to practice makes confident! Psychologists and motivational experts like Brendon Buichard refer to what’s called the Confidence Competency Loop. The more you are successful at activities that you are preparing yourself for, the more confidence you will have. Your confidence will build after each success, making you more and more confident in your abilities.
To put this in practice, think about something most people hate - giving presentations. As I mentioned earlier in this post, I am introverted. I am not someone who loves giving presentations, but I have had to do different variations of presentations since I started working. I am now to the point where even though I still would prefer not to do a presentation, I can and I don’t have anywhere near the anxiety I used to.
I am still working on this confidence journey and I know it will take continued practice to get to the level I want to be. The changes I have made so far have made such a huge difference, so I recommend you get started today! Every little bit helps bring you closer to the person you want to become.