How to build confidence and self-esteem.
That is something most of us, even occasionally, long for it. That is what we have been trying to create since we were children – sometimes, unfortunately, the result is the opposite – and the lack of which is one of the most common reasons we are unhappy.
It’s about self-confidence. If you’ve ever told yourself or others: I can’t do it, I don’t have the talent for it. I will never learn it. I can never (wealthy, intelligent, beautiful, fast, and leader fill the gap myself :-)). Or if you’ve done faced more straightforward choices, not to mention longer-lasting decisions like a goat between two haystacks, unable to make a decision. Confidence, or rather its lack or absence, is an issue.
The three biggest fears
By the way, all of us, at least the vast majority, have said these things to ourselves, are in good company. In these moments when you feel that your “heart is sinking into your ankle,” you are facing the greatest fear of three people (either one in three or all at once – the so-called perfect storm): Do I look silly? Am I still doing it right? and Am I still good enough? And sometimes, just a little doubt, a little devil on your shoulder, who scratches out one of these questions is enough. And you feel your blood pressure rise, your palms sweating, and your body and mind starting to get stiff.
Which certainly does not contribute to the growth of self-confidence
But a description of the troubles helps. So how to increase self-confidence? We will get there, but first of all, what is not to do done.
Please don’t read, or at least not take me seriously: “You can if you just try!” or “Self-confidence is a superpower. Once you start believing in yourself, powerful things will happen!”. They are full of Facebook. They do repeat in excellent and sometimes quite expensive pieces of training.
And they’re nice, sometimes they feel good. And these are also quite useless. Multiplying yourself in front of a mirror by how beautiful and intelligent, and capable you are will not help you grow in confidence in the long run. While this may cause a moment of well-being, you are likely to be attacked by dopamine, a substance that creates an expectation of pleasure. And then it’s a gray everyday life again, and the feeling of guilt creeps up that you can’t do it, etc. But what helps then?
Four kinds of confidence
There are four types of self-confidence: Simon Marshall and Paterson Lesley, authors of The Brave Athlete. And how to increase self-confidence depends a lot on what kind of place of self-confidence means broken. I’m talking loose.
It is good to imagine self-confidence as a tree. It has roots, it has a stem, it has a crown, and it has left. And the connection is similar – the tree starts at the roots, and the leaves still stand out best.
So, read the descriptions below and try to put your finger on the self-confidence (or, more specifically, the lack of it) when you say “I can’t” or “I can’t do it” or “it’s not for me.”
The belief that I can do a particular task or activity at a certain (reasonable) level. Maybe it’s related to a specific action. And in a way, less self-confidence is natural when you start doing something you’ve never done before. And it’s also the easiest of the types of confidence you can change – it changes according to your actions and the experience you gain from the action.
1. Achieving operational success
There is no better tool for empowerment than success. It consists of two parts, as the words suggest – action (that is, you do not increase your influence by thinking of yourself as a better salesperson or development interviewer). The second is a success (that is, the long-known truth that success increases self-confidence). Maybe once again: you have to do and succeed.
As a side note, it doesn’t work if you choose tasks that are too simple to succeed.(avoid failure). The effort is essential. How to find a balance? Experts say that a good job means that there is a 70-80% chance of success. For a smaller one, the “elephant” may seem too big, and for a larger one, the effort is not enough to feel satisfied with success. Another slight nuance – don’t limit yourself to one success – set goals in the style of 10 out of 5 I do, etc. Repetitions produce confidence.
2. Looking at the success of others
Strange as it may seem, watching the actions of others helps to increase self-efficacy. Maybe – maybe it’s a good idea to see how others do it before you start doing something new. It also gives you a different specific idea of how you are going to do it yourself.
Your Belief in one’s own general ability in a particular field, in a specific subject, the crown of self-confidence can have both strong and weak branches. A person who has strong self-confidence as a salesperson may not have it at all as a leader. And vice versa. There can be no before-mentioned thing as general low or general high self-confidence. Then it is more a question of the root of the tree, i.e., self-esteem.
Improving self – confidence
It should be a combination of improving self-influence and changing self-esteem. If the problem is in style: I’m not a good leader because I can’t connect people to a common goal as a team, then possible corrective methods are specific activities (regular one-on-one conversations, sharing responsibilities in the group, etc.) and self-assessment activities. See below.
General self-esteem does base on past life experience, in other words, an assessment of who I am – competent, businesslike, I keep promises, etc. (or vice versa – incompetent, superficial, I do not keep promises, etc.). And all this is primarily based on past life experience and the resulting idea of oneself. The trick, of course, is that it is only our imagination that remains heavily influenced by perceptual errors. Among other things, because, as a rule, we are still looking for confirmation of what we think is accurate, and we tend to ignore other facts, opinions, feedback. By the way, one part of self-esteem that does often used too much is perhaps self-criticism, which becomes paralyzing. Maybe whipping myself – “I’m incompetent,” “I’m still stupid,” etc.
Improving self – esteem
1. Face your negative self-criticism
The first step, of course, is to understand that you are doing this – that you are often whipping yourself in vain and destructively. To fix something, you need to know what does broken. And how broken it is. So, every time you make an unfair criticism of yourself or others, put a note on paper or the phone saying, “Oops, I did it again!”. And write down what you tell yourself. Write down.
The next step. Psychologists say it is a subtle rewording. In reality, it is countering its negative nonsense. In other words: 1. Write down a maximum of 5 self-critical nonsense you say about yourself 2. Write an alternative interpretation behind each self-critical statement to help you see things in more positive notes.
For example, criticism: I can never make the right decision on how to go about my working life.
And then, to paraphrase: But I can make a decision that seems like a good decision at the moment and based on the available knowledge. And what is better than indecision. And I have to accept that I can’t (and no one can) predict the future accurately, so even the intensive search for the “best” decision is pointless; happiness lies in making a choice and making peace with my choice. If the option did not turn out to be the right one, in the long run, I could always reconsider – being richer in experience anyway.
2. Be consciously grateful
I know that sounds a little weird. But it works. Maybe write down what you do well. Everyday. Or every night. Three things. It helps to bring focus and attention to the positive, to what is valuable in your life. And which in turn increases your positive self-esteem that you too are valuable.
Deeply hidden beliefs about oneself as a person are the beliefs planted in us in a large part of our childhood—parents in particular and teachers, coaches, and friendships.
How can we deal with setbacks, whether they are a natural part of life or, more or less, with every slightest knock? Whether people are generally trusted, the world is running out, whether life is a valley of distress or something worth living and enjoying. Whether I am worse because as a person, I don’t drive a Porche Cayenne or am stupid if I don’t have a double degree, and so on, endlessly. “It’s not for us,” I once heard a mother say to her 7-8-year-old daughter. We talked about a skateboard park where the superstars of the area competed, which did build in an old factory building and where you could train for a certain amount. After all, only the rich go there to do their strange hobbies; we don’t go there, we are “ordinary people,” the mother’s message to the child was for life.
Improving confidence and self-esteem
The first and perhaps best advice is to seek help. Look for a professional to help you develop a methodology and process for changing a deep belief in yourself because it takes years rather than months and can also mean a change in the environment – workplace, place of residence, partner, essential habits. You can also read books and try to think better, but the combined effect of this kind of belief and the environment is so significant that permanent change with naked thinking is not very likely.
Effort alone does not increase self-confidence.
And by the way, one pretty important thing yet. “The most important thing is to make an effort, then you will achieve,” is not too good advice for growing self-confidence. Effort alone does not boost confidence. Yes, knowing must acknowledge the action, but only the effort that is a step closer to success, to result. Feeling successful is what builds confidence.