Posted 01 May 2015 by Chris Farmer
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Improve Your Self-Confidence
Self confidence is a positive emotion that is based on a belief that you possess enough ability to successfully handle the challenges that face you.
A lack of self-confidence (self-doubt), is a negative emotion that flows from a feeling that you LACK the ability to successfully handle those same challenges.
If the truth were told, the majority of people on Planet Earth would benefit from having more self-confidence, or would benefit from having fewer self doubts.
There is a minority of people who do have an over-abundance of self-confidence; maybe even too much. Too much of anything is not good. But in relation to self-confidence, I always think that, on average, you would be better off having a bit too much self-confidence, than not enough.
Just imagine what you could accomplish if you had a super-abundance of self-confidence
If you truly thought that you could achieve anything that you put your mind to, what would you choose to do?
There are two ways to improve yourself in this regard:
- Boost your self confidence levels and
- Simultaneously reduce your self doubts.
How to improve self-confidence and reduce self doubts
The first thing to do is to recognise that self confidence is contextual: Meaning, your confidence level varies, depending on the context: in some situations your confidence is quite high; in others it is practically non-existent.
Your confidence level depends on things like:
- How important is the situation?
- How much do you care about the outcome?
- How much do you know about the subject?
- How much have you prepared?
- Who is watching you?
So you can improve your confidence levels by fiddling with the elements of the above list.
You could do the following things:
1. Do not over-dramatise the situation and imagine things to be more important than they actually are. Keep a sense of realistic proportion.
2. Make sure you know as much as you can. Do your homework. Know the facts. Being clueless is never a great idea. Ignorance is NOT bliss. Knowledge IS power.
3. Practice, prepare and rehearse. The more you practice and prepare the more your confidence will improve. Since, self-confidence flows from a belief that you have enough ability to successfully handle the challenges that face you; preparation is one of the major keys to self-confidence.
4. Ignore the fact that people are watching you. Instead: focus on the content!
The more you distract yourself with thoughts relating to how the others are rating your performance, the less confidence you will have. If you are continually thinking to yourself:
- "I hope they like me."
- "They don't like me!"
- "Oh my God, why did I put myself in front of these people?"
- "They think I am no good!"
This is the type of thought process that will destroy your self-confidence.
Instead of thinking about the people, think instead about the content of your message. You should be thinking:
- "What is the first point I want to make?"
- "How can I prove that my first point is true?"
- "What is point two?"
- "How can I illustrate point two, to make it clearer?"
- "What is point three?"
- "How much time should I give to point three?"
If you concern yourself with the content and meaning of the message, then you won't have time to be thinking self-doubt thoughts.
5. Give yourself positive thoughts
In addition to NOT thinking self-doubt, negative thoughts, you should add in some confidence-building, positive thoughts.
Those thoughts must be based on truth and they are these:
- I've done my homework.
- I know my stuff.
- I have a good message.
- I have dressed correctly for the role I am playing.
- I am quite good at this.
If you say these things to yourself, and if they are actually true, then you will have fewer self doubts and more self-confidence.
6. Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could
Remember that nothing comes from nothing: So if you want self-confidence you have to pay for it. The price you pay for self confidence is this:
- A mind that is NOT distracted by thoughts about other people's perceptions of your performance.
- A mind that is focused on the message and its meaning.
- A mind that does not over-dramatise and keeps a proper perspective.
- A mind that is not left to run wild, consuming itself with worries, but is rather, much more centred, controlled and focused on content.
- More preparation.
If you are willing to pay that price, then you will have more self-confidence and less self-doubt. Then we could realistically ask you to answer the magic question:
If it were true that you could achieve anything that you put your mind to, what would you choose to do?