Self-confidence. You’d be wrong if you thought it was something some people are just born with. The truth is, anyone, at any stage in life, can develop greater self-confidence. Ready to let go and trust yourself? Here are four ways to start.
- Stop the comparisons.
In behavioral therapy, one is often asked to make lists of their accomplishments or other things about themselves that they’re proud of. It’s a very good exercise anyone who needs a self-confidence boost could complete at home. The trouble is, if you’re always focused on someone else’s accomplishments and positive qualities, it’ll be difficult to spot your own.
Make a pact with yourself to notice anytime you draw comparisons between yourself and someone else. Stop viewing them as “better” than yours, and start characterizing them as “different” from yours. After a while, you’ll start to see yourself in a better light.
- Question more.
If you want to love yourself, you have to begin challenging the voice inside of your head that doesn’t. The voice that says, “You’re not good enough for them”, “You’re not smart enough to do that,” or, “You’ll never pull this off,” is not a voice that is delivering uncomfortable truths. It’s a voice that thinks it is protecting you by holding you back.
You don’t have to struggle to silence this voice. Instead, reduce its power over time by questioning the things it tells you. When you stop accepting the negative as a reasonable reaction, it shrinks away to reveal fairness, equanimity, and even optimism.
- Define your boundaries.
Many people lacking in self-confidence are in the spot they are because of how they react (or don’t react) to other people. If you’re always doing what you’re told or letting others take advantage of you, you’re never going to develop the kind of strength that makes one confident.
If you feel bullied by someone in your life, speak up. If you’re unsatisfied in a relationship and need something more from your partner, you have to ask for it, unapologetically. Stand up for yourself, and you’ll find that you begin respecting yourself as much as you would like others too.
- Conquer your fears – especially these three.
There’s no question that confronting and overcoming fears can be a huge confidence boost. But to gain lasting self-confidence, it’s vital that you overcome your fear of these three things – doubt, rejection, and failure. When you allow these (very normal) experiences to happen to you, they become less scary over time.
With doubt, it may surprise you to learn that it can help you succeed. Knowing where your weaknesses lie can actually help you navigate around them better than an overconfident person could. You must also learn that rejection is not the end of the world, nor is a failure. Rather, these are the exact experiences that shape successful, confident, well-adjusted people.
Once you kick those three fears, you’re prepared to go after much more of what you want.
Self-confidence, once developed, isn’t infallible. Even the most accomplished people see their confidence falter from time to time. That’s why it’s good to hold these four principles close to you always. Acknowledge your individual accomplishments, hold space for yourself, challenge negative thoughts, and have a great time kicking fear to the curb.