Self-confidence is the sort of thing that is taken for granted when you have it naturally.
It’s like air, and you don’t realize you had it until it’s gone.
To be sure, I believe that very few people have natural confidence across the board. Granted, we develop and hone different skills that we become very confident at performing.
But this is not the general type of confidence that is charismatic – that causes others to want to be like you and to be around you.
Most of us have to learn to be more confident and to project a self-assuredness that gains respect – almost immediately – from those around us.
At first glance, we may believe that such a mindset is so far out of our league that surely there’s no way we could ever attain such levels of self-confidence.
Oh, on the contrary – but we can!
It’s like learning to become a good swimmer. We start first in the kitty pool and work our way up. And we must understand that we’ll be required to face one of our fears with each transition to the next level.
We have to be comfortable with the notion that our fears must be overcome to get there. Of course, this is true with everything in life – only our fears stand in the way of so many things we seek.
One of my favorite websites, Success.com, recently posted an excellent article on ways for increasing your self-confidence that I’d like to pass on. It’s a great way to begin a new mindset – give it a read!
Use These 7 Tips to Boost Your Confidence
Although the confidence gap primarily applies to women, those who feel marginalized in any way experience it, too. Say, for example, you’re the youngest or oldest person at your office, an introvertor the only minority. You might feel insecure and begin second-guessing your every action. Follow these tips to boost your confidence so it falls in line with your competence:
1. Make the choice.
It’s likely that you’re more than qualified for the job you have. Instead of improving your skills, focus on increasing your confidence. A significant part of confidence is what psychologists call volitional: our choice. “With diligent effort, we can all choose to expand our confidence,” Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write in The Confidence Code. “But we will get there only if we stop trying to be perfect and start being prepared to fail.” Even if you’re terrified of asking your boss for a raise or your yoga instructor to dinner, ignore your second-guessing and negative thoughts and go for it. Over time, coping with failure will get easier, and the successes will help grow your confidence.
2. Avoid the perfectionism trap.
Failure and risk-taking are key components of confidence building. Cara Maksimow, a clinical social worker, says women can start overcoming their perfectionist tendencies by accepting that not everything in life is certain. She tells clients struggling with perfectionism to picture their task or challenge as the bottom of a staircase. “A lot of us think we need to see what it looks like at the top, but you don’t need to see the top in order to take one step,” she says. “Just say ‘OK, how can I just take that one step and what does that step look like?’ You can always go back.”
3. Leverage your inherent confidence.
You’re more confident than you think. Just consider this: Making everyday decisions, such as what to eat for lunch or what to text your mom, requires a low level of confidence. “Every day we make hundreds of decisions, almost unconsciously, that require basic confidence,” Kay and Shipman write in The Confidence Code. Boost your confidence by reminding yourself of all the successful small decisions you make on a daily basis.