One of my favorite definitions of confidence is that of renowned author Jack Canfield who writes “(Confidence) is the deep-seated belief that you have what it takes – the abilities, inner resources, talents and skills.”
I like it for its simplicity.
But, it’s not enough just to believe that you have what it takes. You must also exude it. And why is the important? Because that’s essentially how you force the right people to pay attention to you. When the right people are paying attention you are more effective and more likely to have opportunities presented to you.
Whether you're seeking upward mobility at work, yearning for more fulfilling relationships or trying to succeed in other personal goals and endeavors, confidence is a vital characteristic.
Research shows that confident people are more likely to succeed because they take chances presented to them more often, they stand up for what they believe in and are therefore more persistent and they also more easily develop a social circle of mentors to help them.
Furthermore, confidence and courage have been found to be correlated.
So, are you ready to build or rebuild your confidence and claim your spot in the book of success stories? It's never too late!
The first step is for you to identify WHY you lack confidence. Here are a few reasons and how you can overcome each one.
Skills and Knowledge Limitations: Having knowledge makes you feel more prepared to tackle things. When you know that you can engage in a conversation about a particular subject competitively, it gives you a boost of confidence to face people and situations. It also earns you the respect of peers. Invest in yourself by reading & acquiring the knowledge that your field demands. Practice. Watch videos. Remember, every industry right now is constantly evolving. Put yourself in situations that will challenge you intellectually to learn more, read more, know more. When you know that what you bring to the table is relevant, accurate and functional, you’ll do it more confidently and that is an important requisite for success . As the old adage goes - Knowledge Is Power. Seize it.
Past Failures and Bad Experiences: If you attempt something and it fails, it’s easy to allow the failure to define your life. It doesn’t have to. You must learn how to effectively navigate dead-ends because they are quite often inevitable results of trying. There are several ways you can do that. Brainstorm with trusted mentors, read or listen to inspirational materials, particularly biographies of successful people who have endured and emerged victorious. Instead of losing your self-confidence over your failures, take the time to redefine your goal or even take a small break to refocus and find momentum again. All this will help turn the failure into a learning opportunity instead of allowing it to ebb at your confidence and keep you from ever trying again.
Ingrained Negative Thoughts: I have heard people remark things like “My teacher told me I would never amount to anything.” These types of comments, whether told to you by parents, peers or teachers can easily nurture self-doubt and lack of confidence. They make you feel inadequate or inferior to others. A good place to start in overcoming this is to pay close attention to your internal dialogue. Hearing these from others could make you believe that you are, in fact, incapable.You then start repeating them to yourself as irreversible facts. While it’s true that you cannot think highly of yourself all the time, we must make conscious efforts to counter negative thoughts before they become the subconscious narrative of our lives. The great Muhammad Ali once said "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief and once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
Once you have successfully developed confidence, you and others around you will be able to tell. Here are a few ways that self-confidence will manifest itself:
Conquered Jealousy: Jealousy often indicates insecurity, diminished self-worth and therefore a lack of confidence on the jealous party. It stems from the belief that you’re not as good as someone else. Social Media has made it easy for us to engage in the kind of self-comparison that can easily leave a person feeling limited and worthless. When you work to improve your self-confidence, you're working to overcome jealousy. When you can admire and celebrate someone else's success without being jealous of them, know that you are a confident person. When you have the courage to admit your own limitations but not allow them to cripple you, you have achieved confidence.
Speech And Your Body Language. Your body language and posture will begin to command respect. Body language experts have specific recommendations about the positioning of your shoulders and how you should stand tall and gaze into your audience’s eyes to portray your self-confidence. For some, this kind of power-posing happens naturally as a result of cultivating self-confidence. If it doesn't happen for you, treat it like any other skill that needs to be acquired and practiced until perfected.
Self-Presentation And Portrayal. Your attire, grooming and vocabulary improve along with your confidence. With that being said, it may require a revamping of your wardrobe to match a self-confident persona. Don't forget that vocabulary includes the words you choose to use when describing yourself. Use them carefully. You could unknowingly self-sabotage by making casual statements such as "I'm such a loser" Find more positive, powerful words to describe yourself, your dreams and your vision. Along with this, teach people how you want to be treated.
Confidence is not always loud or in-your-face, In fact, people who are that way are some of the most insecure ones. Confidence is quiet, focused and calculated. You may have to practice being confident until it becomes a habit. Have a self-awareness about yourself. Know what your strengths are and when they need to be boosted, improved or harnessed. Celebrating both your small and big accomplishments also go a long way in boosting your self-confidence.