We are generally attracted to confident people, aren’t we? Confident people inspire confidence in others. And we would all like to be confident. Self-confidence is considered one of the most important characteristics of being successful.
A coach has famously said “Confidence is contagious but so is lack of confidence.” The good news is that self-confidence can be learned. The bad news is that there’s no quick fix.
Low-confidence could be because of factors like a fear of the unknown, being criticised, being unhappy with your appearance, feeling unprepared, poor time-management, lack of knowledge or it could be because of some failure you’ve faced. To start building self-confidence eliminate factors that are pulling you down. Let’s discuss 5 factors that will help you build your self-confidence in this blog and the rest in Part 2.
#1. Overcome Fear of unknown & ridicule
Many are fearful of what lies ahead or tend to focus on all the difficulties and give up even before they start. It’s possible that some fail to explore avenues; or give up at the first obstacle.
Be like a young child. Have you watched them playing on a computer or with a mobile? Kids tend to quickly find games and videos. They have no fear of failure this makes them try different ways to find something to watch.
Fear of ridicule or failure should not be the reason you stop yourself from doing things. Imagine this, no discovery or invention in any field would have been made if the scientists, artists, musicians hadn’t overcome their fear of failure and followed their passion and conviction.
Thinking about difficult situations only brings on anxiety, everything just seems larger and more difficult than they really are. Stop and consider the situation.
# Be Goal oriented
Successful people are goal oriented and they strive to achieve them in a systematic manner. A goal you have may be to, get a job. To achieve this break it down into small achievable tasks. Make each one of your goals fit the SMART criteria – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed.
In the example above, your steps to get a job would be knowing what you want, and preparing for it by getting good grades, doing additional courses, making a good CV, preparing for the Interview etc. All in a time bound manner.
You can learn more about this in video lesson on Skillactz.
# 3. Plan and Prepare
Knowing what you want and taking steps to achieve your goal will give you a feeling of being in control.
For example: If you are preparing for a job interview. Plan what you want to say. Think about questions you may be asked. Practise your answers with friends or colleagues and listen to their feedback.
Other things to plan and prepare for could be, travel for the interview, estimating time for travel, what you should wear etc. Have alternate plans and be prepared for unknown situations.
As you successfully complete tasks, your confidence in your ability to take action and achieve goals increases.
# 4. A common trait of all Confident people is their positivity. Being positive is not about pretending that everything is good, but trying to see some good in everything.
A commonly mentioned example is Looking at a glass of water and thinking that it is half full rather than half empty.
A simple exercise you could do to develop this trait is to list out your strengths and successes. And while you’re at it – List your weaknesses and mistakes too. Get family and friends to add to this list. You’ll be surprised at the inputs!!
Celebrate your strengths and value all the compliments that come your way. Bask in the appreciation and anchor it. Similarly, compliment qualities you see in others. This sends positive vibes all round and it affects you too. So, go ahead. 😊
As much as you celebrate success don’t dwell on your mistakes and losses. This makes them seem bigger issues than they are. Learn from them. Don’t allow criticism to sway or stop you. Listen well to what is being said. A criticism is not about you but an act or a trait that is being disapproved. Understanding what is being criticized will allow you to handle things positively.
For example, consider Geeta Phogat, made famous in the movie ‘Dangal’. A girl from Haryana who against great odds and a whole lot of criticism, with the help of her father worked hard, improved her tactics and went on to win India’s first Gold medal in wrestling in 2010 at the CWG. (CommonWealth Games)
#5. Be Assertive
Have you ever felt bad about not contributing a great idea to a discussion, all because you didn’t have the courage to speak up? Or missed a chance to meet someone just because you were too afraid to introduce yourself Or engaged in a heated argument because you didn’t know how to deal with the situation better?
You will feel less resentment if you speak up for yourself in an assertive and professional way.
Use ‘I’ statements. For example: Imagine you are upset and angry with a friend who’s always borrowing your books and assignments and never returns them till you nag him. You could either say: “Why do you do this. I’ve told you so many times not to do this…”. Instead of blaming, express your feelings as: “I feel angry when I’m late with assignments, as I don’t have the books to prepare.”
Saying the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way is an essential skill. It’s a way to be in control and therefore feel confident.
To summarise – Overcome fear of failure and ridicule. Start taking steps on achieving your SMART goals, follow a plan. This will make you feel self-assured and in control. Over and above – be assertive and optimistic after all ‘…. if Winter comes can Spring be far behind?!…’
Work on these aspects. Good luck!! Cheers to a confident YOU.