We all know that confidence is a good thing.
Having a high self-confidence can lead to better performance, feeling better about yourself, and better social skills.
Studies have shown that people who are more confident are paid higher and have much more fulfilling friendships.
In this fast paced, competitive world, many people suffer from low self-esteem and self-worth. A medical professional suggests that 85% of the world’s population experience low confidence and that 47% of young females opted out of doing certain activities because of their low self-esteem.
As someone who had overcame crippling social anxiety and sense of self-esteem, I want to let you know that it is possible and that you can have greater confidence within yourself.
This guide is to help you start the road to self-confidence.
How You Learned to Not Be Confident
When people were a child, they had a carefree life. This carefree nature makes them comfortable in their own skin.
As a result, children are supremely confident.
This is because they haven’t learned to fear the disapproval of others or being the center of attention.
But once they reach adolescence, they form insecurities and become less confident as time goes by.
Mostly because they enter schools with socially defined culture and norms, students are conditioned to conform to the unwritten hierarchy.
In other words, you had been told what “normal” is, what “cool” is, what “failure” is.
It can also form through the family culture.
We become self-conscious because of the social structure defined in our neighborhood, household, family, middle and high school. And worrying about how we are perceived by our peers become the norm.
This prevents us from acting out freely. We are afraid of being laughed at, for saying something awkward, for doing the wrong thing, etc.
When we are not confident, we are usually “in our heads” and constructing imaginary prisons to rule our mind.
The problem is that when you lose your confidence at around adolescence – the age where you begin to know yourself – it can be very hard to get it back. It stays in your adult life.
A shaken confidence can have a negative impact in your life for the next 10 years or more.
Self-Confidence: How to Be Confident in Yourself
Before we move forward, it’s invaluable to really define this self-confidence we are looking for.
What does confidence even mean? How does self-confidence look like and feel like?
Once you examine deeply what “confidence” mean, it will drastically change your ability and level of confidence.
The dictionary defines confidence as follows: “belief in one’s own powers and abilities.”
That is what confidence is – believing you can do something. When you are confident, you believe that you can handle the situation. When you are not confident, you are unsure and doubtful that you can handle the situation.
Our beliefs are extremely powerful. Whatever we believe in the deepest part of our mind becomes reality.
After all, our subconscious mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality. It will react as if it was real.
So if you believe that there is a monster under your bed, your body will react. Blood pressure rises. Heart beats faster. You become afraid.
Yet, by changing your belief about yourself and your abilities, you will experience real changes from your mood to energy to how well you do in life.
What Does Confidence Look Like?
For a moment, imagine what “confidence” looks like in your mind.
Each and every one of us have a different image of what constitutes a confident person.
You may think of a certain friend who shines in conversations at every social gathering. Or you may imagine the silent and rough type like Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Perhaps a gentlemen with a suit. You might think of celebrities and high profile individuals whom inspires confidence. Or a monk who smiles in the face of insults.
We all have a confident version of ourselves deep inside us.
What do you look like when you imagine yourself? And how might you see yourself when you are confident?
Now when you are confident, you are relaxed and not worrying. So you appear calm. You are focusing on the present and not in your head. You are certain of your abilities without a shed of doubt even though you can always improve yourself.
What Does Confidence Feel Like?
One manifestation of confidence is the feeling self-assured. It is having certainty with your thoughts.
Jessica has a thought that she is socially strong.
There are no other thoughts which assailed her mind. But when contradictory thoughts such as “I am weird and so socially weak” enters the picture, then Jessica becomes less confident.
Only when the thought “I am socially strong” is certain will Jessica entertain no other contradictory thoughts.
Believe You are Confident
You can try to do confident body postures or imitate confident languages, but this all naturally happens when you believe you are confident in yourself and in your abilities.
So the way to believing yourself confident is to trick your conscious mind into becoming confident.
Here are some tips that may help you bring out the confidence in you:
- Dress sharply: wear your favorite clothes that makes you feel good.
- Take cold shower: cold shower is hard. When you do it, you’ll feel you can handle harder tasks because you accomplish something hard.
- Stand proudly: by altering your body posture, you alter your mindset. Stand straight and you’ll feel more confident.
- Appreciate More: notice the little things in life. Look how amazing that tree looks outside the window, how that teacher helped those students cross the road, how amazing you have done in the past.
- Make concrete decisions: our uncertainty grows bigger the more we wait. So make a decision even if we are afraid.
What do all of these do for you? It helps you feel more confident in yourself. The more you feel confident, the more you carry this confidence in other areas of your life.
While our confidence in our abilities changes, we can always start with having confidence within ourselves.
This sense of comfort with who we are is the foundation that helps us become more confident in our abilities and other areas of life.
One of the best ways to instill the belief that you are confident is to use hypnosis.
Through bypassing the conscious mind – the negative talker – you can become comfortable with yourself in many situations, allowing your self-confidence to shine forward.