4 Simple Actions To Boost Your Confidence
When you have confidence in someone, you believe that they’re trustworthy and dependable. You call friends you have confidence in when something goes wrong. They’re reliable, and they have the resources and ability to help you. Self-confidence is learning to have this kind of trust in yourself. Read on for four small actions you can take to boost your confidence levels:
What self-confidence looks like
Individuals with strong levels of self-confidence believe they have the ability to meet challenges they’ll face. Self-confidence is different from pride – it comes from having a realistic yet hopeful view of life.
Confident people see failure as a learning opportunity, partly because they don’t hold themselves to impossible standards. They’re able to take constructive criticism, laugh at themselves, and go after their dreams even if they’ve failed before. Individuals with self-confidence also set strong boundaries to protect their time and peace of mind. Nearly everyone struggles with low levels of self-confidence at some point in their lives. However, extremely low confidence can be crippling for some individuals. A lack of confidence can affect work success, relationships, and other important areas of life. Actions taken without confidence can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy, affirming the negative thoughts a person has about themselves.
Thankfully, self-confidence is a quality you can increase with practice. Here are four small actions you can take to develop confidence in yourself:
Challenge your thoughts
It is easy to believe your thoughts are reality. For example, consider the thought, “no one likes me.” If you have this thought and never think about it from an observational perspective, you might accept it as reality and start to let it change your future behavior. One of the most powerful things you can do to build confidence is to begin noticing your thoughts. Write down thoughts that bother you throughout the day, and read them a few days later. Often, self-deprecating thoughts seem absurd out of context. Reviewing your thoughts can help you realize where you’re being unreasonable about yourself.
The next step is to challenge your negative thoughts. You can practice laughing at them, actively replacing them with positive thoughts, or changing your behavior so they’re not true anymore. For instance, you can stop lying so that the thought “I’m not trustworthy” is no longer true.
Identify your triggers
Self-confidence is closely connected to fear. Some things many people fear, like public speaking, heights, and pain. However, other fears are specific to each person. For instance, some people are too intimidated to ask out a stranger, while others seem to do this with ease. In addition to its connection with fear, self-confidence also stems from your view of yourself. If you view yourself negatively, you’ll assume others do too. Your beliefs about yourself will start to limit your options, setting you up for the life you believe you deserve.
Identifying what triggers your personal insecurities is the first step toward becoming someone you respect. What makes your palms sweaty? What increases your heart rate? Is there an activity that makes you physically react just by thinking about it? Take some time to consider what situations and thoughts trigger your personal fears and insecurities, and write them down.
Face your fears
Choosing to face your fears is the most powerful step you can take toward improving your self-confidence. Now that you know what situations trigger fear, try to condense those fears into single words. For example, you may fear rejection, intimacy, failure, heights, etc. Perhaps you have a fear of the gym. Many people have insecurities about their bodies, and working out in front of others can be extremely intimidating. This is especially true of women, who are twice as likely as men to feel insecure at the gym.
Yet, if you stick it out, you’ll soon realize that most people aren’t paying attention to you. You’ll become more comfortable with taking up space and trying new things. In addition, you’ll reap all the stress-reducing benefits of exercise and bring energy to your body and brain! If you’re having trouble getting started, think of a low-risk way you can face one aspect of your fear. For instance, if you’re afraid of heights, you could stand against a balcony railing instead of against the wall. By pushing yourself to face your fears slowly, you will gain tolerance over time toward the things that scare you. Of course, you should never use this technique to expose yourself to truly dangerous situations!
Don’t Play the Comparison Game
One of the fastest ways to lose any sense of confidence is to compare yourself to other people. Comparison is incredibly easy to do, and because it’s often subconscious, you may not even realize you’re doing it. One of the best ways to weed out any comparison in your life is to take a social media fast. Try staying off all social media apps and news sites and avoid advertising for a period of three days. If you can, take an entire week off. If you have to log onto social media for work or to check your messages, strictly schedule your time and only complete the work you need to do. Every time you’re tempted to go online, take a moment to appreciate something that’s already present in your life.
At the end of the fast, evaluate how you feel. How content are you with your life? What changes do you still want to make? What seems most important to you? Remember that not every person’s version of success is the same. Settle on achieving your form of success, and don’t worry about measuring up to others.
Confidence takes time and persistence to cultivate. The first few times you challenge your thoughts or face a fear, you’ll probably fall short of what you hoped for. Practice is a process, and the most important thing you can do is keep moving forward. Follow these four tips to grow your confidence one simple step at a time. You are capable of so much more than you realize! One day, you’ll look back on your progress and be amazed at how much you’ve grown.
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