Even if you are not among them, you surely know such people – they are good-natured, look quite decent, educated, intelligent, and yet too contrite and insecure, trapped in some strange vicious circle in which they can never achieve their goals in the right way, although it seems that they have enough preconditions for that.
On the other hand, there are people who, it seems, do everything easily – they graduate from college as a joke, excel in front of potential future bosses and easily charm (future) friends and partners.
What is their secret?
One of the possible answers is – in self-confidence.
What is self-confidence and how to increase it?
Let’s find out together?
What exactly is self-confidence
The puzzle itself tells us that it is a matter of self-confidence, and beyond – belief in yourself and your abilities, a state that implies a positive evaluation of your own being and personality, a kind of “measure” that shows how much we value what we are, how much we respect our good qualities and values.
Although we use this term to describe the current, “current” state of individuals, self-confidence is in a way directed towards the future – because it includes a person’s belief that, thanks to their qualities, knowledge, abilities, they will succeed in their plans and desires.
“Self-confidence is the first condition for great endeavors,” said 18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson.
How much can self-confidence really help us in everyday life, in achieving small and big goals?
Imagine two people in a job interview – both are responsible, hardworking, educated, intelligent, and fully competent to perform a given profession; the only thing that distinguishes them is low self-confidence in one person, and healthy, developed self-confidence in another person.
With insufficient or no faith in themselves, perhaps burdened by fears that they will not perform well enough, the first person will most likely leave the impression of someone who is not even sure what he is looking for in a given place, whether he is competent enough and whether he deserves the job. .
Person number two, aware of their qualities and confident in them, will shine in full splendor and, most likely, leave the impression of someone who is determined, capable, communicative, who knows what he wants and can do.
What do you think – which of the two will get a new job?
And more generally – the degree of self-confidence we have will often be one of the key factors for the image we create of ourselves, the way we “present” ourselves to the world, and the way other people see and evaluate us.
And indeed, if we do not value ourselves and do not believe in what we can and can do – how realistic is it to expect others to appreciate and believe in us?
However, is mere self-confidence the only key that opens the door to success, that is – is faith in oneself enough to make us, as if by magic, good and successful?
Although it is certainly important, of course it is not enough – the self-confidence we have and nurture, or are just trying to develop, should be based on a realistic basis, on real qualities that will support our self-confidence. Of course, it is clear that self-confidence often “grows” even where there is no real root, so we have people who just burst with self-confidence – which is actually empty like a soap bubble.
When to start developing self-confidence?
And the goal is, or at least should be, to develop healthy self-confidence – and that, if possible, already in childhood, together with other positive traits and habits.
Although not the rule, it is clear that a child is more likely to grow into an adult who is confident and believes in his abilities if such “beliefs” come closer to him in childhood – and parents play a big, if not key role in that. One of the preconditions for raising a self-confident child is certainly the creation of a healthy family atmosphere, based on mutual love, support and understanding.
In relation to the child himself, it is advisable to openly provide support, express praise and some kind of reward not only for the achieved successes, but also for the work invested, instead of insisting on criticism, pointing out mistakes and shortcomings.
Also, the child should develop an awareness that failure is an integral part of life, but that in itself does not mean that the child is not good enough. Of course, you need to find a measure in all this, and teach the child to develop a sense of responsibility for their actions, to create a realistic picture of themselves, their needs and possibilities.
In the end, since children often adopt what they see in their parents, it is desirable that the parent himself works on himself and his self-confidence, in order to be a good example for his descendants.
However, even if a parent manages to put into practice tips that in theory generally seem simpler than when it comes to their application, it is not guaranteed that the level of self-confidence built in childhood will remain at a given level or increase through adolescence.
Do you remember, perhaps, how in the lower grades of primary school you went out on stage without a shred of trepidation and embarrassment to recite a song at a school performance, and ten or fifteen years later before a public performance of any kind your knees are kneeling, your mouth is dry and insidious a voice in your head whispering “I can’t do this”?
It’s as if, by the way, you’ve lost some confidence you once had. And this is where the somewhat paradoxical nature of self-confidence lies: although it is, so to speak, a distinctly “reversible” trait – given that it is a person’s attitude towards himself, in life it very often does not depend primarily on ourselves, it is already influenced by various external factors.
If we were lucky in childhood to grow up in a family that nurtures our self-confidence, getting out of a warm family environment inevitably introduces us to a world where there are various situations that sometimes we can not cope with, and which, especially if we are emotional and sensitive, they can destroy self-confidence like a tower of cards – problems, failures, betrayed expectations, disappointments in various areas of life meanly lead us to pessimistic thoughts that all this is happening to us because we are not good enough.
Other people’s attitudes toward us are generally not without influence either – just as praise and compliments will make us feel better and more valuable, so will contact with critical people, who enjoy belittling and pointing out our flaws and mistakes (and in adult life it’s hard completely avoid such interpersonal relationships) to a greater or lesser extent certainly affect the decline in self-confidence.
The problem arises when we allow our self-confidence to depend entirely on situations that we often cannot influence and on the behavior and attitude of the environment towards us, primarily because the attitude of others is often not in the best correlation with our true values – in other words, it can you happen to be underestimated and not supported even though you are actually a quality person who has many good reasons to believe in yourself.
And is this kind of influence on our self-confidence really inevitable and inevitable?
“No one can instill in you a sense of inferiority without your consent,” said the famous German writer Bertolt Brecht – and he was probably quite right. Instead of allowing others to build (or destroy) our self-confidence, it is much more useful to gather strength and will and start building independently.
If you happen to not get the necessary values that are essential for building true self-confidence, don’t worry – you can start from the beginning and build self-confidence that is on a solid foundation and thus change your life for the better!
How and where to start increasing self-confidence?
Although we often try to evoke lost or weakened self-confidence by improving our physical appearance, developing muscle mass, attractive hairstyles or make-up, it is clear that we need something stronger for true and lasting self-confidence, which will remain in us when we take off powder and gain a few extra pounds. .
So, the goal is to look for a source of self-confidence, to find a corner where you will water and nurture your self-confidence, protected from bad influences from the side.
“Self-confidence comes through discipline and training”, said Robert Kiyosaki, an American motivational speaker in the field of entrepreneurship – but this idea can obviously be applied to everyday life.
If we look at this phenomenon as a kind of skill, it is clear that it can be learned, practiced and perfected. The increasingly popular NLP programs, which are based on the so-called neuro-linguistic programming, IE the idea that, to put it simply, with the desire and appropriate “training”, each of us can “program” ourselves and our behavior in a certain direction.
Through changing the way we think, recognizing the meaning of the words we use in everyday speech and building positive habits, this methodology aims to teach an individual how to make their lives more successful – and one of the steps is to build and increase self-confidence.
In order to develop our self-confidence, we must direct our thinking in that direction – instead of lamenting about life’s failures and personal shortcomings, we should concentrate more on successes so far, on what we are good at and what we can do, NLP experts advise.
Also, with regard to the future, one should not expect failure and be burdened with pessimistic forecasts, but on the contrary – wish success and think about it, and that success as a real consequence of our work, commitment and quality.
It is very desirable to clearly define your desires and goals, but also to see your real abilities and possibilities and set goals that are realistic and achievable – if we plan to climb Mount Everest in two weeks, and we spent the previous year in an armchair and in front of computer, failure caused by misjudgment will certainly not positively affect our self-esteem.
So we need to know what we want, but also what we can do. And in order to become more self-confident over time, we need to learn to praise ourselves when we achieve a goal, to sincerely rejoice in our successes, but also not to be clumsy and not to judge ourselves if we do not achieve something in its most perfect form.
Just as other people have to earn our trust with something, the same goes for ourselves – lost or non-existent faith in ourselves must be (re-acquired).
It is useful to ask yourself what are the qualities of other people that will lead us to trust them and can rely on them, and work on developing those qualities in ourselves.
Just as we will not trust a trader who has deceived us many times or an acquaintance who often lies to us, we cannot trust ourselves if we behave in similar ways.
We must be honest, fair, and kind to ourselves; responsible for our obligations and the promises we have made to ourselves; ready to develop our competencies in the desired areas, so as not to get into a situation where we ask for self-confidence, and we do not have a foundation on which to build it.
Also, it is believed that our current self-confidence can be affected even by the way we hold our body and move, and that an upright posture and a raised head position help us stay calmer and more focused – which is especially important in stressful situations.
This is why American psychiatrist and psychotherapist Milton Erickson gave seemingly silly advice to patients suffering from some kind of depression to count roof antennas and street lamps while walking down the street – and why they really felt better and more confident while performing this task.
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