April 7, 2022

How to Be More Confident

Maria Cardenas

Self-confidence is defined as a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.Research suggests that it is important to your health and psychological well-being.

Confidence can refer to a general sense of belief and trust in your ability to control your life, or it might be more situation-specific. For example, you might have high self-confidence in an area of expertise but feel less confident in other areas.

Having a healthy level of self-confidence can help you become successful in your personal and professional life. It can play a role in your motivation to pursue your goals and affect how you present yourself to other people. Research has found, for example, that more confident people tend to be more academically successful.

This article discusses some of the benefits of self-confidence and how to be more confident.

  • Characteristics    of Confident vs. Insecure People

Confident People: Celebrate other people's success, stay open-minded, think positively, are willing to take risks, are able to laugh at themselves, are decisive, are always learning and growing, admit mistakes, accept responsibility.

Insecure People: Judgmental and jealous of others, close-minded, pessimistic, fear change, hide flaws, indecisive, act like a know-it-all, always make excuses, and blame others.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your self-confidence. Whether you lack confidence in one specific area or you struggle to feel confident about anything, these strategies can help.

  • Stop     Comparing Yourself to Others  

Whether you compare how you look to your friends on Instagram or you compare your salary to your friend’s income, comparisons aren’t healthy. A 2018 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found a direct link between envy and the way you feel about yourself.

Researchers found that people who compared themselves to others experienced envy. And the more envy they experienced, the worse they felt about themselves.

If you’re feeling envious of someone else’s life, remind yourself of your strengths and successes. Consider keeping an ongoing gratitude journal to help you focus on your own life and not the lives of others.

When you notice you are drawing comparisons, remind yourself that doing so isn’t helpful. Everyone is running their race and life isn’t a competition.

  • Surround Yourself With Positive People  

Pay attention to how your friends make you feel. Do your friends lift you or bring you down? Are they constantly judging you or do they accept you for who you are?  

The people you spend time with influence your thoughts and attitudes about yourself more than you think. If you feel bad about yourself after hanging out with a particular person, it may be time to say goodbye.  

  • Take     Care of Your Body  

It’s hard to feel good about yourself if you’re abusing your body. On the other hand, if you practice self-care, you know you're doing something positive for your mind, body, and spirit and you'll naturally feel more confident as a result.

  • Here are a few self-care practices connected to higher levels of  self-confidence:
  • Diet:     Eating well comes with many benefits, including higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. When you fuel your body with     nutrient-dense foods, you feel healthier, stronger, and more energized, which can result in feeling better about yourself.
  • Exercise:     Studies consistently show physical activity boosts confidence. A 2016 study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment found that regular physical activity improved participants’ body image. And when their body image improved, they felt more confident.4
  • Meditation:     More than just a relaxation practice, meditation can help boost self-confidence in several ways. For one, it helps you to recognize and accept yourself. Meditation also teaches you to stop negative self-talk and disconnect from unhelpful mental chatter interfering with your self-confidence.
  • Sleep:     Skimping on sleep can take a toll on your emotions, whereas good, quality sleep has been linked with positive personality traits, including optimism and self-esteem.5

  • Be     Kind to Yourself  

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness when you make a mistake, fail, or experience a setback. It's a way of relating to yourself that allows you to become more emotionally flexible and better able to navigate challenging emotions and enhances your connection to self and others. Researchers have linked the ability to relate to ourselves in a compassionate way to self-confidence.

A2009 study published in the Journal of Personality found that self-compassion contributes to more consistent confidence. So the next time you're in a challenging situation, recognize that being imperfect or falling short at times is a part of living. Do your best to navigate these experiences with self-compassion.

  • Practice     Positive Self-Talk  

Using self-talk that is optimistic can help you foster self-compassion, overcome self-doubt, and take on new challenges. On the other hand, negative self-talk can limit your abilities and lessen your confidence by convincing your subconscious that you "can't handle it" or that something is"too hard" and you "shouldn't even try."

The next time you begin to think that you have no business speaking up in a meeting or that you are too out of shape to work out, remind yourself that your thoughts aren’t always accurate.

Here are a few examples of how to challenge pessimistic self-talk and reframe your thoughts into a more positive way of thinking:

Instead of telling yourself "I can't handle this," or "This is impossible," try reminding yourself that "You can do it," or"all I have to do is try."

Instead of telling yourself "I can't do anything right" when you make a mistake, remind yourself "I can do better next time," or "at least I learned something."

Instead of saying you "hate" public speaking, use a milder word like"don't like," and remind yourself that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

  • Face Your Fears  

Stop putting things off (like asking someone on a date or applying for a promotion)until you feel more confident. The best way to build your confidence is by facing your fears head-on.

Practice facing some of your fears that stem from a lack of self-confidence.8 If you’re afraid you’ll embarrass yourself or you think that you’re going to mess up, try it anyway. Tell yourself it’s just an experiment and see what happens.

You might learn that being a little anxious or making a few mistakes isn’t as bad as you thought. And each time you move forward, you can gain more confidence in yourself, which in the end, will help prevent you from taking any risks that will result in any major negative consequences.

  • Benefits of Self-Confidence  

Having self-confidence can bring many benefits at home, at work, and within your relationships. Here's a look at a few of the positive effects of self-confidence:

  • Better     performance: Rather than waste time and energy worrying that you aren't good enough, you can devote your energy to your efforts.10 Ultimately, you'll perform better when you feel confident.
  • Healthy     relationships: Having self-confidence not only impacts how you feel about yourself, but it helps you better understand and love others. It also gives you the strength to walk away if you're not getting what you deserve.
  • Openness     to try new things: When you believe in yourself, you're more willing to try new things. Whether you apply for a promotion or sign up for a cooking class, putting yourself out there is a lot easier when you have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
  • Resilience:     Believing in yourself can enhance your resilience, or ability to bounce back from any challenges or adversities you face in life.

  • A  Word From Very well  

Everyone struggles with confidence issues at one time or another. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help yourself feel more confident. In many cases, learning how to act confident can help you feel more confident.

Sometime slow self-confidence might be a sign of a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety. If your self-confidence issues interfere with your work, social life, or education, consider talking to a mental health professional. A therapist can help you better understand the problem, recommend treatments, and work with you to develop skills to build your confidence.

Reference:

LCSW,A. M. (2021, November 27). 6 ways to start boosting your self-confidence today. Very well Mind. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-boost-your-self-confidence-4163098

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria is a tutor and a volunteer at the Thaddeus Resource Center. Her Bachelor's degree is in Education in Kindergarten and Preschool. She is studying a Master in TESOL at the Westcliff University in California and she aspires to be an English Teacher serving children, teenagers, and adults. In her free time, she likes to cook, to read, and spend time with her loved ones.