In the following you can find excellent tips that will help you to improve your self-esteem in an effective way.
How do you build up self-confidence?
Part I: Definition of Self-Confidence:
Self confidence is the state of self-assuredness and trust in oneself and one’s abilities and strengths. It’s the state of hopefulness that one can succeed, even after experiencing a failure. Furthermore, it’s all about feeling comfortable in different situations, even if their outcome is unknown.
A confident person that has a high self-esteem:
- takes responsibility for himself and others
- trusts in himself and his abilities
- faces his fears and expands his own boundaries
- scrutinizes criticism
- doesn’t blame others for his own mistakes
Part II: Basic Knowledge
Let’s start with some good news: Nobody was born as a self-confident person, which means no one could rely on his genes to become self-assured. When we are born we inherit some of the characteristics of our parents – self-esteem is definitely not one of those. We develop our self-esteem during our lives and it depends on ourselves and the environment we live in if we can develop our confidence to the fullest or not. However, this does not imply that once you have reached a certain age or stage of your life you will never be able to strengthen and improve your self-esteem. Quite in the contrary: many people became confident as the result of an event or simply because they had to; a child starts to take care for his younger siblings after the death of one parent, an employee has to bite through a though work environment to keep his job, etc. These events show us that your self-confidence does not remain on a fixed level, but can be positively influenced by yourself or by stressful circumstances and events.
Part III: Negative Attitudes
The “basic knowledge” part above has shown you that self-confidence is neither inherited nor does it have to remain on the same level throughout your life. Every person that is willing to improve and strengthen his self-assuredness can be successful, if they are willing to invest time and work into this project and know some great methods that help them thereby. However, the majority of people have negative attitudes and beliefs that limit themselves and make it more complicated to strengthen their self-esteem. These self-limiting attitudes can be found in the following statements, “I don’t want to change myself, that’s how I am. If I’m not confident enough to do something then I drop the idea of doing it!” or “I’m a shy person, that’s the way it is and I never had problems with it”. All these mindsets and believes limit us from successfully establishing self confidence. Don’t let these or similar self-restrictive attitudes prevent you from developing yourself!
Part IV: Quick-fix solutions to boost confidence
There is no quick-fix solution that improves your self-confidence within several days or so. The more effort, commitment and work you are willing to invest into yourself the better will be the results you can achieve by doing so. It will definitely pay off to be committed towards the strengthening of your self-confidence. However, the title of this part is named “Quick-fix solutions” so here are three methods that will boost your confidence, but are not nearly as effective as the “big-guys” that are going to be explained in the following parts.
Quick-fix #1: Boost your confidence by taking a shower
When I get up in the morning I often feel dizzy and not energized at all. This changes as soon as I have taken a shower as this energizes me and most of all: it wakens me up! Taking a shower is a quick-fix to boost my mood and my confidence within a few minutes. It’s great to step out of the shower feeling vitalized and energetic and it also changes my whole body language.
Quick-fix #2: Boost your confidence with music
Music is a fantastic way to boost your self-esteem as you can listen to it whenever you need a quick boost of confidence. Music is – besides showering – another every effective way to increase your self-esteem within a couple of minutes. Excellent music will energize you and helps you to forget your problems and worries, which is important when facing the challenges of your life! Here are some recommendations: Motivational Songs
Quick-fix #3: Boost your confidence by suiting up
“Clothes make the man” and they also have an influence on the way you feel yourself and whether you feel yourself confident or not. By wearing your favorite clothes you can increase your confidence (on the short-run) and change your whole appearance. You don’t necessarily have to wear a suit; some of your favorite clothes will be fine!
Part V: Strengthen Self-Confidence by Cherishing Yourself
An important aspect of true self confidence that comes from within is that you learn to cherish yourself and start to discover all your positive characteristics.
A person that lacks self-confidence is a true champion in discovering his negative characteristics and things he doesn’t like about himself. Therefore it is important to take yourself some time and find aspects about yourself, your characteristics and your live that you truly love. I really want you to discover your identity and everything that you like about yourself and what abilities and skills make you unique. Grab yourself a notepad or a piece of paper and write down everything that comes in mind and don’t hesitate to ask friends what they like about you the most. Here is some further inspiration:
The reason I asked you to write these things down is that I truly believe that only a person that accepts himself fully and whole-heartedly can become truly confident.
Part VI: Trick Your Subconsciousness
Your subconsciousness is like a huge database that has access to all the mindsets and beliefs that have evolved during your life. Whenever you ask yourself a question your subconsciousness will start to search for an answer and will come up with a logical explanation, based on your mindsets, beliefs and attitudes. A person with confidence problems might ask himself every once in a while the question, “What is the reason that I’m not confident?”, and his subconsciousness will come up with situations of his past that formed negative beliefs and confirm him the reason why he is not self-confident. This can be a vicious circle as these questions will only strengthen negative beliefs.
You can trick your subconsciousness by restating your question from a negative one, “Why am I not confident?” to a positive one “When did I feel confident?”, which will help you to avoid negative beliefs to come up. Here are some examples:
- In what situations did I feel myself confident and comfortable?
- What do my friends like about me the most?
- What do I like about me the most?
Part VII: The Happy End
Whenever you are afraid of something you will imagine all kinds of worst case scenarios and all the things that could go wrong. You can tell that this will only increase your anxiety and fear towards what you are afraid of, but it also will influence your self-confidence negatively so that you start to behave insecure and shy. A simple trick that allows you to avoid these negative imaginations is by giving the imagination a positive ending where you have mastered every problem in a confident way.
Part VIII: Forget the Past
The reason that a person is having a lack of self-esteem lies in his past and is influenced by all the negative situations a person has experienced that formed negative mindsets. The very first step to improve one’s confidence is to accept what happened in the past and to learn to deal with mistakes that were committed in the past, as these cannot be changed. Experiences we have made in the past cannot have an influence towards the outcome of the present, unless you allow them to do so!
Part IX: Independence
A self-confident person does not need to seek external validation or any other kind of acknowledgement from others to appreciate himself. Quite the contrary: this person knows that the source for his true confidence comes from within himself and cannot be influenced by the opinion of others. The search for external validation makes us just dependent from the opinion of others and makes it possible to get influenced by others.
Part X: Self-Confident Attitudes
The attitudes towards your life can have some interesting influence on your self-esteem that you shouldn’t underestimate. Here are some great attitudes that help you to improve your self-esteem:
Ignore unjustified criticism: The fact that you have become victim of unjustified criticism shows you that you are doing something right! Unjustified criticism is nothing else than enviousness of a hateful person. Ignore it; it is not meant to be helpful but is an attack against you.
Don’t seek external validation: the more independent you are about what others think about you the less you will try to be regarded as cool from your environment. This behavior will most likely get you labeled as a clown or someone who is “trying too hard”.
Part XI: Honesty
Honesty is an integral part of being self confident as you can only start to improve your self-esteem by acknowledging your weaknesses and by making yourself clear that you are responsible for your whole life, the mistakes you made and the problems that you are facing. Being honest to yourself helps you to avoid recriminations of all kinds and more important: it helps you to find out what you did wrong, rather than searching for someone else to blame. You need to ask yourself the honest question, “What did I do wrong in this situation and how can I change this?” whenever you face a problem or failed in life. Recriminations allow you to pass the responsibility to someone else, but this also means that you become dependent towards the actions of others as soon as you start to blame others for your mistakes. By refusing to be honest with yourself you also made the decision of dependency and allow others to be responsible for your life.
Part XII: Face Your Fears
Something that helped me tremendously to gain self confidence was to identify what I was anxious about and then to start facing these fears, slowly but continuously. This can be a difficult process and requires a lot of courage and patience to triumph over your fears, but it pays off as you start to eliminate one fear after another and replace these fears with positive experiences and trust in yourself (self-esteem!). I for myself felt really uncomfortable everytime I had to address some person I did not know.
I hadn’t faced this fear until I became 18 years old and after all, it did not really hinder me, but the awkward feeling remained whenever I spoke to someone I did not knew. Then I made the decision to face my fear for exactly one month, by clarifying me that if I wasn’t able to overcome it I would have to life with it forever.
It so came that I started to ask totally strangers about the direction and what time it was. After some days it became really boring and I felt more comfortable than ever when talking to unknown people, which is why started to increase the intensity of the exercise: I started wearing a clock clearly visible to everyone and grabbed a map of the city and returned to ask strangers about the time and direction. I started to continuously increase the difficulty of the exercise and directed my focus towards the conqueror of my fear. Not to mention that I was able to overcome my fear, but I also established some great mindsets in general, one of them was that facing a fear is more effective than running from it and letting my life getting influenced by it.
Part XIII: Expand your boundaries
One characteristic of a confident person is that they always try to test their limits and seek to expand their own boundaries, as this helps them to increase their self-esteem and provides them with precious experiences. Furthermore, it allows them to be confident in situations where they would have experienced anxiety some time before.
Part XIV: Body Language
The body language of a person does not only indicate whether this person is self confident or not, but it also can have an influence on the current self-esteem of this person, in a positive or negative way. A person that lacks self-confidence will walk cautious or even anxious and avoid eye and body contact with others, whereas self confident people will have eye contact with others and do not speak under their breath.
Every person can improve his own well-being and his confidence by keeping an eye on his body language. Slight changes in the posture and gestures can have big influences on a person’s self-esteem. Try to imagine how a confident person would walk, how this person would talk to others and try to adopt his body language. The next time you notice yourself falling back into old patterns of behavior you just need to remember how a confident person would behave in your current situation.
Part XV: Indicators of a Lack of Self-Confidence
People who lack self confidence often feel debilitated as they have a negative self image and many constraints that prohibit them to do the dings they would like to do in their lives. This may be problematic in this person’s everyday life, but it is getting really difficult when it comes to their career advancement and the ability to accomplish one’s visions, as some of these attempts could be confounded by their lack of self-assuredness. In the following you can find four signs of a lack of self confidence:
Negativity, Pessimism and Fears:
People that lack self-assuredness are often very pessimistic towards their own future and expect themselves to fail on a continuous basis. Their fearfulness about the future precludes them from enjoying the present and leads them to avoid changes of any kind, even if they could help them out of negative situations. A fearful person will also avoid situations in which they are responsible for others or the succeeding of a project.
People that intensively seek extrinsic validation (the approval of others) in order to increase their levels of confidence might have confidence problems as well. This also includes people that cannot deal with criticism and those that try to please everybody.
A clear indicator of a lack of self esteem is the unsolicited justification of decisions and actions, as people with self confidence issues feel the need to explain their actions and give reasons why they did what they did, even if nobody questioned their behavior.
The fact that a person continuously accuses others for his own faults can be regarded as another clear indicator of low self-esteem, as this is an expression of his fearfulness to take responsibility.
Part XVI: One Final Tip – Balance
The aim of this article is to help you to improve and strengthen your self-confidence, however it is not intended to make you too over-confident. If you’re behaving over-confident others might consider you to be arrogant and it could happen that you overestimate yourself and your abilities and take too many risks, which could result in a painful defeat.
Therefore, it is important to find a balanced self-esteem that allows you to calculate risks and avoid dangers but still pushes you to do whatever necessary to accomplish your aims.
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