The Ultimate Guide: Build Self Confidence

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Believe what is in the line of your needs, for only by such belief is the need fulfilled. Have faith that you can successfully make it, and your feet are nerved to its accomplishment."  [William James, Principles of Psychology]

Self Confidence

Our concept of self is based upon two things: self-knowledge (what you know about how you are) and self-evaluation (how you feel about who you are). This last bit, which is subjective and entirely born from self-examination, is what we base our self-esteem on.
Self-confidence means that we came up with positive conclusions after evaluating how we feel about ourselves. It means that we are happy and comfortable with who we are and therefore find security in being ourselves. Being self-confident means that we like who we are and that we can trust and depend on whoever we may be. The contrary to this idea would be self-doubt. It isn´t hard to conclude that it is hard to depend on or trust in the success of someone we don´t like, or that possess negative attributes.

Needless to say, we play the only and most important role in our self-esteem. It could be easy to think that our self-esteem is proportional to the quality of the person that we are but that is not the case. After all, every human makes mistakes; not a single one of us is perfect yet we all have different levels of self-esteem. 

In reality, self-esteem reflects only one thing about ourselves: our state of mind.  It speaks mountains about how negative and self-critical or self-understanding we are.  It shows how willing we are to forgive ourselves, to look beyond our flaws and to love ourselves as we are.

Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Quality of Life

1. How you see yourself shapes how others see you

If you can´t trust yourself, why would anyone else? Showing people that you trust yourself signals them that it is safe to trust you too. Self-confidence shows miles away, even when we are not speaking. It is visible in our body language, our posture, our tone of voice, the way we look at people, the type of decisions we make, our mood: it literally translates into everything and people around us pick up on it. 

We might be scared others think badly about us, but by lowering our self-esteem we ourselves are telling others we are not valuable, capable, or worthy of trust/dependability. The funny part is that when we let low self-esteem make us feel insecure and nervous about how others see us; scaring us into thinking that they´ll find everything wrong with us, it shows. It becomes the only reason that others are able to pick up on our insecurities. It creates an awful vicious cycle. 

There´s no way to escape interacting with other people (even if we might want to sometimes) and our lives are frequently affected by those interactions. So why not put our best foot forward? Why not give ourselves some love and acceptance so that we can approach the outside world, not with worry or insecurity, but with peace and comfort. If we work through our insecurities, no one can use them against us; by believing in ourselves, others can do so too. 

2. Feeling good about yourself leads to feeling good in general

Having low self-esteem can cause us to feel uncertain and unstable. It isn´t hard to guess why; when we don´t feel confident about who we are, it becomes hard to trust ourselves to be able to lead our lives to success/happiness/etc. Walking around life insecure in our own skins is the worst. It really affects how we experience and feel on a daily basis. 

Developing self-confidence allows us to trust and most importantly to accept ourselves. Only through acceptance can we begin to truly love and appreciate the person that we are becoming every day. The world can change a lot if we get to interact with it from a place of respect, comfort, and confidence. Being positive about who we are, makes us feel good which in turn makes us generally happy. Even if things go wrong, or we make a mistake, self-confidence gives us the faith and strength to keep pushing forward, because we love ourselves and honestly believe that we can succeed. Overall: it allows us to experience life joyfully and peacefully.

3. Self-Esteem leads to motivation and success

When we are feeling great about ourselves and our abilities we are far more likely to take on a challenge. Knowing that we can accomplish something acts as a fuel for powering us into actually doing. In fact, several psychologists agree that good self-confidence plays an important role in accepting more difficult tasks, having more ambitious goals and projects and increasing our motivation to work towards them. Sometimes we just need someone to believe in our capability to succeed, and what better person to do that than you?

Change: Mind and Behavior

As I said before, our perception of self reflects in everything we do, so improving our self-esteem involves two aspects: creating a positive mindset and changing your actions to match.

You can be confident in even the little things, like accepting a compliment with grace rather than rejecting it or by raising your voice to defend your values and ideas, even when everyone else is choosing to act otherwise. Not being afraid to leave your comfort zone and doing your own thing shows a great deal of courage and confidence. Even in failure, you can exhibit confidence by choosing to use every mistake as a stepping stone for improvement rather than letting the external situation define who you are.

This changes in behavior can only occur hand in hand with changes in your thinking. Changing your behavior can be easy if you only fake it, but actually rewiring the way you think can be a slower process. You need to start being conscious of your every thought. Challenge yourself to ban all negative statements from your thoughts and your words. Simple ways to start this change can include the following:

  • Practice gratitude.
  • List your positive attributes and strengths
  • Begin and end your day with positive affirmations
  • Set and complete small goals to build up your sense of accomplishment (and work your way up). 
  • Getting good results will help you moving on a path of success rather than failure.
  • Do something kind, that you can feel proud of, every day
  • Journal or simply do some introspection to get to know yourself better.
  • Make a list of weaknesses and write out a plan on how to improve on each one.
  • Plan ahead for stressful situations (for example if you feel especially insecure about meeting new people, try coming up with a few conversation points to keep at hand). Feeling prepared will make you feel confident.

In fact, I created a great tool for you to begin reshaping the way you think about yourself. It is a confidence-building workbook that will improve your self-esteem. It will help you both attack the bad habit of the negative self-doubt mindset and build up positivity and self-acceptance. You can download it right here for free: Get your free workbook by subscribing here!