Have you ever thought about asking your crush out, but in the end was unable to do it, because you thought he or she will not accept it?
Do you ever think about going to an audition or interview, but in the end you don’t go because you think you won’t get the selected anyway?
If you do, then you may have experienced the effect of low self-confidence. While low self-confidence is not a medical issue in any way, it still sucks to have it.
Low self-confidence ruins your opportunity and prevents you from enjoying the life to the fullest. It also makes you feel bad about yourself and miserable in general.
In this article, we will show you how to build self confidence in a clear and precise way. You will learn about self-confidence, its definition and what causes it, as well as the exercises you can do daily to improve your self-confidence.
Once you’ve managed to do them all, you can look forward to a new life full of opportunities to take.
What is self-confidence and self-esteem
People often use the term self-confidence and self-esteem interchangeably, but actually they have quite a big difference. Self esteem is what you think about yourself overall. Self confidence is what you think about your ability in certain areas.
People express low self-esteem in words such as “I’m such a loser” or “I’m not worth anything”, meanwhile on the other hand they express low self confidence in words such as “No way, I can’t do that” or “I’m terrible at this. I will never pass”.
So, having low self-esteem and low self-confidence is quite different. You can have low self-esteem but high self-confidence (for example, you think you’re a great cook but you think that ability isn’t enough to make people like you).
You can also have high self-esteem but low self-confidence (for example, you may say “I’m a great cook, really. Just don’t ask me to cook because I’m terrible at it).
What causes low self-confidence
There are several reasons why you may develop low self-confidence over something.
1. Bad experiences
Once, your teacher asked you to sing in front of the class. You sang confidently from start to finish, only realizing later that you were terrible at singing and the whole class was laughing at you. Bad experiences can solidify your thought that you’re not good at singing.
2. Negative thinking
Maybe, you never really had a bad experience, but you constantly think about what bad experience you may have to encounter. You keep imagining how your performance would be if things go wrong. These trails of thought will stay in your mind every time you try to sing again.
Having the habit to compare yourself with another person in any area can be very burdensome. Whether you are winning or losing, the stress is the same.
Losing from someone you think as a rival can make you believe that he or she is better than you; while winning from someone may feel good, but if you keep comparing yourself with others, you will feel constantly threatened and burdened.
How to build self confidence
Have you ever felt confident at something? It can be something you think as useless like having a good handwriting or able to keep your room clean 24/7.
When you feel confident about doing something, you know that you will do the job well. You know that you have the talent or the ability to deliver. You know what to do when you face that challenge.
So, when you have low self-confidence over something, it means that you don’t think you have the talent or the capability to do the necessary task. You’re afraid you will not deliver the required performance.
So, here’s the key to build self confidence:
1. Be comfortable with fear
Even if you feel afraid, or worried, or fearful, you have to keep going. We know being afraid is not a comfortable feeling, however, remember that this experience is not going to hurt you.
Make yourself understand that once you pass this obstacle, you will gain a new confidence. Tell yourself that you will always feel fear in your life, so avoiding them forever will not work. Instead, you need to familiarize yourself with them.
2. Be kind to yourself
When you see someone being insecure about their ability, what will you do? You will comfort her or him with kind words. Now, do the same with yourself.
Don’t rush yourself or belittle yourself by saying “Why can’t you just do this simple thing?” or “If other people can do this, why can’t you!”
Instead, tell yourself that you’ve been doing a good and thorough preparation; you deserve the chance to success. Tell yourself that you’ve work hard enough and it’s time to reap the rewards.
3. Be grateful
When you are grateful, you will realize that you have many things in yourself that you should feel proud of. You will realize that you’re pretty amazing in this area and you need a little push of confidence to be able to realize your talent.
By being grateful, you will focus less on your negative points and more on your positive points. This may sound simple, but positivity really works wonder on your self-confidence.
4. Don’t be a perfectionist
Being a perfectionist is a good trait when you’re trying to achieve something, it is not the right attitude to keep, when you have self-confidence issues.
Nobody is perfect, including yourself and other people. In several times of your attempt, you will fail. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
When you are building your self-confidence, taking baby step is the answer for your problem. Don’t aim to impress 100+ audiences in your first try as a singer; instead praise yourself for being able to stand there for a full performance.
Exercises to build self-confidence
If the part above lists the attitude you should adopt when you are building your self-confidence, then the part below will lists the exercises and practices to gain your self-confidence. You can do this daily by yourself in your home.
1. Make a list of gradual challenges to reach your goal
Set your goal first. Do you want to build confidence in public speaking or in certain areas of sport?
Once you’ve decided in what area you need to make improvement, and then make a list of challenges that are gradual in difficulty.
For example, you want to be good in public speaking. Write your challenges as follow:
1st challenge: Practicing speech in front of mirror for 5 minutes.
2nd challenge: Practicing speech in front of best friend for 5 minutes.
3rd challenge: Practicing speech in front of three friends for 5 minutes.
4th challenge: Practicing speech in front of class.
And so on.
2. Make a time to talk kindly to yourself
Make a designated time every day to give yourself a pep talk. Depending on your flexibility and mood, you can do it early in the morning or late at night. Stand or sit in front of the mirror and look at your reflection, while you speak out your accomplishment.
For example, if you’ve completed one of the challenges above, pat yourself in the back and tell yourself that you’ve done a really good job today and tomorrow you will train yourself again so you can move up to complete the next challenge.
Talk to yourself with kind and praising voice (For ex- Even if in a day, you only practice for five minutes, you should be glad that at least you still do it) instead of scolding yourself (For ex- You’re talentless, so you need to practice more diligently tomorrow). People tend to react better to reward than punishment.
3. Practice gratitude
You know that being grateful will help you realize that you’re more capable and talented than you think you are. If you used to be ignorant about this, it’s time to recognize the importance of gratitude.
Keep a journal to list the things that you are grateful for and things where you feel insecure. For example, you are insecure about your appearance. You feel like your teeth are too big and you have too many freckles.
What you should do is write the things you’re grateful about your appearances. For example, you can write thing such as:
- I’m thankful because I have complete and intact limbs.
- I’m thankful because while I’m not the prettiest woman alive, I’m not the ugliest either.
- I’m thankful because my friends find my eyes attractive.
- I’m thankful because my boyfriend said my nose is cute.
With gratitude journal, you will focus less on the negative points of your appearance and more on the positive points.
When you’ve adopted the right attitude and practiced the exercises above, gradually you will feel better about your insecurity. You will start to appreciate yourself more and believe that you can do whatever you want to do. In the end, you will gain more self-confidence.
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