Part 1 of the confidence building series looks at how our trust in our own abilities directly impacts our self-confidence. Confident people generally have a high level of self-worth. So answer yourself these simple questions?
Have you ever not spoken up for fear of getting it wrong?
Have you ever sat in the background not joining in because you think your opinions or ideas don’t matter?
Do you feel less confident speaking out when you don’t feel like the expert?
If you answered YES to any of these questions then I want you to know, you are not alone. In fact, at most points in our life we feel that we don’t know enough, or aren’t interesting enough, or not important enough to have our voice heard. Confident people may know they don’t know it all, but have the self belief that their opinions, thoughts and contribution matter regardless.
We are not talking arrogance and ego here. We are talking about self-worth. Ego is all about how you are viewed externally, self-worth is concerned about how you view or value yourself internally. The bad news is that you won’t build your self worthiness muscles by doing the things we think we have to do. Having more money, having more likes on Facebook, driving an expensive car, or the big house, these don’t have any impact on self-worth at all. In fact, those “things” are more likely to feed the ego than the self, thus increasing the issue. The good news is that you can unlearn what you have learned and here are a few simple techniques.
Focus on you strengths not your weaknesses. Stop being your biggest critic and focusing on the things that didn’t go according to plan. You have so many strengths that are unique to you and believe it or not, others notice and admire these in you. If you don’t know what your strengths are, then ask people for feedback, and believe what they tell you.
Think like a child. Small children have an inner belief that they can do and will do anything they want. They interrupt because their ideas are so brilliant. They try new things out because they believe they can be successful. If they fail, then they just try again. So be more childlike and see just what you can achieve.
Learn to say NO! No-one is going to value you less if you say no to something you really don’t want to do. To be frank, if someone does judge you because you have respected your boundaries, then that is their issue, not yours. On the reverse, say YES to the things that matter to you and take a chance. Your self-worth and confidence will start building as soon as you start understanding your boundaries (Values) and living according to them.
Dump the downers. We all have people in our lives that drag us down. Think carefully about those people who enforce your lack of self worthiness and self-doubt, and make a conscious decision about how much time you want to spend with these people. Again, their behaviour towards you is more to do with them than you, but they will impact your view of yourself.
Listen to your self talk. Are you telling yourself you aren’t good enough, strong enough, successful enough? Or do you tell yourself you can, you will and you are. If you catch your gremlins or saboteurs talking you out of something, notice and then ignore them.
Love your fears. You will have fears and they will fill you with adrenaline and terror. Use this energy to challenge yourself and spur you on. Nothing builds confidence more than doing something you fear and then succeeding, no matter how big or small.
Take a risk or two. Doing the same things, all the time, keeps you safe. It also keeps you stuck. Your inner self-worth knows that you have the resourcefulness and creativity to solve any problems. So take a risk or two and when it pays off, your confidence will rocket.
Stop comparing yourself to others. There is no such thing as perfect so stop trying to be. You have no idea what is going on with the people you compare yourselves with. Do you know how happy they are and what they are really thinking or feeling? No, so stop. The only person you should compete with is yourself.
We are all born with high levels of self-worth. As we venture out into the world we experience, feel, see, hear things that help us form beliefs about how we should be. By unpicking those beliefs and dismissing the ones that attack our self worth is the key to gaining confidence.