|Whenever we meet someone who is really confident and charismatic, we are often left in awe. “How are they so confident?!” we wonder, as we closely watch to try and figure out what makes them this way.
Self-confidence is a great trait to have, and one that most of us deeply admire. When we think of self-confidence, we often envision the things it would allow us to achieve in life: the relationships we could develop, the opportunities we could have, and the exciting adventures we could experience.
But the reality is that while we often attribute the quality of confidence to people in our environment, we are often a bit more hesitant to see ourselves in this way. But I’m here to share some good news with you: being a more confident person is absolutely within your reach, despite any obstacles you feel may be holding you back.
If you’ve been feeling inadequate lately, here’s what you need to know about practical steps you can take to be a more confident person.
Please note: This article does not contain healthcare or therapeutic advice. If you are concerned about your health or well-being, speak with a health professional or visit your nearest medical facility in an emergency.
The Science of Self-Confidence
Why are some people confident while others are not? It’s an interesting question. The science of self-confidence can be pretty fascinating, and it’s an important topic to consider when aiming to be a more confident person. We’re all likely familiar with the idea that the beliefs we hold are very powerful, and they ultimately determine the kind of results we will achieve in life. But just because a person may have struggled with self-confidence for a long time does not mean that they are bound to be a failure for the rest of their life. Not at all.
As this article explains, research into neural plasticity reveals that we can rewire our brains in ways that affect our thoughts and behaviour at any age. When you become more mindful in terms of your beliefs and habitual reactions to unpleasant emotions, you actually alter the neurochemistry and structure of your brain.
This means that even if you’ve struggled with self-doubt and a negative self-image for a while, you can change things around. Even if past experiences and upbringing have contributed to low self-confidence, you can rewire your thinking patterns and start afresh. First, it starts with a choice to take the risk of becoming more self-confident, despite what things may have been like in the past. Next, it is followed by gradual, consistent effort to push past any obstacles that come along the way.
Let’s identify five key ways to increase your self-confidence:
Create a Plan of Action
Becoming a more confident person is a journey, and like any other journey it requires preparation. It will involve taking stock of where you are currently, and finding little ways to improve each day. Think about where you want to be and the type of mindset you want to adopt. Think about the people whose confidence you admire, and picture yourself developing such confidence and charisma.
Before you embark on your self-confidence journey, it’s very important that you commit to both starting and sticking with it. Something that can help you build self-confidence is setting and achieving goals, and developing a personal development plan can help you with this process. Working towards and reaching goals (even small ones) can bring a sense of confidence and satisfaction – something no one can take away from you!
Live in the Present
Living in the past is one of the most common ways that people knock down their self-confidence. Try and make it a practice to enjoy the present and look to the future with confidence. We can all learn from our past experiences but there is no need to remain there. When you drive a car, although you need to look at the rear view mirror occasionally, your eyes can not be fixated there - you need to look at the road ahead. The same applies to life. You can’t change the past but you should find strength and hope in the fact that you can always change today.
Related: Mental Health Podcasts Focusing on Mindfulness
Pay Attention to the Language You Use About Yourself
Many of us fall into the trap of using language that sabotages our efforts to present ourselves with authority and confidence. For one week, give yourself the task of paying greater attention to the way you speak about yourself during conversations. Do you notice any room for improvement? Avoid making generalizations about yourself and telling yourself “I’m just not good at…” or “I don’t know if I can do that...” Don’t knock yourself down before you even try! Whether you realize it or not, your subconscious is powerful so be sure to build your self-confidence with words of hope and optimism.
Watch Who You Surround Yourself With
Are there Negative Nancy's in your life who are causing you to doubt yourself and your dreams? The people we surround ourselves with can have a huge impact on our self-confidence, so it’s good to be conscious of who you spend time with. When we’re around people who are constantly pessimistic and cynical, the effects may be subtle at first, but such attitudes always end up influencing our own beliefs. Limit your interactions with people who constantly tear you down through baseless remarks that are generated from their own insecurities. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to value yourself and cultivate self-confidence.
Realize What You Have to Offer to the World
Many professionals and creatives often struggle with feelings of inadequacy because they compare themselves to others. They start doubting if they are good enough to share their work with the world and may put off launching a business or product because of such barriers. It’s important to recognize your value and the unique position you are in to help others. And it’s not just about credentials, think of the experiences you’ve had and the valuable lessons you’ve learned that others can benefit from. When you come to appreciate how much you bring to the table as an individual, it becomes a powerful force for shutting down self-limiting beliefs.
Yes, being a more confident person is totally within your reach. By using the above tips you can rewire your brain in a way that will truly benefit you. Always remember that tomorrow can be much better than today, and you have the power to make it so.
About the Guest Author
Roli is a Nigerian-British girl who currently lives in Canada. Her website is a collection of her musings, mainly surrounding lifestyle tips and personal development. Read her latest article here.
Related Article: 25 Positive Mindset Quotes
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