Most people have at least some self-confidence, but we know there’s room for more because we can recall many instances of failing to cheer for ourselves. The following tips for increasing self-confidence will help get you started on your journey to becoming your own cheerleader, not just for now but for good. And once you meet the more confident, stronger version of yourself, make sure you take care of them and cheer them on at every opportunity you get.
Self-efficacy, which again goes hand-in-hand with self-confidence, has to do with belief in our own capabilities. To build confidence, you must first build your self-efficacy, and that means looking at yourself for who you are, shortcomings and all.
Some people tend to think that just having shortcomings or weaknesses can get in the way of being confident, so they pretend they don’t have any. Others can’t even see past their weaknesses enough to see their strengths. Wherever you are on this spectrum, know that there’s room for your shortcomings and failures in your self-efficacy. You can have complete confidence in yourself while also understanding your limitations.
One of the best things you can do to build your confidence is to name your weaknesses. Say them out loud. Let them know that they don’t scare you, much like a brave child might do to the monster under their bed. Make your shortcomings impact you on your own terms—don’t let them grow unchecked until they feel bigger than they really are.
You are not defined by your circumstances or your past, but you are shaped by them. The fact of the matter is that those who have been through trauma, abuse, bullying, discrimination, or other experiences that in some way negatively impacted or impact their life are much more likely to have low self-confidence than those used to facing far fewer obstacles. Self-confidence is the result of a multitude of factors coming together, and unfortunately, this automatically disadvantages some more than others.
But the key to overcoming your experiences and increasing your self-confidence is to make peace with them and get some closure. Own them, because they, like your shortcomings, are a part of what makes you who you are and they give you capabilities and knowledge that you otherwise never would have had. These things were not your fault, but how you respond to them is in your control now.
When you are able to see that even the worst experiences you’ve been through give you tools for success and equip you with power, your self-confidence will soar. Therapy can go a long way in helping you to move past challenges and improve your mental health.
Overthinking is the enemy of confidence. We can convince ourselves of anything with enough thought, but this skill doesn’t always work in our favor. Sometimes, the way we think about ourselves spirals out of control, causing our self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence to take a serious hit.
But stopping yourself from toxic overthought is easier said than done. If you’ve ever caught yourself nitpicking your performance even after you’ve met a goal, you know how hard it can be to stop yourself from doing this before it happens.
To stop yourself the next time you suspect you’re overthinking, start by slowing down, which is much more manageable than a full stop. Pause the first thought you have and give it space: is it productive? Overly self-critical? Does it shrink your accomplishments and blow up your failures? Try to catch the first harmful thought you have and challenge it. Square up for a debate, then counter all of the negativity with what you know to be true about yourself. You won’t be able to just prevent overthinking on the first try, but with enough practice, your thoughts will be less critical and more confident.
At the end of the day, you will more than likely need to project more confidence than you actually feel. Yes, one of the trade secrets of how to build confidence is to pretend you have it before you really do. Get a headstart on yourself. Behave like a person confident in their abilities to achieve success would, and over time you’ll start to believe all of it about yourself.
How do others see you now and what do you want them to see? How you dress says a lot about you and often influences your behavior too. You’ve heard that you should dress for the job you want not the job you have, but you should also dress for the self-confidence you want rather than the self-confidence you have. The way you carry yourself matters. The way you talk about yourself matters. Show the world the self-confident you that you want to become now, and soon you’ll feel better about yourself than ever.
Become your own cheerleader toolbox:
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