How to Build Self Confidence?
Sometime ago, I listened to Steve Pavlina’s audio on the topic of confidence. His ideas were a unique way to look at confidence and how we can use it to benefit in our lives.
1. Old Paradigm for Confidence
What is confidence?
You could say that confidence is the feel good factor that makes you feel certain of your success. Put another way, confidence makes you believe in your own ability. ( How to build confidence)
But here’s a more important question to consider.
What gives rise to confidence?
Intuitively you would know that the following are the most common reasons for confidence
- Past experiences
- History of past success
- Thorough preparation for the challenge at hand (like preparation for an exam or some live performance)
2. A New way to Think of Confidence
I am sure you have heard the stories of people rising from challenging situations to conquer their dreams. The most common are the “rags to riches” stories. In fact, even movies depict this common concept where the good guy has no hope of finding what he wants but eventually the hero fights all adversity to conquer his challenges and kill the bad guy.
If confidence were only a result of past experience and success, do you think anybody could ever find faith to improve their own situation? The more critical the past has been, the more a person will lack the faith to improve his life. But we know that this is not so. Steve Pavlina invites people to think of confidence in a new way. Consider confidence to be a resource that you have within yourself. Just like other resources such as will power, concentration, focus, confidence can be used to boost your chances of success in a performance situation.
3. Four ways to Boost Your Confidence
Because confidence is now a resource within you, you can tap into it whenever you need it. Here are four ways to tap into your confidence.
Thinking confidently means to cultivate the right kind of mindset that prepares you for success. Mentally, we all think in terms of images. So you need to ensure that you create mental images of confidence. Mental images of feeling confident mean that you see yourself doing your task perfectly without any problems whatsoever. Do you remember sometime in your past when you felt extremely confident? Notice your mental state then. Remember how the possibility of failure did not enter your mind. You could clearly see the mental picture of how you were going to succeed.
While your past memory depicts that your positive mental pictures were due to your increased confidence, the process also works in the reverse way.Create enough confident pictures and you begin to feel confident.
The above method made you use mental images to create the feeling of confidence. In this section, you’ll understand how to use your “speech” to create confidence. Think of someone who is never sure of what he/she wants. Think of the words they use pretty often. Can you find words like “probably”, “maybe” “perhaps” etc?
Do you see the link between their lack of confidence and their choice of words?
Now guide your attention to somebody who is always confident of themselves. If you were to ask them a question, you’ll receive a clear answer. They’ll be using words like “definitely”, “surely”, “affirmative” etc. Whether they agree or disagree, they are pretty clear about their opinion.
“Yes that makes sense to me. “ OR “No I don’t agree with you.” The point is that confidence makes you use confident words. But just like the case of mental images, using confident words can boost your confidence. Start paying attention to the words you use. Bring more certainty into your speech. Do you like it or not? Do you want to buy that right now or later?
The third remedy to building confidence is to move confidently. Notice the movements of a professional soccer player and compare that to that of a regional player. It is not difficult to make out the difference. The local player maybe over exerting his body, getting tired too quickly and may depict a lack of balance. The professional however, has a certain grace in his movements. Whether he is sprinting or jogging or even just casually walking you know the potential of that player.
Notice how your heart begins to throb with excitement when the professional sprints forward in full speed with the ball towards the goal post. And notice how you’re filled with doubt at the success of the local player in the same situation. Simply put, movement depicts high confidence. And just like thoughts and speech, it works the reverse way for movement too. Making conscious efforts to move confidently creates the feeling of confidence.
External source of Confidence
The above three techniques made you focus on yourself to create confidence. Our next alternative is to use an external source to make you feel confident. An “external source” can be anything that makes you feel more confident. The most common examples include inspirational songs, movies, etc.
4. Be Prepared
Don’t get me wrong. You cannot excel at performing without an adequate preparation. These techniques cannot replace the hard work that is needed to do quality work.
But these techniques are for the situation when you are on the verge of starting to perform (like college exam or a dance performance). As the time nears to start point, it is better to call on to your confidence (even if you’re underprepared). ( Self Confidence Quotes From Michael Jordan )
It is better to be overconfident (by creating more confidence) than be under confident (by not creating any confidence) even if you not prepared in the best possible manner.