Confidence is not walking into a room thinking that you are better than everyone. It’s walking in and knowing you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone. There’s no thought of comparison or competition with any other human being, you are not above anyone or below anyone and this notion is called “Confidence”.
In well-meaning attempts, to boost our confidence ahead of challenging moments we often try to draw our attention to our strengths, our intelligence, our competence, our experience, but this can strangely have some awkward consequences. There’s a type of under-confidence that arises specifically when we grow too attached to our own dignity and become anxious under any situation that might seem to threaten it.
We hold back from challenges in which there is any risk of ending up looking ridiculous, which comprises, of course, almost all the most interesting situations.
For example: in a foreign city, we might grow reluctant to ask anyone to guide us to a nice restaurant because they might think us as an ignorant lost tourist or at work, we may not apply for a promotion as we think the higher authority might consider us as delusional arrogant. In short, we don’t want to look stupid, and that’s why we don’t venture far from our cocoon, thereby from time to time, we miss out on the best opportunities of our lives.
Now, to think of confidence, a lot of people consider confidence as one of those qualities that you are born with. Whenever you look at someone who can just enter a room and absolutely owns it and you get the feeling that they are born with that quality. At that time, it seems like they are just innately confident and we might never be that way. But contrary to that popular belief, confidence is indeed a skill that you can build. It’s a quality that you can cultivate through deliberate action and create changes to your mindset.
The most important factor in building confidence is, we must simply dive into that situation, process, activity or anything in which you want to be confident. Confidence is built through experience, but, there’s a twist, ‘You have to gain experience in not only the core area of your subject but in it’s relevant or related areas too. Remember, everything is connected, you need to learn and utilize these links for your own betterment.’
And in this relevant experience, there are two main areas that are related to it.
First is the obvious one and that is “direct experience”.
For example: if you are planning to give a presentation, the tenth time you do that is going to be much easier than the first time, especially if the intervening nine times went well.
I recently read a quote, in which it said,
“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear to get a record of successful experiences behind you.”
Secondly, though, and perhaps even the most important point is that you can gain experiences in related areas of your expertise because every single discipline in the world shares certain qualities with other disciplines and that could be very helpful in gaining your own self-confidence.
Before you think you are ready when you are still scared to do that, just jump into that main activity.
If you are losing your confidence there is another way to beat that and it’s by encouraging others and increasing their self-confidence.
There are three very common ways you can do that and they are:
- First is just smile.
An open, honest ‘happy to see you’ smile warms people’s heart, makes them feel important and causes them to unconsciously like you from the first moment. Each person has a deep down need to be accepted unconditionally by other people without judgment or criticism. And a smile tells them that you like them and accept them unconditionally.
- Second is promoting self-esteem in others with appreciation.
Everyone loves to be appreciated for something. So, when you say the words “thank you” more often, then you could make people feel more important and happy. Thus, you raise their self-esteem and increase their desire to help you and to do things for you.
- The third is to give genuine compliments.
Whenever you compliment a person genuinely on something that he or she has obviously invested his or her time and emotion in achieving, you boost their image and built their self-esteem. And as a result, they will find you more desirable and it will eventually build your self-esteem.