What Is Self-Confidence? And How Do I Improve Mine?

Self-confidence- we all hear this term thrown around a lot, and it’s a quality we think it’s very important to build here at Be-Zing, but it can be quite difficult to pin down just what it is. We think the easiest way to define it is as a certain attitude a person has with regard to their skills and abilities. A person with high self-confidence has an overall positive view of themselves, and trusts in their skills and abilities to overcome obstacles and face new challenges when they appear. They know how to handle criticism and see mistakes they’ve made more as learning opportunities rather than something that knocks them down and harms them. A lack of self-confidence might leave you doubting your abilities or feeling a bit useless, as well as fearing failure and being sensitive to even well-intentioned criticism.

It’s important to note though that the level of self-confidence you’re at rarely reflects your actual abilities- it’s more attached to your state of mind and can be affected by past experiences, relationships and events. Luckily, there are a quite a few very practical ways you can boost your self-confidence if you’re feeling low. We’ve compiled a little list for you here today that’s worth having a look through whether you feel like you need a boost, or you’re already on Usain Bolt levels of self-confidence!

1. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Another way it’s possible to measure self confidence is how comfortable you are in new situations- the attitude you have regarding your own strengths and abilities is going to translate to how secure you feel when trying something new or uncomfortable. It’s a bit like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes- it doesn’t matter how big or small the challenges you give yourself every day are, you just have to be consistent in doing it! It could be as simple as trying new foods or striking up a conversation with a stranger, or something like interviewing for a job or joining a new club or sports team. Everybody’s at a different level so what might be easy for one person can seem daunting to you.

2.Stop Comparing Yourself to Others!

As the old saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. There is no quicker surefire way to make yourself feel low, even if you’ve recently achieved a lot, than comparing your success to somebody you perceive to be doing better than you. The irony is in the fact that the person you’re comparing yourself to undoubtedly feels the same way about somebody else! When you’re in this state of mind, you’ll always be able find someone who appears to be doing ‘better’ than you no matter how much you’re achieving- it never ends. The only person you should be comparing your achievements to is yourself, as you keep track and build on top of your own accomplishments!

3. Take Care of Your Body

Your body is a complex system that’s more than the sum of its parts, and all the individual parts of your body are relying on each other to keep you running at your maximum potential. This means if you’re not providing yourself with the proper fuel or regular maintenance, it’s going to have a knock-on effect on every part of your life. Eating a balanced diet, practicing proper hygiene and exercising regularly are all things that you might think only affect your physical body, but they’re very important for your mental state and cognitive ability too. Researchers in recent years have found many links between a healthy physical lifestyle and reduced anxiety, in turn increasing your belief in your own abilities.

4. Positive Self-Talk

Whether you notice it or not, self-talk is something that most of us do all the time during our waking hours. We all have an ‘internal monologue’ that’s essentially your brain talking to you. The general vibe of your self-talk creates a bit of a loop- how you talk to yourself determines how you see yourself, and how you see yourself determines how you’re likely to talk to yourself in the future. These behaviours can be difficult to unlearn, so a good place to start can be identifying negative self-talk, for example making a minor mistake and thinking “I’m stupid” or immediately visualising the worst-case scenario in every situation. Once you’ve caught these habits, you can begin trying to replace them with more functional and encouraging ones. Self-talk is on its own a big topic that we’ll cover in full in another post, so stay tuned.

Self-confidence is a broad topic to talk about and it seems to come very naturally to some and not so much to others! These are just some of the things you can do to boost this quality in yourself, and as a bonus tip for those that have read so far: Don’t worry if these don’t work straight away. Self-confidence builds at different speeds for different people, and as time takes its course, you’ll begin to notice certain things don’t bother you as much as they used to.

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