“Hi Celes, how do you keep enough belief in yourself to be self-confident? Sometimes I find myself filled with so much self-doubt that it becomes crippling.” – Mike
Over the years, many readers and clients have consulted me on achieving self-confidence, and this post shares important mindset shifts to achieve it.
“Self confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” – Samuel Johnson
For the next minute, think about how you see yourself. On the whole, how much self-confidence do you have? How confident do you feel regarding your work? How about when you are with friends? Your partner if you have one? Your family? How confident do you feel when it comes to your finances? How about other things, such as making a presentation at work or talking to a stranger? Do you feel fully confident in all of the above situations? Do you feel confident regardless of the situation you are in?
Self-confidence means being assured in your own worth, ability, and power, regardless of the situation you are in. Someone who is self-confident has a strong sense of self-belief and certainty in him/herself. He/she exudes calmness, composure, and is self-aware.
Self-confidence is often linked with having certain knowledge, skill sets, and abilities, whether acquired or innate. While having aptitude in a particular area can help boost your self-worth, it is not a necessary prerequisite for self-confidence. Someone with absolutely no competency in something can still be confident. We will explore this in detail in the later half of the article.
Have you ever known someone with low confidence? How does this person come across to you? A person who lacks confidence has a lack of self-belief, usually caused by a sense of uncertainty about something.
Here are 8 typical behaviors of people with low self-confidence:
- Undervaluing what they are capable of
- Taking blame even when it is not their fault
- Being overly shy and reserved
- Overly critical of themselves, for example neurotic perfectionists
- Being hung up over negative outcomes and past ‘failures’
- Preoccupation with the negative outcomes and failure even though they have not happened yet
- Having a fearful and adverse attitude toward most things
- Doing things to please others
People with low self-confidence tend to repel people around them. Their limiting mindsets and behavior make them feel ‘heavy’ and a ‘drag’ to be around. If we refer to the Map of Consciousness, these people vibrate in consciousness levels of Pride and below — usually levels of Shame, Guilt, Apathy, and Fear.
Lack of self-confidence is a crippling trait because it limits you in your opportunities and jeopardizes your chances of success, which leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Imagine you are tasked with a project. Say you lack confidence and you predict that you will not meet others’ expectations. What do you think will happen next? This lack of belief will influence your thoughts and action, both consciously and subconsciously. When you are constantly thinking about a negative outcome, it takes your focus off what you should be doing to achieve your ideal state, which leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. And when an undesirable outcome gets manifested, your (negative) belief gets enforced and you continue to have low, if not lower, self-confidence.
On the flip side, what if you are a self-confident person placed in that exact same scenario? What do you think will happen? Chances are things will pan out differently. Because you are certain of an imminent success, you do everything needed to make it happen. If you don’t have the skills, you acquire it. If you don’t have the knowledge, you learn it. If a misshap happens, you crack your brain for a solution. This confidence sets you up for success, which subsequently enforces your self-worth, leading you to more success. Even though you may have started from the same spot as others, just having the confidence will take you much further than someone who doesn’t have it.
Thus, self-confidence is clearly an asset in life. Not only does it make you feel better emotionally and mentally, but it also sets you up toward achieving your goals. When you’re confident, it helps you fearlessly pursue your goals. It gives you the belief to conquer your challenges, no matter how insurmountable they seem.
However, most people have low confidence because of past events in their life. They are placed in an endless cycle where they feel unsure of themselves, think about all possible bad results, and attract bad results due to this thinking, which then reinforces their negative self-belief.
Here are some examples of using conditioning to increase self-confidence:
Dressing: Dressing smartly, Looking presentable, Having a clean and kempt look
Body language: Walking confidently, Speaking confidently, Being calm and composed, Holding your head up, Having a good posture, Smiling
Mental techniques: Positive thinking, Visualization of positive outcomes/scenarios, Focusing on your strengths rather than weaknesses, Repeating positive mantras
Others: Listening to upbeat music, Exposing yourself to inspirational materials, NLP techniques, etc.
naturally confident in it.
Besides competency, there are other symbols of worth, of which the most common are:
Attributes such as level of attractiveness, popularity, grace, drivenness
Material possessions such as the amount of wealth you own, car, property, luxury brands, and so on
Status symbols such as your academic qualifications, achievements, job title
Incidents of Success such as winning in a game; situations where you emerge victorious
Whenever you get into a situationwhere you don’t feel confident, ask yourself: Why am I not feeling confident? Where is this uncertainty coming from? What am I attaching my self-worth to?
When you become aware of what you are linking your worth to, release yourself of the limiting belief that you can only feel worthy or confident when you meet certain prerequisites. When you do that, you will find yourself filled with a sense of self-worth that is there no matter what happens. You will find that this self-worth is what leads you to the outcomes you desire and helps you become your highest self. 🙂
-Wilfred Rohit Peters