Confidence is something which we all possess inherently but most of the time we tend to forget it. Though the dictionary meaning of confidence is a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or reliance on one’s circumstances. But I believe it is nothing but a mindset. You just need to give yourself a few messages like “I have it” or “I can or “I can accomplish it”. It is something you cannot buy because no seller is selling it. The only place to buy it is inside you. Each one of us has confidence. It is nothing but thoughts that we have about ourselves.
Thus, we can say it is a feeling of believing in yourself, feeling comfortable in your true self, knowing you have worth. If you are confident, people believe you, confidence is attractive, brings success, helps to connect well with others and you generally feel happier. The word has originated from the Latin word “fidere” which means to trust. So, we can also say that having trust in oneself is also called confidence. Having self-confidence is important as it helps you make positive choices in your everyday life, gives you the courage to be YOU, have good relationships, and helps you deal with difficult situations.
Let’s recollect a story.
Two grains were lying on the fertile soil. The first grain said – “I want to grow up. I want to put down roots deep into the ground, flourish and want to come off the ground. I dream to bloom in soft buds and enjoy the coming of spring. I want to feel the kind rays of the sun and the dew drops on my petals”. This grain grew and became a beautiful plant. The second grain said – “I am afraid to go deep inside the ground. I am scared that what will happen to me there. If I grow weak stems, then I can be carried away by the wind. If I grow flowers, they may be blown away. I would rather wait for a safer time.” Thus, the second grain kept waiting until the chicken passed by and peck it.
What did we learn from the story? The grain which had seen the power in itself grew. The other grain just kept thinking over the coming situations and didn’t gain the confidence to move ahead and as a result got pecked by the chicken.
Here, I want to share how by not being confident you are hampering not only your growth but your life as well.
1. It keeps you limited.
It says humans have two kinds of potentials – one is innate and the other is acquired. The innate potential we possess naturally and acquired potential we develop superficially over a period of time. Like I can say Lata Mangeshkar’s singing ability is inherent, likewise Sachin’s playing capacity or Amitabh’s acting. The inherent potential is like a seed that is buried deep within. It needs water. It needs light. It needs proper nurture and care to flourish. But before any of that can happen, it needs to be seen. Someone has to acknowledge that the seed exists and recognize its potential to grow into something beautiful. Without that awareness, there’s little chance that it will ever be attended to and will likely wither and die.
That awareness or I would say that belief is confidence. One needs to believe his potential and display it confidently. If you are not confident you will end up keeping yourself limited and at last suffer from dissatisfaction, anger, frustration, hatred, and many other negative traits.
2. You will always remain in your comfort zone.
Lack of confidence will not let you leave. It is a warm and cozy place and we start loving this comfort zone. We feel comfortable staying in our comfy caves, but we don’t know that it is killing us. But by not stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re costing yourself three of the greatest gift this life can offer. First, it keeps you away from growing. Second, it keeps you away from trying new things. Third, it conditions you to settle.
The most important thing in life is to discover our passion. This comfy is hampering our growth and misleading us from our passion and motive of life. To come out of comfort zone one has to embrace faith and doubt. But once you are out, no one can stop you from getting what you desire. I would say better be comfortable with uncomfortable.
3. You will always feel like a victim.
People with low self-confidence develop a victim mentality. This leaves them vulnerable and ultimately finds it difficult to handle their emotions and behaviour. Most of the time they indulge themselves in placing blame, making excuses, not taking responsibility, and reacting to situations as if it was not their fault. They keep themselves away from taking self-responsibility and try finding flaws in others. A sense of powerlessness engulfs them, and they do not even try to find solutions for the problems. Thus, feeling confidence in oneself is as important as eating and sleeping.
4. It hampers your decision-making power.
Low confidence also encumbers your decision-making capability. This is one of the major areas in one’s life which requires confidence. Confident decision making is really important to lead a happy life. It allows you to lead your life through a greater sense of belief. By not being confident you are not only able to make proper decisions but also reaffirm that you are not capable, or you are not strong. Your life is all about your decisions but if you are unable to make decisions you are giving someone else this power to handle your life. Being confident not only augment faith in you but in case if you get some wrong decisions you can rectify any problem that arises.
5. It will not let you get what you deserve.
By not being confident you will tend to settle for less than you deserve. This is true for everyone whether you are a student or in a job or a housewife. You always feel threatened maybe by your colleagues or your fellow friends. This also gives birth to the feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and insufficiency. You end up finding yourself in a rut or routine that drains you. Your potential takes a greater hit. Many times, it hampers your communication skills and you accept whatever comes your way. Thus, if you know you deserve more, then work on your confidence. It doesn’t come from being right, it comes from being not scared of wrong.
But still, I believe nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone bears incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to infuse in you. Because the challenging world of business and hectic lifestyle can deflate it, I can suggest various ways to feel confident.
A. Set goals for yourself
There is an inspirational book written by Brian Tracy on Goals Settings and how it increases our confidence. According to many thinkers, attach your happiness to goals, not to any human or object. When you set a goal and achieve it you will start trusting your skills and your level of commitment. When you start believing in those things it tremendously increases your overall level of self-confidence. Goal settings make you to not only come out of your comfort zone but also make you realize your tremendous potential. Once you achieve the particular goal you set for yourself you start feeling confident. Set Goals that help you to build your Self-Esteem. Setting goals that work for you can improve your self-esteem. They give you a sense of purpose and something to work towards, as well as the motivation and means to get there. The major and the crucial step towards being confident is goal setting.
B. Try new things & challenge yourself
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay.
The only way to overcome fear is to face it. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So, get out of your comfort zone and face your fears. Many people are unaware of their abilities because they set goals that are highly difficult to achieve. Start setting small goals that you can accomplish easily. Once you can make a series of successes that make you feel good about yourself, you can then move on to bigger goals. Make sure that you also keep a track of all your achievements – big or small – to remind yourself that you have done well in times back.
Instead of focusing only on the “to-do” list, spend time on “did-it” list. Reflecting on the major assignments, projects, and goals you’ve achieved is a great way to strengthen confidence in your skills.
C. Keep yourself physically fit
It is scientifically proven that confidence is directly proportional to physical exercises. It stimulates your mood. It enhances your self-esteem and puts you in a positive state of mind. Just try to make a change in your lifestyle. Just give a little raise to your fitness level and you can see how life will change around you. Self-confidence is nothing but the by-product of health, your awareness towards your body, and keeping it healthy. Recent researches have also proved that those who feel physically fit in themselves are not only more happy but confident and impressive as well.
So, what are you waiting for?
Just go ahead!
Put an early morning alarm and get set go.
D. Help someone out
There is a term in psychology called “Reverse Psychology”. Once I happened to meet a great motivational speaker and I asked him “How can one keep himself or herself motivated even in times of distress?”. He simply answered – “Make others happy”. Thus, by helping, appreciating, and helping others we are doing nothing but raising our level. By lending a hand to others you are lending a hand to yourself to raise you above. It often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you can make a difference in someone else’s life. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, volunteer to mentor, assist another, and you’ll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process. You just look around and find your happiest friend and then ask his friend about his helping nature and you will get your answer (which will prove the importance of helping others).
E. Fake it
I may sound a bit silly, but this is the best recommendation from me. It says our mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imaginary. There is a popular phrase in the movie “Three Idiots” – All Is Well – wherein the protagonist just wants to convey that keep your mind in the illusion that everything is fine. The similar illusion can be experienced when you fake confidence. I have some tips to fake it.
• Act like you’re qualified, even if you don’t think you are
• Imitate the greats.
• Do things you are good at
• Write down positive affirmations
• Keep a note of your high performing moments and read it when you feel low
• Ask questions when you’re feeling uncomfortable
In the end, I will suggest that confidence is nothing but how you feel about yourself.
Just remember these beautiful lines – “When you doubt yourself you give others a chance to control you. Confidence is a superpower that lies with you. Once you start believing yourself, the magic will start happening.”
Confidence is nothing but a mindset. You are just a thought away from being confident.
– Involve to Evolve –